26 June 2006

Easier to Deny Than Pay Attention

With the World Cup going on, there have been plenty of columns written by American sports writers that trash the event and the sport of soccer/football. The commentary ranges from pithy crap about the relative lack of scoring in a typical contest to something hair-brained about not being able to use your hands and other nonsense.

Just as bad as the ignorance from NFL and NBA shills are the complaint letter from the shrieking folk that think soccer is the only sport that matters. Get over yourselves.

This was a decent reply though, which merits posting:

It's great that football writers think they know how to "fix" soccer, the world's most popular sport. So as a soccer fan, here are a few suggestions how to fix American football:

-The pads have to go. If this is a man's game, they are not needed.
-It takes three hours to play a 60-minute game. I'm no math major, but there's some sort of disconnect there.
-How am I supposed to cheer for a team that has only been in existence for five years? There's no history, or it has been erased when they up and left wherever they used to play.
- Keep more stats. I'd like to know how many felonies and misdemeanors the players have committed.
-Do something about the announcers. I'd rather listen to fingernails on chalkboards than John Madden commenting on points so obvious a 2-year-old could explain them to me. BOOM!
-Insert more thought into the game. Soccer is free-flowing and organic. Football is too structured. Grown men needing older men on the sidelines telling them what to do? Absurd.

We don't need to change soccer to make it more accessible to Americans; we need to learn to appreciate it for what it is.


I don't care if sportswriters don't like the footy, nor do I want them converted. However, this is credibility check for them and for their employers. If your job is to write about sports, how credible are you for an out-of-hand dismissal of an event so huge and a sport so popular worldwide?

In other sections of the newspaper, there are people who write about film, food and theater. Would you take these commentators seriously if they categorically dismissed Martin Scorsese, Italian food and William Shakespeare respectively?

I guess what they say is true; the only thing worse than a sportswriter is one that takes himself seriously.

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