I step out to go watch Iron Man 2, and look at what happens. Damn.
I certainly feel that one of the reasons soccer has not really taken hold in the US is because of American isolationism and exceptionalism. We don't typically let sports enjoyed by other countries gain a foot hold here (soccer, hockey, cricket, rugby, etc.). We like our homegrown sports, and that is fine (I am not a huge fan of any of the American sports, but that is a function of never playing them or growing up watching them), but I think we miss something by not inculcating more of an appreciation for other sports.
traehekat wrote:Soccer suffers the same problem hockey does - there just isn't enough going on. They kick the ball around and a few times a game it goes in the back of the net. With sports like football, basketball, baseball, tennis, etc. there may not be more scoring plays (like in football, or even baseball), but there is a variety of things going on. In football, for example, interceptions, sacks, big runs, great catches, etc. are all just as exciting, if not more exciting in some cases, than the actual scoring. I just don't think sports like soccer or hockey have this kind of excitement. Baseball is the same thing - doubles, triples, great catches, robbing a home run, great pitching, etc. are all things that are just as interesting as the actual scoring. Tennis always has scoring, but points all develop in different ways, which makes it interesting.
I totally disagree. As both a soccer and hockey fan (and player), I feel confident in saying that both sports have plenty going on. Watch a soccer game, and you will see literally hundred of permutations of positional play all over the pitch, from defensive posturing, to midfield construction, to anticipatory runs being made by forwards. And all of this depends on the circumstances of a given match. Watching the pass construction is far more than just 11 guys kicking the ball around haphazardly (at least in the good leagues). Beyond that there is an enormous amount of physical jockeying for control of prime position with other players to make one's self available for a pass, or to win possession of the ball. The much derided flopping of players in search of a favorable call is also one of my favorite aspects of the sport - criticizing the ref for botched calls or mis-application of the rules (especially in big games) and the ensuing debates always provide some very enjoyable moments. From a pure sporting perspective this is not why I love soccer, but it makes watching the games that much better. The lack of instant replay or challenges makes it all the more intense. Further, watching a brilliant player create a scoring opportunity, or take a chance to finish (score a goal) doesn't get much better. I love hockey, but with few exceptions, goals are just goals. Touchdowns (to me, the uninitiated) are usually all the same. Baskets scored are baskets scored. But watching Messi split five defenders, or bending a ball from 20 yards out into the top corner is an awesome spectacle. Seeing a goalie make a great stop, or a defender slide in for a killer tackle or block is just as exciting.
And it never gets better than in international competitions. For whatever the Super Bowl is, it is nothing compared to the World Cup or the Euros. I was in Madrid for Spain's 2008 Euro win, and it was greater pandemonium and a better party than the Broncos winning the Super Bowl or the Avs winning the Stanley Cup. I was up with the crowds until 7 a.m. and have never been to a better party (or had a worse hangover).
So in the spirit of not derailing this thread anymore (sorry...) I would very much like to grab some beers and catch a game or two with some non-soccer fans so long as someone will teach me the finer points of American football.