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thoughts on the World Cup?

rob333 (zone 7a)
2 months ago

I'm a moderate sports fan. I'm a huge hockey enthusiast, like football, love baseball in person, and anything else is meh. I'm trying to watch the last 17 minutes of the US versus Netherlands. I dislike it almost as much as I dislike basketball. So boring! Why do people like this, in a rabid fashion? I work with people from all over the world and I am talking about Spanish, German... rabid fans. Am I missing something?

Comments (37)

  • Judy Good
    2 months ago

    My husband is a huge fan of soccer. I don't get it either.

  • bpath
    2 months ago

    I don’t watch soccer, but the last 4 minutes of today’s game was exciting. It was 3-1 so US was not going to win, but they sure did give a last ditch effort. That and the first minutes are all I watched, thank goodness Netherlands scored so quickly.

  • maifleur03
    2 months ago

    No different from US style football or baseball. People in this country will talk about sports as if it happened yesterday even if they have had no connection to the team other than like in college sports they only lived in the state. Some consider the team and players as if they are part of their immediate family.


    I happen to like soccer and have attended games in the past. I also used to like to watch it on tv when certain announcers were calling the game on the Spanish language channel before it became a premium channel and my two favorites stopped announcing. Both could make even a boring game more interesting just because of their enthusiasm for the game. I speak very little Spanish so did not understand much but they were a change from my husband's dull boring sporting events where the big exciting news was a player went onto the field.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Most sports are different from one another but I think soccer is particularly unique for a number of reasons. I myself never understood it nor appreciated its many nuances until I started playing as a beginner in my early 30s. I think the understanding developed by playing it is the key to enjoying watching good players playing at higher levels of skill and speed from amateurs doing it for fun and exercise.

    It's two half periods of 45 minutes of running. Substitutions are limited and once subbed out, the player is out (like baseball). Most players cover 6-9 miles of distance during the 90+ minutes of play while stopping, starting, sprinting at times, jumping, and changing direction with the speed and agility not present among most players in most sports. Movement is like a ballet or water swirling in a pool, all important and much of the action takes place away from the ball. The ball skills and control good players have can be breathtaking.

    In 60 minutes of American football, there's less than 25 minutes of play. In baseball, most of the people are just standing around doing nothing for 90% of the time. Basketball has more action but play stops too much.

    To call 90+ minutes of continuous movement boring is to miss what's going on. I know that's common among Americans who don't understand the game. It's both simple and complex at the same time, but I understand that a superficial peek by someone who's unfamiliar is unlikely to make an impression.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I actually found it more similar to hockey, than any other sport, which is what kept me watching longer... but frustrating. Not sure why.


    I appreciate the athleticism it takes to play any sport. That is surely not it, and I would not say soccer players are more fit or more athletic than any other athlete? I have to say I can't imagine having to be on the ice and moving and all the different directions they go, with fast stops and starts any less difficult than what I saw on the field today.


    I understand enthusiasm, but it's far greater among world cup fans than any other sport I've seen.


    I guess it's just wherever you live, and what you're used to. Which doesn't explain why I like hockey, having come from tropical coastal, and landlocked areas. 😉

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago

    " I would not say soccer players are more fit or more athletic than any other athlete? "


    Having myself played all the American sports (except ice hockey) through high school and as an adult, my personal experiences lead me to a different conclusion. The only comparable sport requiring anything near a similar level of fitness may be basketball but the stops for free throws and throw-ins allow plenty of rest time. Also, motion isn't constant as in soccer.

    In ice hockey, a "shift" only lasts a minute or two before substitutions are made. Very different matter.


  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Let me know once you've played ice hockey. 🙄

  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    2 months ago

    This World Cup was of interest to me only because the US was playing. My fav sport to watch is (America style) Football. Probably because I'm related to one of the past head coaches and grew up with the game (watching only, nyuk). I understand just about everything about the rules, penalties, plays, etc. so it's an easy game for me unless some rare/weird/wild circumstance comes into play. For Soccer I get the gist of scoring, but would never spot the numerous playing details of the game, rules, etc. Glad we got to play 3 games, if The Netherland team ends up on top then it won't hurt as much ;-)

    btw, is it "Netherlands" or The Netherlands"? I've seen it expressed both ways. Go get em' boys!

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago

    Netherlands is the English translation of the Dutch Nederlands, which means low countries. Using the article "the" is common and easier to say in most languages. As with, "the UK" rather than just saying "UK"

    The city in the country where many governmental offices are located is The Hague. It also has an article and is a translation of the name in Dutch, with an article Den (the), Den Haag. The Hedge.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I don't follow ice hockey. That's maybe my equivalent of how people think of soccer - I don't find it interesting and the short stints of play hardly demonstrate the need for physical endurance over a long period of time as with soccer.


    PS - no one should be disappointed or surprised by the US team's performance at the World Cup. Country teams qualify to go to the World Cup tournament by doing well in preliminary rounds held regionally. The US is arguably in the weakest soccer region (North and Central America) as measured by the poor results in past WCs by teams from our region. We barely qualified this time and didn't qualify at all 4 years ago. On the world stage, the US is a so-so team and its so-so performance (elimination in the first knock-out round) was to be expected.

  • blfenton
    2 months ago

    The World Cup is soccers (footballs) Olympics and has been around in Europe for centuries. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world - by a lot.

    My kids played soccer from K to Grade 12 and now as adults. It's way cheaper and way less travel required than hockey. I never wanted to be a hockey mom.

  • maire_cate
    2 months ago

    I was a hockey mom and while I enjoyed the game those 6 am practices were a drag, especially sitting on metal bleaches in the rink. And then driving home with a sweaty son and his smelly equipment. The odor never really comes out of hockey skates. I felt fortunate that he wasn't a goalie - that equipment is really expensive. All 3 of my kids played soccer, baseball, football, ran indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse (both boys and girls) field hockey and my least favorite- golf and basketball. I like soccer and even understand most of the rules although I may have forgotten some of the finer points of off-sides. My favorite sport was boys lacrosse - a great combination of speed, agility and physicality. It's very much like ice hockey but without the constant shift changes.


  • nickel_kg
    2 months ago

    Well, I say this for sports on tv: it gives my Alzheimers' dad something to "watch" that doesn't disturb him. I especially appreciate the golf channel, all soothing voices and lots of green.

  • dedtired
    2 months ago

    Both of my kids played soccer. It was funny when they were little and none of them really understood the rules. It was just a knot of little boys running together up and down the field after the ball. They got better with time.

    I think the pitch is too darn big. I watched the US team play this morning for awhile but if you dont have a giant tv screen they look like ants running around.

    If you want a sport with a lot of sitting around and one large burst of action, take up crew. My son rowed and we would sit by the side of the river forever waiting for his race. Then there were several minutes of heartstopping action and it was done.

  • Kathsgrdn
    2 months ago

    American football is much worse, as far as boring goes. I've been to a couple U of KY basketball games and they were fun to watch in person. I would never watch one on the tv, though, boring. I also like watching baseball in person but not on the tv.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Score?


    I'm kidding! Do you know what I always imagine? How the sport came about. Some dude was kicking the ball, and another dude try to get it away from him... And they just decided they couldn't use their hands in any way... And then I wonder what they think about how it turned out from what they were doing.


    Ha!!!

  • petalique
    2 months ago

    Elmer, I really liked your first post.


    How do people put/write the hyperlinked @membername? I’ll try it — @Elmer J Fudd


    maybe that’s it.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Eh, why? He's never boxed, or done mixed martial arts, and those are far more physical than soccer/futbol? Yet he knows ALL about every sport. His typical answer. And yes, he can give it, but it's still less informed than as presented.


    You could've just "liked" the comment.


    ETA: just to be clear, I was willing to learn something I had not known before. So many websites put motocross, mma, and boxing far ahead of soccer. They also put ice hockey in front of soccer. It's not my opinion, it's many popular opinions across the internet. Right or wrong, but I don't know because I didn't play all the sports. I do know watching ice hockey, that does take stamina and true physicality. Whether someone wants to admit it or not.

  • lily316
    2 months ago

    My daughter and later her son were high school soccer players and I attended all their games . But after that, I really have no interest in the sport but of course, was rooting for the USA since the star player is a local boy from Hershey.

  • roxsol
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    FWIW, I was on my high school volleyball team and soccer team. I also played ringette (girl’s hockey sort of) as there wasn’t a girl’s hockey team to join at the time. I found ringette the most physically demanding. All were a lot of fun.

    eta Curling, though, was probably the most fun.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    rob I’m not going to waste my time rebutting your latest instance of wrong guesses. I was a 3 sport multiyear starter and letterman in HS. How about you?

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Except you are rebutting...

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago

    Nightey night

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Oh wait no I'm supposed to say that soccer is far more taxing and physical than boxing? How stupid of me not to notice.


    You big strong man!

  • wildchild2x2
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Well this is interesting. Good job rob333 (zone 7a). We sure know who wins in the mental toughness test here. ;-) He who doesn't play well with others, always ends up all pouty and stuff.

    Here's a ranking of sports overall. Now, I grew up watching hockey before helmets and all the protective gear. I think the rankings would be different back in the day for a lot of sports. Me I am not into sports all that much as far as following teams, countries etc. I love to see that little bit of extra drive, for lack of a better term, I see in the individual players. It's not always about who wins for me. Below is the ranking by the experts.

    Toughest Sport

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    2 months ago

    I like watching hockey, soccer, tennis, and basketball. I LOVE watching golf and appreciate 100% that one needs to understand the game well before that enjoyment kicks in. I am irritated by those who arrogantly diss golf as hitting a little ball around a course, lol. Football and baseball….not a fan here.

  • roxsol
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    rhizo, I love both watching golf and playing golf. It is a great game. There’s a lot to be said for hitting a little ball around a course. 💕 It’s a very personal pastime.

  • Gargamel
    2 months ago

    I am half deaf from being in the same room with my soccer FANATIC Dutch husband. Our sons were all born in The Netherlands and they are all fanatics as well. They all follow their favourite Dutch teams, and when Holland plays as a National team - yikes. I’m not such a soccer fan myself. I appreciate the skill involved, but I don’t understand the fanatics

  • blfenton
    2 months ago

    I've wondered which game has the hardest rules to learn (off-side rule - wow) and which sport has the most complicated rules to follow. I suspect that golf is right up there with the most complicated rules to follow.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Offside in soccer is easy to describe but harder to impose because of the nature of the movement.




  • maddielee
    2 months ago

    Well, 3.5 Billion soccer fans might not agree with those who don’t appreciate the skills used on the pitch.


    Like the saying goes, if there is a saying 😊 —- once you take the time to learn and understand a sport/game/most any activity you usually will enjoy it more.


    Hope Pele recovers from his illness. To see him play was a beautiful thing.

  • laceyvail 6A, WV
    2 months ago

    I believe I saw that Pele is in hospice care now.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Maddie, "once you take the time to learn and understand a sport/game/most any activity you usually will enjoy it more"


    That was actually my ONLY point in posting. Hearing it takes more physicality didn't make me appreciate it more. I do find it a lot like hockey in skill level and activity (as opposed to say, golf. That's a whole other set of skills, and activity). What makes it so special? I have some basis for appreciating sports (my initial post gave that information), so I do have the desire to learn. Make that did. It's been squashed for now.


    Let's pick the sport I already mentioned. I remember the first time I saw Evander Holyfield, for instance. I could appreciate his style and just the powerhouse he was. He blew me away. He went on to beat people like George Foreman. I haven't continued to follow him, but I kept my appreciation for what he accomplished. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianroberts/2022/11/14/mike-tyson-and-evander-holyfield-25-years-of-blood-sweat-and-ears/?sh=409905185bb2

  • chisue
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Thanks for the rankings link, wildchild. I was most interested in the Endurance numbers.

    Weren't 'sports' originally means of training young men to be better hunters and warriors? American Indian tribes set up 'wars' with other tribes just for the joy of competing-- 'counting coup' a sort of 'tag' in these games (not the same as scalps as 'coup').

    How much dangerous aggression is siphoned off when people just watch others compete? I'm the worst 'fan' ever because I'm less interested in 'winning' than watching individual athletes abilities. It's the same way I appreciate a prima ballerina. Do you ever notice the clear *eyes* of fine athletes? The toned bodies? It's beautiful.

  • Gargamel
    2 months ago

    It is interesting to note the various body types required by different sports. Soccer: lean mean running machine and stamina; football: weight for some players and stamina perhaps not as necessary except for short bursts…?

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    That's a good example gargamel. I would think that running fast isn't as necessary for say, a linebacker. But if you look at pro players, they're still faster than the average human even though they're a gigantic rectangle you couldn't push two feet. Pretty amazing.

    So maybe pro soccer players are wiry, super fast types. Guess I could watch Pele for a bit to get an idea ;)