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    Thumbs up SI Report - I bet you Hate Soccer

    i just received the Sports Illustrated magazine,and to my suprise,they actually wrote a futebol article !! This may be the best thing ive seen on a magazine !! here it is...
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...616/index.html

    Are You Like Me? (I bet you are.) I Bet You Hate Soccer
    SI's most strident soccer basher tests whether five days of total immersion in the sport can transform a lifelong hater into a fútbol fanatic




    By Chris Mannix
    I bet you think soccer is as American as cricket and as thrilling as the Westminster dog show. All that kicking and heading, and no hands? Maybe that's why Zinedine Zidane dropped Marco Materazzi with a head butt in the 2006 World Cup final. He didn't realize he could use those things attached to his shoulders to throw a punch. And games that end 0-0? (Sorry, nil-nil.) The zealots will tell you that soccer is ready to become America's fifth major sport. In my mind, it already is. If you're too slow to play basketball, too scared for baseball, too small for football and too clumsy for hockey, you turn to soccer.
    In the interest of full disclosure, I have tried my feet at the game. Let's just say it didn't take. It was 1988, and I was in second grade at Sacred Heart Elementary in Kingston, Mass. My team went 0-9. My father was the coach. I was the goalkeeper. After the season the team parents gave my dad a book on how to coach soccer. "I didn't need it," he tells me now. "I already knew how to win. Don't put you in goal." I hadn't watched a soccer game since.
    My feelings toward the sport -- which, as you may have guessed, I have shared on occasion -- convinced my editors that I was the perfect candidate to hop in the minivan. The idea was a five-day, six-game odyssey along the East Coast, a trip that would allow me to see some of the world's best teams (Brazil! Argentina!) and check out what the U.S. had to offer (MLS, the national team). Hey, I know all about how MLS is expanding, and I see all those little kids in Manchester United shirts scurrying around my neighborhood. The sport is all over my cable system. But I just can't get next to soccer. Am I wrong?
    That's why I'm making this trip: to find out if soccer really is as god-awful as I think it is -- or to discover that I haven't given it enough of a chance.


    COMPLAINT NO. 1
    American Fans Lack Passion
    Two weeks ago, if you'd asked me about La Barra Brava, I would have guessed it was a Latin boy band. Turns out, with over 1,000 members representing more than 30 countries, the Barra is considered MLS's largest, most diverse and most rabid fan group. Great, I thought when I learned I'd be hanging out with them in Washington, D.C., for United's game against the Houston Dynamo on June 4. The David Hasselhoff fan club.
    My first indication to the contrary came well before kickoff. A driving rain had turned a four-hour trip from Manhattan into six, and I was beginning to wonder if I'd get to see my first soccer game at all. I texted Rob Gillespie, one of Barra's elders, to confirm that the pregame tailgate had been washed out. His answer was succinct: rain or shine.
    It's amazing what Barra members can do during a tornado watch. They can eat, even when their rolls have turned to mush and the charcoal flames are reduced to a flicker. They can drink, even if their keg cups contain less beer than monsoon. And they can sing. Oh, can they sing. First Vamos United. Then the Barra Brava song. Soon I'm frantically scrolling through my BlackBerry for the lyrics and singing along -- it's addictive.
    The Barra takes advantage of a break in the rain to head into RFK Stadium. Rather than seek refuge beneath the overhanging stands members march directly to their section at midfield. They cluster together behind a massive black banner, even though the stadium isn't lacking for seating. As the players emerge, the chants begin again. Everyone on Houston sucks. The refs suck. Cobi Jones sucks. (Never mind that Jones, I learn, played in L.A., retired last year and is not in attendance.)
    After 16 minutes the referees deem the field unplayable and wave the teams out of the muck. The Barra doesn't move. When lightning strikes in the distance, the P.A. announcer tells fans to take cover in the concourse. The Barra chants louder. Only after a personal request from a United official does the Barra relent. An hour later the game is suspended. A few angry Barra members storm the flooded field and are escorted out. The rest leave on their own, hurling profanities.
    As I wade back to the van, water spills from my sneakers at every step. I should be miserable, but I'm not. I'm smiling. American soccer fans are great. If only there were a few more of them.

    COMPLAINT NO. 2
    There Is No Strategy
    Who is Claudio Reyna? The New York Red Bulls had persuaded Reyna to sit with me during the first half of their Thursday night game against Chivas USA at Giants Stadium, so it was probably a good idea to know whom I'd be talking to. Reyna, I learned, is the former U.S. captain who had a successful career in Europe before returning to the States to join MLS. (He's currently injured.) O.K., here was a man who could talk soccer. Here was a man who could explain how there is more to the game than 20 players running up and down the field. That there's more to scoring goals than one really good player kicking the ball in the general direction of the net -- and hoping it gets past a bunch of guys.
    But there isn't, as even Reyna admitted. "Some teams play technically," he said. "Mostly in Europe. But soccer is probably the least coached sport of them all." Reyna did turn me on to certain nuances. Spacing is critical, and coaches often shift players into more defensive positions when they have a lead late in games. Up by a goal with the clock winding down against Chivas, Red Bulls midfielder Dave Van den Bergh raced toward the sideline and shouted to New York coach Juan Carlos Osorio to assign someone to "sit on" Chivas midfielder Paulo Nagamura. Osorio sent in defensive-minded midfielder Luke Sassano, who helped New York hang on for the win.

    Still, Reyna confirmed my belief that soccer is more about individual talent than teamwork. He mentioned former national team striker Brian McBride, whose ability to head a ball in traffic is unmatched. And, of course, there's David Beckham, who could ping a paparazzo in the head from 50 yards away if he felt like it. "What Beckham can do with free kicks and corner kicks," says Reyna, "is an art form."
    So there is strategy: Get more players like Beckham.

    COMPLAINT NO. 3
    It's Mind-Numbingly Dull...
    MLS boosters like to point out that attendance across the league is rising. They note that their games averaged 16,770 fans last year, highest since 1996, the inaugural season. They tell you it doesn't look as if that many fans are coming because many teams still play in cavernous football stadiums. All that may be true. But the reason I haven't been coming is that I like action.
    I want a sport to seize my attention and keep it. My impression: In soccer you can marvel at a pretty goal or a diving save, then go to the bathroom, call your girlfriend, buy a plate of nachos and make it back to your seat before a team crosses midfield again.
    On Day 3 of my trip I packed the minivan with three soccer-loving SI staffers and headed to Foxborough, Mass., to catch a doubleheader: FC Dallas versus the New England Revolution, followed by an exhibition between Venezuela and Brazil. If action was what I wanted, the second game was surely the ticket. Brazil, as soccerphiles tell you (over and over and over), practices the Beautiful Game. No team in the world is more artful or more fun to watch.
    Well, maybe one. Turns out it was the first game that had me glued to my seat -- specifically the play of Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis. He was everywhere in the second half, as Dallas, trailing 2-0, relentlessly assaulted his net. Reis dived to his left, dived to his right, faced down breakaways and leaped high to pull balls out of the air, preserving New England's win. Yeah, I thought. I'm beginning to get it. The buzz only built as hordes of chanting, flag-waving, drum-beating Brazilian fans poured into the stadium for the nightcap.
    And that's when reality bit back. With two national teams playing, I could see that the passing and ball movement were crisper than in the MLS game. But they yielded fewer results: Both teams did impressive things with the ball but rarely brought the action to the net. The frequent lulls turned off the crowd. Fans talked about how many beers they planned to drink in the parking lot. Two men sitting in front of me spent 23 minutes of the first half arguing whether the game was being played on natural grass or field turf. (I Googled it for them; sod was laid over the field turf for this game.) It didn't help that Brazil hadn't come to play. The world's No. 2-ranked team looked listless, falling behind 63rd-ranked Venezuela and getting booed off the field at halftime. What's worse, they didn't even bring Ronaldinho, the one soccer player whose name I know. After the final horn sounded in Venezuela's 2-0 victory, the Brazilian fans continued their chanting and singing and drumming on their way out. As amped up as I was by the noise before the game, now it rang hollow. To me, what these fans really enjoyed was being Brazil fans, not watching their team play. It had to have been. No one could have enjoyed that...


    Theres more, Read the rest here
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...cer0616/1.html
    Last edited by Angelo1405; 06-12-2008 at 08:02 AM.

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    hes known for his "soccer bashing" so its great see him convert completly to the sport. this just makes me think its surprisingly easy to show non-soccer fans the "light" by a few mls, us soccer games. Imagine what would he think if he went to T.O or traveled Worldwide !! i thought of taking pics, of the pics, in the article from this piece of history but my webcam broke...

    anyone feel like thanking him (or an 'i told you so') by emailing ??? maybe some invitations to a TFC game would be nice....

    One of us !! One of us !! One of us !!

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    good article too bad his dad got that book, lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo1405 View Post
    COMPLAINT NO. 3
    It's Mind-Numbingly Dull...
    Apparently this American has NEVER watched a Baseball Game...

    You want "mind-numbing dullness" watch a game where in 2 1/2 of real time, there's approximately 13-minutes of actual 'game action'...

    To quote Homer Simpson when he had to watch a baseball game sober "...I never realized how boring this game really is..."

    Well said Homer, well said...

    Carts...
    "...Money wasn't tight, but it like, it wasn't right..."


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    "After five days and six matches I can now say that I enjoy soccer at its best -- though I continue to despise it at its worst. And the biggest problem is that you're as likely to see a mess as a masterpiece."


    Are not all sports like that?
    I mean, I love hockey, but there are some really dull hockey games mixed with the good ones.
    He makes it sound like soccer is unique for have dull matches.



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    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicker View Post
    "After five days and six matches I can now say that I enjoy soccer at its best -- though I continue to despise it at its worst. And the biggest problem is that you're as likely to see a mess as a masterpiece."


    Are not all sports like that?
    I mean, I love hockey, but there are some really dull hockey games mixed with the good ones.
    He makes it sound like soccer is unique for have dull matches.


    or how about those amazing 6-3 NFL games... always good for a sunday afternoon nap

    All said though, i think he wrote a really good article from the outsider point of view. Although i think his section on strategy was a little simplistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme117 View Post
    or how about those amazing 6-3 NFL games... always good for a sunday afternoon nap

    All said though, i think he wrote a really good article from the outsider point of view. Although i think his section on strategy was a little simplistic.
    I think with your flippant comment about 6-3 NFL games you hit the nail on the head....by accident. It's like the people that complain that soccer is boring because there aren't enough shots or goals.

    It takes an understanding of the subtleties of a game to truly love it.
    A 6-3 NFL game can be a great struggle and fun to watch ...as opposed to a sloppy and mistake filled 42-35 game...if you know the game

    Baseball fans sometimes will argue that 3-2 well played and pitched game is far more exciting than a 9-7 game with errors and a blown save and bad baserunning.

    The same is said about all star games, there's never any lack of scoring in those uncompetitive snoozefests, yet they are bad games.

    Same with CFL, you get crazy high scoring games, but they're mistake filled comedy shows, that doesn't make it a good game to watch for the educated football person. Frankly it's painful to watch.

    The key to enjoying well played sports is to understand the game and the subtle skills/tactics involved in the game. Not the scoring.
    Unfortunately there are many who just look at the score ("0-0 soccer games are boring, 6-3 NFL games are boring") and ignore the beauty of the games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olegunner View Post
    Baseball fans sometimes will argue that 3-2 well played and pitched game is far more exciting than a 9-7 game with errors and a blown save and bad baserunning.
    For the hardcore baseball fans, a no-hitter for their pitcher is like a wet dream.
    ///\\\///\\\///\\\///\\\///\\\///\\\///\\\///\\\

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    well put olegunner,
    the score is secondary (unless you support one of the teams playing) in any sport compared to the quality of play.
    A 0-0 hockey game with great action and goaltending is superb compared to a 6-5 game full of miscues.

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    i took my girlfriend to her first baseball game a few years ago (she came to canada not long before).. it was a pretty good game by my fan standards... and she was bored.
    To this day she makes jokes about baseball and never wants to go again. The thing is, I'm a big baseball fan but I can understand how people would get bored by it. You have to be a part of the culture of the game to really get it. Same with all sports. You gotta be able to see the little things that each sports player does.
    Now, I think there are some games that naturally lend themselves to enjoyment even for beginner viewers... and some sports flow better than others. Footy probably has the best flow of any sport, hockey second (hockey has more whistles but for long stretches they often play without whistles.. too bad there's 2 intermissions). Pointyball is one of the worst for stoppages, since it stops after every play. But even I liked the sport years ago because I grew up with it and understood the culture of it. But now that I'm more into footy I'm starting to get annoyed by CFL/NFL stoppages. My cultural sense is changing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicker View Post
    well put olegunner,
    the score is secondary (unless you support one of the teams playing) in any sport compared to the quality of play.
    A 0-0 hockey game with great action and goaltending is superb compared to a 6-5 game full of miscues.
    Then again what about the love of basketball... 100's of points with non stop scoring.

    Bores me to tears to watch but then again maybe the game is just the mirror image of other sports... it's not how much you score but how often the opposition misses that really counts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olegunner View Post
    I think with your flippant comment about 6-3 NFL games you hit the nail on the head....by accident. It's like the people that complain that soccer is boring because there aren't enough shots or goals.

    It takes an understanding of the subtleties of a game to truly love it.
    A 6-3 NFL game can be a great struggle and fun to watch ...as opposed to a sloppy and mistake filled 42-35 game...if you know the game

    Baseball fans sometimes will argue that 3-2 well played and pitched game is far more exciting than a 9-7 game with errors and a blown save and bad baserunning.

    The same is said about all star games, there's never any lack of scoring in those uncompetitive snoozefests, yet they are bad games.

    Same with CFL, you get crazy high scoring games, but they're mistake filled comedy shows, that doesn't make it a good game to watch for the educated football person. Frankly it's painful to watch.

    The key to enjoying well played sports is to understand the game and the subtle skills/tactics involved in the game. Not the scoring.
    Unfortunately there are many who just look at the score ("0-0 soccer games are boring, 6-3 NFL games are boring") and ignore the beauty of the games.
    nope... completely intentional

    lol

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    As far as I'm concerned I would watch paint dry before watching a 2 1/2 hour game of any sport let alone baseball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by romburgundy View Post
    As far as I'm concerned I would watch paint dry before watching a 2 1/2 hour game of any sport let alone baseball.
    So I take it you're not exactly a fan of test cricket then eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flatpicker View Post
    Are not all sports like that?
    I mean, I love hockey, but there are some really dull hockey games mixed with the good ones.
    He makes it sound like soccer is unique for have dull matches.
    Yeah, except I'd say with hockey there are a few good ones mixed in with many, many dull ones. I say this having grown up loving hockey but now I find it almost painful to watch.

    This is a good article and I think we'll see many more from places like SI and other mainstream media. Either they're getting pressure from their advertisers or they're honestly looking at soccer. Either way, over the next few years the image of soccer is going to change in America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McCartney View Post
    Apparently this American has NEVER watched a Baseball Game...

    You want "mind-numbing dullness" watch a game where in 2 1/2 of real time, there's approximately 13-minutes of actual 'game action'...

    To quote Homer Simpson when he had to watch a baseball game sober "...I never realized how boring this game really is..."

    Well said Homer, well said...

    Carts...
    Wow, I didn't know how true this was until tuesday. My friends wanted to go to a jays game, seeing that 1) it was two dollars, and 2) I hadn't gone to the dome in like 15 years, I decided what the hell, might as well. Worst decision of my life. As many of you already know, they don't sell beer to the 500 level due to those damned baseball hooligans. Yeah, my friend hadn't mentioned that, and I had forgotten the fact. I was subjected to a mindnumbingly dull game, with no option of alcohol to dull the pain. Oh, and there was an employee that kept walking to the front of our section when the jays were at bat and screaming "when I say X you say hit!" (X is the player's first name) "X!" "HIT" "X!" "HIT!" "X!" "HIT HIT HIT!!!!". For every player. The same chant. And she had the most annoying voice ever.

    Maybe I just don't get baseball anymore. Maybe it's just supposed to be enjoyed in a different way. Maybe I made the mistake of going on a family night. Whatever it is, I couldn't get out of there fast enough to numb my poor, abused, mind with a pint or two of happy juice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Wow, I didn't know how true this was until tuesday. My friends wanted to go to a jays game, seeing that 1) it was two dollars, and 2) I hadn't gone to the dome in like 15 years, I decided what the hell, might as well. Worst decision of my life. As many of you already know, they don't sell beer to the 500 level due to those damned baseball hooligans. Yeah, my friend hadn't mentioned that, and I had forgotten the fact. I was subjected to a mindnumbingly dull game, with no option of alcohol to dull the pain. Oh, and there was an employee that kept walking to the front of our section when the jays were at bat and screaming "when I say X you say hit!" (X is the player's first name) "X!" "HIT" "X!" "HIT!" "X!" "HIT HIT HIT!!!!". For every player. The same chant. And she had the most annoying voice ever.

    Maybe I just don't get baseball anymore. Maybe it's just supposed to be enjoyed in a different way. Maybe I made the mistake of going on a family night. Whatever it is, I couldn't get out of there fast enough to numb my poor, abused, mind with a pint or two of happy juice.
    are you serious about the 'baseball hooligans' ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelo1405 View Post
    are you serious about the 'baseball hooligans' ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=299sMSMH10E

    yes he is

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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme117 View Post
    drunk people happen. nothing out of the usual...

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    No strategy in soccer. What the fuck. What I cannot believe that Reyna, agrees. Having said that having watched enough MLS, prior to Carver, it is one of the least coached leagues in the world.

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    It's the greatest sport on earth, hands-down. End.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trane View Post
    No strategy in soccer. What the fuck. What I cannot believe that Reyna, agrees. Having said that having watched enough MLS, prior to Carver, it is one of the least coached leagues in the world.
    you have to remember where Reyna plays...

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBBulldog View Post
    you have to remember where Reyna plays...
    Oh the Red Bulls are shite!
    Toronto FC baby...best team everrrrrrrrrr -Jozy

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    Quote Originally Posted by trane View Post
    No strategy in soccer. What the fuck. What I cannot believe that Reyna, agrees. Having said that having watched enough MLS, prior to Carver, it is one of the least coached leagues in the world.
    I'm new to soccer and I sit with a bunch of guys who really know the game. The thing is, it's a subtle, complicated game that's tough to explain to a newbie on the go. I'm guessing Reyna realized there was just too much to tell this guy and instead told him to just watch and enjoy.

    Compared to sports like American football which are way too over-coached and baseball where the options on any single play are few, soccer is by far the most creative sport.

    I do think there is a whole new generation of Americans coming up that understand the game.

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    Baseball is a bunch of fat guys running around in pyjamas. There is no other sport where you can wear as much jewelery as you want and eat while your playing....and the sad thing is....I still watch it from time to time.

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    With Baseball I just can't get past the fact that there's 162 games!!! That's a ridiculous number. The problem is that the imporance of each individual game becomes so watered down that each individual game is almost meaningless. On top of that, it's not like a baseball game is a can't miss event cuz you know there's one tomorrow, and one the next, and one the day after that.........................

    Sports leagues should realize the theory of LESS IS MORE! The most watched sporting league in North America is the NFL with only one game a week. THe most watched sporting league in the world is the EPL with only one game a week.

 

 

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