Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Soccer, Vuvuzelas, Baseball and Sports In General

Sheila, Netanya, Israel:

I have always felt that the fact that America finds it hard to accept football is that they have to take the game as it is.

At school, I played (badly) net ball.  America took it, changed the rules 300% and called it "basketball."

Rugby … into American football.  Again 300%.

Rounders into baseball.  Again 300%.  Rounders is a game played by kids.

To my knowledge, not a professional game in all these games - the base is there.

I remember when Americans couldn't sell soccer to TV … no space for commercials.  The American crowd couldn't live with "nil - nil" so they tried a penalty shoot-out to end a tied game.

Okay in America, but not on the world stage.  And this is a world stage.  Look which teams are there world-wide.  Americans have qualified before and done very well.  This year they missed out, as did Holland, Italy - not exactly little teams.

In the past, England failed to get there as has France. In the US because you are not there this year, you are like the rest, didn't make it.

America was slow to take to football, but you are there now.  You will have good years and bad and because this is a worldwide sport; you may have to settle for not being THE GREATEST TEAM OF ALL TIME.  Sorry, Mr. Trump."

Doug V., Anderson, IN.

"I read McIntyre's article and your blog on the World Cup and vuvuzelas.  I approve of your position, and I would go a little further.

I hate soccer!  I could be more entertained drinking a beer while watching grass grow or paint dry, especially since there are no throngs of fanatics blowing vuvuzelas in my ears.

I tried to play soccer as a youth; even jointed a league for a short time, but I was so disgruntled by the coach (a former college soccer player) when he basically told us there wasn't much strategy playing the game; rather, it was mostly athleticism and endurance that produced winners.

Modern-day athletics has become that way, thus the less athletic among us are destined to be shut out of athletic competition and the opportunity to not only learn to love a sport, but to maintain fitness through participating.

I likened soccer to hockey when I was a youngster, but after playing both sports I found that hockey has far more strategy and requires, by far, a broader degree of physical endurance.  I was too short and slow to play competitive basketball, but I participated in football and played baseball and I ran distance races in track for a short while in prep school.  I found the games with the most strategic depth to be football and baseball - athleticism and endurance were good traits to possess, but everyone with skill had a chance to win.  Being too short and too slow, I found it tough to sit the bench in football, but baseball offered me the chance to play every day because I was willing to don the  "tools of ignorance" and sit behind home played in torrid temperatures as the "general" on the field.

Many complain that baseball is as boring as soccer and to those who do not think about the strategic options between every pitch, I am sure it is.  But to me, baseball is excitingly cerebral and there are no nut cases blowing vuvuzelas in my ears.

Soccer … I hate soccer!

Thank you Sheila and Doug for giving me permission to add your comments.  Much appreciated.  A new slant or a different opinion is always welcome here.

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