EXTRA TIME
YANKS ABROAD LOCKER ROOM
 
tardis91
Post #1
Tuesday August 6, 2013 3:32pm

Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts: 84
I know Im relatively new to posting to this site, and because of that I know a few people wont respond, but I have been thinking that is a big problem for the game. Let me explain.

Either your a soccer fan or you bash soccer, and thats actually where a lot of people fall. When someone criticizes soccer the first defense for the majority of soccer fans is they just dont understand the game. Its too complicated for them to understand, they only want excitement, the game is cerebral not action packed. While true, when we say those things it causes people to look at soccer with disdain. It causes people to never give the sport a chance. And despite what some will argue, you can be just as knowledgeable about soccer after only watching it for a couple of months as someone whose been watching it their whole life. That sentence makes a lot of people uneasy, I think we've become so engrained in defending the sport, that we've pushed it out of the mainstream.

Instead of defending the sport it would be better to just go ahead and invite them to a game and try to open their eyes. It wont work with everyone but some will be won over.

What makes the sport great is that when you see it in person, you can then appreciate all the little nuances that exist. Thats why I really think offering lower ticket prices for children or parents bringing their children is such an important thing. Bring in a generation of fans who are growing up in a generation where the US is pretty competitive on the international stage. I think now sports has become such a business that a lot of potential fans or players are priced out of the sport. Maybe that will change, but I dont see it happening soon. So do you guys think soccer elitism exists amongst sports fans?

USnLFCfan
Savannah GA
Post #2
Tuesday August 6, 2013 4:03pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,410
Original post from tardis91

And despite what some will argue, you can be just as knowledgeable about soccer after only watching it for a couple of months as someone whose been watching it their whole life. That sentence makes a lot of people uneasy, I think we've become so engrained in defending the sport, that we've pushed it out of the mainstream.

Instead of defending the sport it would be better to just go ahead and invite them to a game and try to open their eyes. It wont work with everyone but some will be won over.

What makes the sport great is that when you see it in person, you can then appreciate all the little nuances that exist. Thats why I really think offering lower ticket prices for children or parents bringing their children is such an important thing. Bring in a generation of fans who are growing up in a generation where the US is pretty competitive on the international stage. I think now sports has become such a business that a lot of potential fans or players are priced out of the sport. Maybe that will change, but I dont see it happening soon. So do you guys think soccer elitism exists amongst sports fans?


Completely disagree, though I will say it's more you have to have played at a decent level to completely understand the game itself, tactically and such. You can watch the game in a short period of time and know the rules but you won't understand why a player does one thing or another. Also if that's true, why as a whole do we have terrible coaching at the youth, club, and high school level?? As far as elitism goes, you have some like any sport but I think the majority aren't. There are other sports that are worse. Surprisingly, bikers are.

bbakerxyz
Post #3
Tuesday August 6, 2013 4:10pm

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 237
Not really. A lot of people think watching soccer is like watching paint dry. Fine w/ me. I think watching baseball is like watching paint dry. I don't spend any time trashing baseball, to my friends or on online message boards.

And that statement about being just as knowledgeable after watching soccer for a couple of months vs. years is f@%&ing stupid. Sorry, dude. Welcome to the forums.

And you gotta laugh at soccer too. 0-0 games!? Alexi Lalas was on Stephen Colbert a couple of months ago and he came off looking like a fool. Colbert made fun of diving and Lalas did not take it gracefully.

jtsccr12
Post #4
Tuesday August 6, 2013 4:53pm

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 94
Hmmmm, a lot of interesting comments. I disagree on a couple fronts with tardis91. Like any sport, there is a level of knowledge that can be obtained from watching for only a month. You might understand that in the NFL the point system and general concepts, but you don't understand strategy. That takes years to develop. Soccer is the same, although since there is no real stop and start between each play, the strategy and team formations become a little harder to understand. I would estimate that nobody having only watched soccer for a month could tell me the difference between a 4-4-2 and a 4-3-3 in tactics after a month. Just like nobody that had watched the NFL for a month could tell me the difference between the I-formation and Goalline formation.

The second level of disagreement is in tickets. Look at the MLB to the NFL. The MLB tries very hard to seem family focused and offer different family discounts, and the NFL does not. One group caters to the fans, and one group wants the fans to cater to them. When you look at the fan attendance numbers, you can tell that American fans would rather have the sport that they have to earn the right to be a fan of. Also, children discounts in the US normally show the sign of a struggling product, and I would prefer MLS not create that perception.

Finally, there is elitism in every sport, or every activity for that matter. The more you know the more you know others don't know. There should be elitism... just like in the NFL, MLB, and any other US sport. I hope soccer fans are more humble than other fans, but in the end it is human nature.

CBoyd3142
Probably far from where you are...
Post #5
Tuesday August 6, 2013 4:54pm

Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts: 320
Yeah, it is what it is. I live in a non-soccer state and the questions people ask when watching a game with me are hilarious - they don't see the beauty in maintained possession (i.e. "Why are they passing backwards towards their own goal?), the skill in bringing down and controlling difficult passes, getting out of tight situations defensively, etc. They live for those isolated moments of nutmegs and beautiful goals and not much else. Or they just think that soccer is a wussy sport because they couldn't cut it at 4 year-old Sunday Soccer and jumped to American football to compensate.

I also disagree with the two-month issue - the game is constantly evolving. Sit out six months of soccer viewing and you've practically missed the world. I'd also argue there's a difference in viewing/appreciation for certain items in the game that former/current players would have from their own personal experiences of the game - @LFC. I agree with bbaker that I struggle to watch other sports at times, but I don't disrespect them. Each sport has its own skill set and that needs to be respected - even competitive ping pong.

To answer your question, I think sport elitism is a product of highly-opinionated personal perspective and, in many cases, ignorance. Most people who criticize soccer as a sport have never played it or rarely watch it and tend to focus on the negatives that are broadcasted to them. Same can be said of other sports as well - it's just how you choose to view them.
Toffee Fan....for the moment
MSantoine
Post #6
Tuesday August 6, 2013 5:00pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
The main reason why it gets looked down upon is we arent the best at it. Most Americans, especially casual sports fans are homers. They grew up rooting for the yankees, cowboys, notre dame, and the lakers because they were the best. US isnt the best national team and the MLS doesnt have the best players in the world so casual fans are turned off. They dont want to have to follow european leagues to watch the best athletes, just like they dont care about the KHL (russian super hockey league) or the Euro Basketball leagues. Until USA becomes a world power and/or MLS becomes one of the top leagues in the world nothing will change

dolcem
Post #7
Tuesday August 6, 2013 5:39pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,805
I don't want to be harsh on the OP but this mentality is what is keeping American soccer in the stone age.

Most Americans view soccer as just another sport, like basketball or football. One that you can figure out after watching for a few months (scoring a goal is not much different than hitting a home run, you're just seeing a ball go in a direction). The most knowledgeable fans are the ones who read the boxscores/magazines/whatever (the internet in soccer's case since it isn't really well-covered in the US mainstream media) the most. The ones who have the best player knowledge and who know the most stats.

Yet soccer is a completely different sport and one far more complex than anything Americans play. While playing soccer helps you understand it more deeply, it's not the only thing that does. Soccer is unique in that one's approach to the game, the way they think about it (which one learns from watching it and talking about it), affects the way they play it. Soccer players are produced by cultures in a way that other athletes are not: a player acquires the game by constantly, playing, watching, and talking about it with his countrymen, who share a similar understanding of the game.

Some cultures are great and produce great players. The Argentines and Brazilians, for example, believe in the aestheticism of the game and the importance of flair and skill. Of course they believe footballers should play that way because the fans deserve it but they also believe that this is the best way to learn and play the sport, and that the ability of a footballer is measured by what he can do with the ball. It's no surprised that historically speaking, these are probably the two best soccer nations of all time (Maradona, Bochini, Batistuta, Messi, Pele, Garrincha, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, etc.).

Some places have done a great job of building cultures through youth academies, where it is instilled in them. The best example (aside from maybe Ajax) would be La Masia, where the players that come from it share such an understanding that outsiders, even if they're world class, can't ever really understand. Barca players actually do share the same DNA, and people that know the sport well recognize that. You wouldn't ever see this in an American sport...they aren't complex enough to allow for those kind of differences. While there are real style differences between the conferences, there is no PAC 12 or Big 10 DNA. One athlete in one could play in another. But soccer plays aren't just athletes, they're a lot more than that. An all-time great in one league may be ineffective in a league of similar quality (Veron, for example).

Certain cultures can be better than other from a technical standpoint (another concept lost to American sports fans, where grit and athleticism is all that matters). For example, Koreans view soccer as a game of stamina and try to play it the way they approach everything in life: with teamwork and sheer willpower. While they can run all over the place, they never play a style of play that allows for creativity or rewards skill. The result is that Korean players usually can't offer anything more than a great work rate. Considering how good Koreans are at other pursuits (including baseball) their inability to produce good soccer players despite its long-time popularity is evidence of the importance of culture in player development.

In America the problem is worth. Listen to Taylor Twellman talk about soccer. While players raised in the American mentality and boot and root tactics might someday play in Europe (it's a numbers game, we have more registered soccer players than any other nation in the world), it doesn't mean that their approach to the game is going to produce truly quality players (and quality is a concept foreign to American sports and thus many American soccer fans). Even Michael Bradley told Altidore to play for Hull instead of St. Etienne or Olympiakos, which would have been infinitely better for his development from a technical standpoint, because "when you for a team fighting relegation, you learn a lot about yourself." In other words, the way his team played and his role in it were completely irrelevant in his development; the only that mattered was playing in the environment that would 'toughen him up' psychologically the most. American coaches seem to share the same philosophy about soccer, and while this is obvious from what they say, it's even more obvious from their archaic tactics. It's clear that they view the game as similar to gridiron, which is rigid and requires its players to react to events rather than create anything (even the guys are offense are just following a play). Outdated British tactics are used and size and athleticism are valued over anything (because that's what matters in football and basketball).

Americans fans seem to share the same mentality as well, especially the newer ones. I always notice this when I talk with (knowledgeable) soccer fans from other countries. Even though I have been studying the game intently since my teens, it's obvious that they understand the game in ways that I don't. They've learned it from the time they could walk from experts (their dads, uncles, etc.) and grasp the subtleties that someone who understands it primitively (like its gridiron) never will. And they believe, as anyone who properly understands the game does, that soccer is the best sport. It is the beautiful game and infinitely more complex and profound than any American sport. Argentines and Spaniards, in particular, speak of it like they speak of music or literature...great players are great artists, completely unique in the way they play their position and fit into their teams. In American sports, the athlete simply performs a simple task (hit the ball, throw the ball, tackle the player) that requires following instructions with perfect time: nothing that would require any creativity whatsoever (in the parlance of what American sport would you find such a word?).

This is why I'm a soccer elitist. We won't become better at the sport until we understand it better and grow a culture. And once we do, American newcomers to the game will hear about it and start to see the nuances of the game that they never get in their own sports. It's not a problem, it's the solution to our biggest problem.
GET A CLUB TEAM
kicksNgiggles10
Birmingham
Post #8
Tuesday August 6, 2013 5:51pm

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 572
Original post from CBoyd3142

Yeah, it is what it is. I live in a non-soccer state and the questions people ask when watching a game with me are hilarious - they don't see the beauty in maintained possession (i.e. "Why are they passing backwards towards their own goal?), the skill in bringing down and controlling difficult passes, getting out of tight situations defensively, etc. They live for those isolated moments of nutmegs and beautiful goals and not much else. Or they just think that soccer is a wussy sport because they couldn't cut it at 4 year-old Sunday Soccer and jumped to American football to compensate.


Lol. I forget we live in the same state!

MSantoine
Post #9
Tuesday August 6, 2013 6:07pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
@dolcem. I couldnt agree more. Any time I hear people call for the inclusion of a certain player because he gives it 110% or plays with heart or wants it more I throw up in my mouth. Ill take the 11 most skilled players over the 11 most determined players and I'd take my chances

jtsccr12
Post #10
Tuesday August 6, 2013 7:36pm

Joined May 2013
Total Posts: 94
Original post from MSantoine

@dolcem. I couldnt agree more. Any time I hear people call for the inclusion of a certain player because he gives it 110% or plays with heart or wants it more I throw up in my mouth. Ill take the 11 most skilled players over the 11 most determined players and I'd take my chances


I disagree with it being so absolute. I think it takes a mix of skill and determination and not one or the other. Just look at the Confed Cup final, Spain has more skill, Brasil has skill and determination. If Americans can develop our skill set to a higher level, our national determination will make us champions. Unfortunately, at the youth levels we want to win more than develop, and so we don't have the skill to compete until we temper that... but we punch above our weight at the WC because of our determination... not because of our skill. This is why I will always want a Bedoya over a Torres. Torres has more skill, but Bedoya has a better combination. And on more than one occasion, his will has won our B-team games that Torres could not. Skill gets you there, but heart makes the difference.

recycledhumans
DFWTX
Post #11
Tuesday August 6, 2013 7:37pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,467
What drew me to soccer: no commercials.

I played a single season back when i was a kid, maybe 8...played mostly left back and could chase down anyone in the league, but my heart wasn't in it and all my friends played baseball, so I did that for the rest of my childhood. It wasn't until after I had graduated high school and had already been in college a couple of years when one day I stumbled upon Fox Soccer Channel. I'm enamored with the beautiful game, sure, but I tend to like most if not all sporting competition, but the commercials are unbearable. Baseball is unbearable to watch no matter if it has commercials or not, and turning a game of 4 15 minute quarters into a 3-4 hour TV watching experience isn't worth what little utility I'd get out of watching it.

Not only that, which I think would actually appeal to a lot of people if they could get the least bit excited about the game itself, but I'm a huge fan of the strategy and tactical side of the game. Seeing how a pass to a particular person at a particular time can open up a game a few minutes or passes later is fascinating and something that most other American sports lack. It's like watching a chess match, only infinitely more entertaining. It's the same reason that I like boxing and MMA, sports where a thinking man that can plan ahead will always have an advantage.

Lastly, the fitness levels. Find me a sport other than actual track and field where the players are running 5-10 miles every game/match/meet. Basketball is close, but you can sub in and out all you like...hockey too, 2 minutes on the ice and you're off for the line change. Football? Laughable, most of the guys doing the running are wide receivers and even they only run one direction down the field at a time. This last reason is more about my political leanings and the need to completely revamp our education system, particularly our physical education, than it is about why soccer is better in terms of spectator appeal, but I feel it's still a valid point. When two teams are at their peak fitness and playing well , it's always high octane, end-to-end stuff and it's hard not to get into the punch/counterpunch of that type of play.

MSantoine
Post #12
Tuesday August 6, 2013 8:29pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 3,723
Original post from jtsccr12

I disagree with it being so absolute. I think it takes a mix of skill and determination and not one or the other. Just look at the Confed Cup final, Spain has more skill, Brasil has skill and determination. If Americans can develop our skill set to a higher level, our national determination will make us champions. Unfortunately, at the youth levels we want to win more than develop, and so we don't have the skill to compete until we temper that... but we punch above our weight at the WC because of our determination... not because of our skill. This is why I will always want a Bedoya over a Torres. Torres has more skill, but Bedoya has a better combination. And on more than one occasion, his will has won our B-team games that Torres could not. Skill gets you there, but heart makes the difference.


Thats a big media myth. When has US recently played above their skill. In this recent gold cup we were the most skilled by far. In 2011 gold cup it was us and Mexico head and shoulders above everyone else yet we lost to Panama at home. In 2010 World Cup we tie a horrible Slovenia team, needed a 93' (or thereabouts) goal to beat a putrid Algeria team, tied a very over rated England team (look at their roster from the world cup. It only had 4 players from Man U or Man City. It was pretty much Spurs and Liverpool players). We lost to a Ghana team that had 5 players playing in Africa and many others in Scandanavia or 2nd tier England/German leagues. In 2009 we lost 5-0 to Mexico at home in the gold cup final. And yes it was our B or C team but they didnt have their a team either. In 2009 Confed cup we got smoked by Brazil and Italy before beating a Egypt team that quit. In 2007 Mexico lost earlier to Honduras, they were in between cycles and did not have that good of a team and also all 3 of our elimination round victories weer by 1 goal and we scored a PK in each of them. In 2005 gold cup we needed 2 goals in the last 10 minutes to beat Honduras at home and needed pks to beat Panama. We also tied Costa Rica. Yes the shocking victory over Spain was fantastic but beating 1 quality opponent in a MEANINGFUL game (I dont care about friendly results and if you do then theres your problem) in the last 9 years isnt exactly a team of grit defying expectations.

skangles
DC
Post #13
Tuesday August 6, 2013 10:50pm

Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts: 5,448
Original post from recycledhumans

What drew me to soccer: no commercials.

I played a single season back when i was a kid, maybe 8...played mostly left back and could chase down anyone in the league, but my heart wasn't in it and all my friends played baseball, so I did that for the rest of my childhood. It wasn't until after I had graduated high school and had already been in college a couple of years when one day I stumbled upon Fox Soccer Channel. I'm enamored with the beautiful game, sure, but I tend to like most if not all sporting competition, but the commercials are unbearable. Baseball is unbearable to watch no matter if it has commercials or not, and turning a game of 4 15 minute quarters into a 3-4 hour TV watching experience isn't worth what little utility I'd get out of watching it.

Not only that, which I think would actually appeal to a lot of people if they could get the least bit excited about the game itself, but I'm a huge fan of the strategy and tactical side of the game. Seeing how a pass to a particular person at a particular time can open up a game a few minutes or passes later is fascinating and something that most other American sports lack. It's like watching a chess match, only infinitely more entertaining. It's the same reason that I like boxing and MMA, sports where a thinking man that can plan ahead will always have an advantage.

Lastly, the fitness levels. Find me a sport other than actual track and field where the players are running 5-10 miles every game/match/meet. Basketball is close, but you can sub in and out all you like...hockey too, 2 minutes on the ice and you're off for the line change. Football? Laughable, most of the guys doing the running are wide receivers and even they only run one direction down the field at a time. This last reason is more about my political leanings and the need to completely revamp our education system, particularly our physical education, than it is about why soccer is better in terms of spectator appeal, but I feel it's still a valid point. When two teams are at their peak fitness and playing well , it's always high octane, end-to-end stuff and it's hard not to get into the punch/counterpunch of that type of play.


Great post, I really like the comments in bold. I didn't think about but it's a great point. I vaguely remember the MLS airing commercials during their early days and as of the last US road game against Jamaica BeIn Sports still does (well in game full screen highlights but just as bad).

I love watching a play develop and even if we spoil the finish, soccer is one of the only sports that literally gets me to jump around as I watch.

coverby
Post #14
Tuesday August 6, 2013 11:10pm

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 501
@MSantoine: I disagree about Slovenia and Ghana. Slovenia beat Russia to get into the World Cup not Andorra, Russia. They were no slouch but we should have beaten them. Ghana was a team that should have beaten a pretty good Uruguay team. I don't get the negativity when there is no context.

USnLFCfan
Savannah GA
Post #15
Tuesday August 6, 2013 11:16pm

Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts: 1,410
Original post from MSantoine

Thats a big media myth. When has US recently played above their skill. In this recent gold cup we were the most skilled by far. In 2011 gold cup it was us and Mexico head and shoulders above everyone else yet we lost to Panama at home. In 2010 World Cup we tie a horrible Slovenia team, needed a 93' (or thereabouts) goal to beat a putrid Algeria team, tied a very over rated England team (look at their roster from the world cup. It only had 4 players from Man U or Man City. It was pretty much Spurs and Liverpool players). We lost to a Ghana team that had 5 players playing in Africa and many others in Scandanavia or 2nd tier England/German leagues. In 2009 we lost 5-0 to Mexico at home in the gold cup final. And yes it was our B or C team but they didnt have their a team either. In 2009 Confed cup we got smoked by Brazil and Italy before beating a Egypt team that quit. In 2007 Mexico lost earlier to Honduras, they were in between cycles and did not have that good of a team and also all 3 of our elimination round victories weer by 1 goal and we scored a PK in each of them. In 2005 gold cup we needed 2 goals in the last 10 minutes to beat Honduras at home and needed pks to beat Panama. We also tied Costa Rica. Yes the shocking victory over Spain was fantastic but beating 1 quality opponent in a MEANINGFUL game (I dont care about friendly results and if you do then theres your problem) in the last 9 years isnt exactly a team of grit defying expectations.


What great English players do the Manchester clubs have??

Page 1 of 3
1 2 3  Next »

Jesse Marsch has claimed a personal accolade as he's been named Coach of the Year in Austria.
RECENT POSTS
American Trio Wins 3. Liga Title
Konrad Commits To Barcelona
Matarazzo, Stuttgart Eye Promotion
EPB Returns To Action In Austria
THIS WEEK'S HEADLINES

RANDOM TAGS FROM PAST WEEK...