teddys
teddys
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April 22nd, 2011 at 7:03:50 PM permalink
I think it's mostly about history. Soccer in other countries has a history and tradition of hooliganism that goes back decades. American sports -- in the modern, televised, fancy stadium form -- were devised to be family-friendly from the outset.

We have FAR fewer social problems associated with sports than almost every other country. This is a good thing, even though it may "sanitize" the experience to some extent.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Face
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Face
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April 22nd, 2011 at 7:40:06 PM permalink
Quote: teddys

I think it's mostly about history. Soccer in other countries has a history and tradition of hooliganism that goes back decades. American sports -- in the modern, televised, fancy stadium form -- were devised to be family-friendly from the outset.

We have FAR fewer social problems associated with sports than almost every other country. This is a good thing, even though it may "sanitize" the experience to some extent.



I thought of this too, the fact that some countries laws may be lax enough where you could get away with this kind of activity. But I don't recall UK being some lawless, wild west style area, yet the soccer madness happens there too.

As for the history?....

Golf - "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden" Now we have the LPGA with some of the badest ass golfers on the planet.
NASCAR - Born from bootleggers needing fast cars, grew to a sanctioned sport with little support, now one of the biggest sports in America
Basketball - A bunch of white guys in little shorts throwing underhanded at a hoop, now a human air show full of ridiculous stunts to get a ball in a hoop.
Football - A bunch of tough guys mashing each other into the dirt, now a pinnacle of athletic performance containing the most outlandish shows on Earth.
Soccer - A wad of guys kick a ball around until theres a riot, now a wad of guys kick a ball around until theres a riot.

I get tradition, but things change. You would think that when the tradition results in injury, severe property damage, imprisonment and even death, that it would be the tradition that adjusts itself the soonest. Yet it doesn't. I guess I just don't understand.
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Nareed
Nareed
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April 23rd, 2011 at 7:34:07 AM permalink
Quote: teddys

I think it's mostly about history. Soccer in other countries has a history and tradition of hooliganism that goes back decades.



But doesn't this just push the question back?

I mean, why is there a tradition of hooliganism and how did it get attached to sports (or so-called sports)?
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ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
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April 24th, 2011 at 9:11:24 AM permalink
Quote: Face

Maybe someone (ICS?) can explain a curiousity for me.

What is it about futbol that enrages so many people?

I understand, I guess, the passion about it. But I just wonder what it is about the game that seems to put that passion, and resulting fury, into overdrive. I could attempt humor and say it's because the fans just realized they wasted 3 hours watching 9 guys do no more than kick a ball around with no purpose whatsoever and are furious about it (hyuk hyuk) or that since there seems to be no aggression involved in the game at all they are simply making up the difference (hardy-har), but in all seriousness, I'm curious.

I look at the big American sports and I don't see it. Sure, sometimes people lose their minds over a championship and trash the town, but it's not terribly common. Random outbursts usually consist of a lone or small group of drunkards that are quickly removed from the arena. You don't see the brawls, police battles, and athlete involvement in ructions that you see in soccer.

I'm not trashing the sport, I'm just curious. Even though it's not my cup of tea, I actually like the World Cup and can make it through a number of complete games, which is way more than can be said for baseball or basketball. I'm a hockey and NASCAR nut, but if the Leafs win the cup I wouldn't be burning cars in the streets, and if Juan Pablo takes the cup you won't see me doing donuts in the local high school football field. Why is soccer so much different?



I'm not sure there's an answer for why. Why does anything sports enrage anybody? I would guess it has more to do with the (flawed) person than the sport itself; at least, I never heard any athlete condone that a team's fans cause violence (except for maybe an occasional nut, but they don't survive ... John Rocker, etc.). I think you're right when you blame it on random outbursts from a few idiots.

For the same reasons, I also can't explain why some people do donuts when Juan Pablo wins and others don't. There are as many different ways of celebrating as there is mourning or anything else.

I do think there's a cultural difference that leads to American fans being able to "play well with others" much more so than other nations. For example, USA and England fans watched their World Cup match side by side, each cheering for their own team. Let's just say you couldn't do that with England v. Germany. Let's also say that Mexico fans in the USA can do that, but USA fans in Mexico can't. And before you say I'm being racist, ask any USA fan who has gone to Azteca for a MEX:USA match. You're literally taking your life in your hands, and spend the match surrounded by armed guards. Of course, there's idiots, and there may be some harsh words or an occasional beer thrown on you, but generally speaking, as an American, you don't fear for your life/health when supporting the visiting side.

As to why soccer is different, I'll give my opinion. Like any other sport, there are good games and bad, boring games. And, like with any other sport, your understanding of it makes it more interesting than otherwise. For example, baseball is called boring. But if you knew the calculus of the pitcher v. batter matchup, or how defenses run plays, it gets a lot more interesting. The NFL has done a good job of explaining the nuances of the game to the average fan, which, I think, is one of the reasons its popularity has grown so much faster than the other sports.

Since soccer is not traditionally American, people don't grow up studying it like football, or even lesser sports like racing or track and field. So, I can see why some people call it boring. But, if you know it and matchups, and can identify it when one team is playing chess while the other is playing checkers, it gets very exciting.

Lastly, a goal in soccer is the hardest thing to do in any single team sport. A run in baseball, touchdowns, hockey and basketball goals - all come fairly frequently. It's usually not a game-changer when one is disallowed, and it's a much easier thing to make up in other sports. Not so with soccer. Also, referees control a soccer game much more than even basketball.

Given the gravity a goal has, what it means to score one, then you take the 2-3 matches every cycle that just make you jump for joy (USA v. Spain in 2009, USA v. Algeria in 2010, going up 2-0 v. Brazil in 2009, tying Slovenia and subsequent sense of loss because a Malian referee disallows goals), and you just fall in love with it. Add to it a lot of like-minded people who are fun to drink beer with and hot chicks, and it's fun to be around the match in all sorts of ways! Finally, Americans like rooting for Americans, and you get that to the nth degree in soccer, where the USA is a #15-25 team but can pull a major upset at any time.

I can see how all this doesn't make sense from the outside, and you do have to make some effort to enjoy it. If you don't like the game, you don't like it ... but I would suggest that you at least don't like it because you've given it a good try and are not listening to some blowhard (media guy, friend, whoever) who just wants to control your behavior.

To do this, I would suggest clearing June 25 for the Gold Cup final in Pasadena. If the tournament goes to form, it will be USA v. MEX, which is always heated, with a continental championship and a berth in the 2013 Confed Cup (World Cup dress rehearsal) on the line, in a part of the country with a large Mexican population. And do it with a fan group, so you have people with you, and it's fun to drink beer and hang out with them!
nullzero00
nullzero00
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May 10th, 2011 at 6:43:46 PM permalink
you also have to factor in the "country" versus "city" influence we have here in the US. since soccer isn't big, i'll reference the olympics.

most of the sports that people watch, you root for your city/state's team. when the sport has an all star game, you root for the player(s) from your team. you generally don;t care who wins, as long as your player(s) do well/don't get injured.

when it comes to rooting for a national team, yeah we do it in the olympics to some degree, but for the most part we just don;t have that desire to see our country beat their country. i know in england and other countries they have leagues like we do for soccer, but they still will pack bars and take off from work to watch the world cup, where we couldn't be bothered in similar circumstances for the olympics. for the US fan, it becomes more local than global.
Nareed
Nareed
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May 12th, 2011 at 7:25:40 AM permalink
Quote: nullzero00

you also have to factor in the "country" versus "city" influence we have here in the US. since soccer isn't big, i'll reference the olympics.



Yeah, there are fights between "supporters" of city teams, too. Sometimes between "fans" of teams within the same city.
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ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
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May 13th, 2011 at 9:48:30 PM permalink
Quote: nullzero00

you also have to factor in the "country" versus "city" influence we have here in the US. since soccer isn't big, i'll reference the olympics.

most of the sports that people watch, you root for your city/state's team. when the sport has an all star game, you root for the player(s) from your team. you generally don;t care who wins, as long as your player(s) do well/don't get injured.

when it comes to rooting for a national team, yeah we do it in the olympics to some degree, but for the most part we just don;t have that desire to see our country beat their country. i know in england and other countries they have leagues like we do for soccer, but they still will pack bars and take off from work to watch the world cup, where we couldn't be bothered in similar circumstances for the olympics. for the US fan, it becomes more local than global.



This gets a little complicated. As best I understand you, you seem to think that rooting for club or country are two mutually exclusive things. I don't think they're mutually exclusive, but I do think that, at some point, you ultimately root for one over the other.

Club-or-country is one of the biggest schisms in soccer fandom. For example, I'm indifferent to Manchester United except that I absolutely FUCKING HATE Chicharito solely on the basis that he plays for the Mexican National Team, which makes me want to see him, and subsequently Man U, do poorly. In other words, I'm a country-over-club guy, but that is NOT the same as saying that I don't want my Dallas MLS team to do poorly. It only means that it's hard to root for clubs who have players who play for rival national teams, and (in my case), it means I don't want Mexican (or other rival national teams) players to do well with FC Dallas.

And vice versa. Staying with this example, a club-over-country fan in America might want to see Chicharito do well for the Mexican team no matter how it affects the USA team. (But if you do, you'd best not say that to my face. Seriously. We all have areas where it's difficult to act maturely, and USA soccer is one of mine. So don't say it to my face, and if you say it here, don't tell me to my face you said it here or there will be a fight. Whether I win or lose the fight, there will be one.)

So, I don't think it's a country v. city thing. I think it's a one-over-the-other thing, and only your heart can tell you which you prefer.

But FWIW, there is no shame in being one or the other. Just don't lie about it.
ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
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May 28th, 2011 at 12:43:56 AM permalink
Shameless bump. That being said, the BIG Gold Cup starts in two weeks, so PLEASE make an effort to go to your local soccer pub (http://www.theamericanoutlaws.com/chapters} {with a pure heart) and cheer on OUR team, the one thing we, as Americans, can unashamedly support!
ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
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June 3rd, 2011 at 10:03:35 AM permalink
Shameless Bump II.

USA v. Spain (the current world champs) tomorrow, kickoff at 4:30 EDT. Watch with your local fan chapter ... http://www.theamericanoutlaws.com/chapters

Followed by the Big Gold Cup, which is the second most important tourney we play in behind the World Cup, starting on the 7th. For dates and locations, go to ... http://www.ussoccer.com/Schedule-Tickets/Schedule.aspx

Go USA!
PerpetualNewbie
PerpetualNewbie
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June 3rd, 2011 at 10:20:11 AM permalink
Quote: ItsCalledSoccer

I'm putting this here because there's no other place I could, with intellectual honesty, put this post.

But ...

if any of you went to any watching parties last summer and enjoyed cheering for the USA ...

if any of you search YouTube for "landon donovan algeria goal" and get goosebumps ...

I'm not trying to convince you that you are a soccer fan, but I do KNOW that you are a USA fan ...

You can catch the fever and support the side this summer at the [Big] Gold Cup! Final is in Pasadena ... c'mon, you Vegas residents, it's not like Pasadena folk never drive the 15 to visit you ... on June 25. If you come, I *PROMISE* you a friendly face, fun people to drink beer with, and an experience that will positively MARRY you to the team!

And, if you want to come to Houston for the semis on Jun 22, you will NOT regret it!

This is very fun, very cool people, very passionate about our sport, and, at the least, a chance to meet pretty damn hot chicks!

Please consider attending, the best way to go about it is (Wiz, please forgive the shameless plug) to visit www.theamericanoutlaws.com to find such people near you!

Peace, love, and (unashamedly) proselytizing USA soccer,

ICS



You mean the game where we backed ourselves into a hole a few days prior by playing like *ss against Slovenia (0-0 draw) and then went on to play like cr*p for the better part of this must-win-to-stay-alive game against a 3rd tier soccer nation, only to win the game in extra time in the 2nd half?

I remember cursing - loudly - at the Yanks that day.

And I remember cursing even more loudly at them just a few short days later when they repeated the same performance with the opposite outcome against Ghana (granted, a better team than Algeria) in the round of 16.

Is the Gold cup even gold?

But - just for you -

Quote:


Over there!
Over there!
Send the word! Send the word! Over There!
That the Yanks are coming! The Yanks are coming!
The drums rum-tumming everywhere!



and...

Quote:


Aye, aye aye aye!
Somebody stole my sombrero!
That dirty old RAT
He stole my HAT
And now I've got nothing to weaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-ooooooooooooooooooooooo



-Newbie

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