Because it will be against the norm, I'm of their descent, and I hate divers:
“I think some drivers must still think it’s Dan. They keep flipping me off.” - Dario Franchitti
For those who are afficianados of the sport I send my best wishes on their premier day.
I think for most of us old USA guys its never gonna be on par with NFL, although the nationalistic passion of the fans is very impressive.
As far as watching grandchildren play it, it's a good way to get some fresh air, and certainly wonderful exercise for the players.
Soccer, huh! Is it on TV?
All rides are bought. But occasionally the currency is talent.
The only thing better than soccer is....MORE SOCCER!!!
Gotta give 'em credit, though. Extra time makes more sense than overtime.
Center Grove Trojans
2008 5A Football State Champs
2011 Track State Champs
1934,1938,1982 and 2006 World Cup champions
For all of us who are sick of commercial interruptions,
THANK GOD FOR SOCCER!!!!!!!!!
World Cup Champions.
Gave in, huh?Originally Posted by Truth Detector
Ending a sentence with a preposition is something I will not put up with.
I love soccer, yet it will never be close to on par with the NFL for me.Originally Posted by nascarnation
IF i were the guy in blue, I would hunt that guy down, at night, and break both his legs. The Louisville Slugger response.Originally Posted by Clefo
France shows the class that they are known for.
No, that's the Italian (Scicilian) Mafia response.Originally Posted by ventman
Wow! Someone was fast with the photoshopping there! I am impressed! According to the news here, Materazzi cursed Zidane's mother and that was Zidane's response. What an idiot.Originally Posted by Clefo
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose." --- Ayrton Senna
Winning is the best revenge!Originally Posted by SLKRR
Proud to be a Gomer, since 1963:nod::nod::nod::nod:
Indianapolis Colts, Super Bowl Champions!:cool_shad
An unfortunate lack of composure, but if that's what happened the Italian got what he deserved. The look on his face when his feet cleared the ground was priceless!Originally Posted by SLKRR
He was probably their only player that hit the ground during the whole playoffs that wasn't taking a dive.
"Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less" - R.E.Lee
Originally Posted by jandj
How 'bout his expression when his team won?
Originally Posted by Greg828
I watched part of the first ET and all of the penalty kicks.
I was going to say the same thing.Originally Posted by Truth Detector
People can whine about Italy diving all day and night for all I care... they do it no less or no more than anyone else. In the end they won the Cup and they did it according to the rules. Italy got screwed on a PK but they didn't lay down and cry, they took it to the French the rest of the first half. During the second half the Italians were outplayed and still almost won it in regulation, (a very close offsides call went against them.) In the end it was the French who fell apart; Henry leaving the game, and Zidane melting down. Those are the breaks and the Italians came away with a victory after so many heartbreaking defeats... may the party in Rome last for days...
BTW, props to Gianluigi Buffon for an amazing save on the header from Zidane. I knew then that it was Italia's day!
"Freedom, just around the corner for you,
With truth so far behind, what good would it do?"
Bob Dylan- "Jokerman"
I didn't say Italy didn't deserve the win, I just have always enjoyed seeing a mouthy SOB planted on his ass!Originally Posted by Truth Detector
I ran across quite a few Italian fans driving around metro detroit after the game blaring horns and waving flags, that was pretty cool!
Mostly due to my son, this is the first time in my life that I've followed soccer at all. He started playing indoor last fall and has been a fan ever since (although even he gets discouraged by the low scoring).
A few observations from this pair of fresh eyes to the game of soccer.
Stoppage time - I just don't get it. If someone is keeping track of this time, why can they not just stop the clock when play stops, then restart it at the direction of an official? It's called an official time-out.
The fact that a player can technically step out of bounds yet still engage the ball. Maybe my brain doesn't work with this logic since no other sport allows this. My son had a good explanation for this. Since a player never actually has posession of the ball, as long as the ball stays in bounds, that's all that matters. Sounds good, still makes my brain backfire.
While scoring is low, these guys are incredibly talented. Once you get past judging the sport solely by the scoreboard, you find there's more to enjoy. These guys get agressive and play hard. But, too many times I watched guys flopping to the ground in an obvious attempt to draw a foul. Yeah, happens in every sport. I don't like it then either.
Two main reasons I feel that keep this sport from moving to the next level in the US.
1 - Low scoring. I know, soccer faithful hate hearing this but it's true. A 1-1 World Cup Final? To the average US sports fan, that's like a Super Bowl finishing with a 6-3 score.
2 - (Here's where the all mighty $$ comes in) With no time-outs or other play stoppage, there is zero time for valuable advertising. How do broadcasters sell advertising time when there simply isn't any?
Overall, I enjoyed most of what I watched. Yeah, it got a little tedious at times. But I did see some amazing soccer. (never thought I'd say that!)
To a New Yorker like yourself, a hero is some type of weird sandwich. Not some nut who takes on three Tigers!
Well, as I have played soccer for years, I can tell you the reason there is stoppage time is that they never stop the clock...not for injuries, subs, the ball going out-of-bounds, or time-wasting. So what stoppage time becomes is a sort of judgement call on how much time was lost due mainly to injuries, substitutions, and any particularly blatant time-wasting. Normally 2-3 minutes, but I've seen as much as 5 min. before. Maybe not the best explanation, but it was essentially like that even when I played as a kid....you never knew for sure how much time was left, so you always play to the whistle.Originally Posted by MD-IRLFAN
As far as the player being out-of-bounds and handling the ball, that one's really simple....the only thing that matters is the balls position relative to any of the lines, and it isn't "out" or a "goal" until the entire ball crosses the line...and it doesn't matter whether its on the ground or in the air...as soon as the ball fully crosses a line, it's out or a goal.
As far as low-scoring goes, that's never bothered me...not in soccer or football...then again, I grew up a Bears fan, so I like strong defenses, and I wouldn't be greatly disappointed in a 6-3 Superbowl that showcased two great defenses.
As far as the money goes...if you look at the score at the top...it will be sponsored for a half, and stuff like that...for example, the "toshiba scoreline", etc. Also at the club level, in Europe especially, companies pay big money to get their logo on the jerseys of the players...so the players themselves are the billboards for the sponsorships.
Allow me a Karnac moment. I chose Italy to win it all. Yes!! Mr. Matterazi certainly had an eventful game. He gave a penalty that Zidane converted, then scored a powerful header over Viera, almost scored another header but got caught giving Viera a shove, and then gets a headbut from Zidane and takes out an almost certain penalty kick conversion for the French side.
MD-IRL: your comments were very interesting and appreciated. Like all sports, it has its subtle aspects that sometimes defy logical interpretation by someone not familiar with the sport. Try explaining balls and strikes to someone not familiar with baseball, or the balk rule for that matter. Try the possesion arrow in basketball. Or the much debated here on TF forward progress rule in football.
The diving is a big problem, but is considered part of the gamesmanship. While frowned upon, it is tolerated to a certain extent. Hopefully, due to the scrutiny brought on this tactic during the World Cup, FIFA will come up a with a more stringent response. But I believe the ref did a good job just ignoring the flops and letting the game flow.
The beauty of the game is that there is no official timeout or other disruption to the flow of the game itself. The pace ebbs and flows and makes for a interesting view. This may make for boring moments but actually it more closely reflects that actual pace of the game. Try running around for 45 minutes straight and you'll notice a certain pace or lull in your activities as well. Of course, unlike me, these guys do not stand around for a minute sucking wind. Or perhaps it's two minutes now.
Trust me, the sponsors get their money's worth out of the game without the added artificial breaks so common in NFL, MLB, NBA, events etc. An estimated 1 billion+ viewing audience probably makes such contrivances unnecessary. As Canth pointed out, the sponsors have figured out alternate marketing solutions, such as putting their logo on the players uniforms, that do not detract from the essence of the game itself.
I think the lack of reference points on the field makes it difficult for viewers not familiar with the game to grasp how truly athletic and challenging the sport is. For example, its easy to understand how long a 40 yard field goal in the NFL is because there are yard lines that allow the viewer to get a feel of the distance. When a player puts a shot on goal from outside the "penalty area" in soccer (which is approx. 18 yards out from goal) one's brain says "that's pretty far out" but you have no clue how far it truly is. Some of the best players in the world can hit the net from 30-35 yards out which is a phenomenal athletic achievement. I've played both football and futebol and have a pretty good grasp of the field and yardages involved in both. And trust me, hitting the goal net from even ten yards out, no matter how large it may seem close up, is no simple task so just imagine the skill involved by players who routinely score from longer distances. The World Cup showcases these types of good players every match! Glad you enjoyed it!
Yeah, to put a point of reference on the shots....when the players get a hold of one, and hits the back of the net going right by the goalie....those balls have been clocked in th 80-90 mpg range. Even the "softer" shots are easily going 50-60. But I think one of the even more amazing things is how much movement some of these guys can get on the ball, to bend it over and around walls, one of the most famous still being Carlos's shot during '94 Cup here in the US, the amount of bend he got on that free kick was sick.
Speed of the ball. That brings up something else that amazes me about these guys. How are they not knocked unconcious by heading these 50+mph balls. I picture myself on the ground with birds flying around my head Daffy Duck style.
I did notice the alternative ways that companies were advertising during the games. While I don't doubt that they can be effective. They're also not in-line with what companies have grown accustomed to in a US sports broadcast.
The lack of reference points on the field is something else I had thought about. it really is tough to get a 'feel' for the size of the field and the distance covered when watching on tv. Again, this works against the attempts to gain popularity in the US. Yes, I believe the general public needs these types of things spelled out for them, lest they have to actually think.
Am I a newly realized die-hard soccer fan? Not quite. But, I also won't just skip past the next game I see. Plus, my son will already be watching it. In a funny way it works as a give and take between the two of us. I've spent the last 9+ years teaching him and steering him towards certain likes and dislikes. The least I could do is return the favor by showing some interest in something he's discovered all on his own. (Wow, how the heck did that happen? )
It's a law of physics thing. You're moving, your head is moving, the ball is moving, hopefully all in the same direction, so you really don't notice the thump. Too much, that is. Of course I was never good enough to get a head on a 50 mph+ cross like the guys playing yesterday, so my views are not truly accurate! On the flip side, I've taken a few off the melon unexpectedly and that hurts! Players have been knocked out as you can imagine. There is also another region that is better left being unacquainted with zee average soccer ball, next time you watch a game observe where the player's place their hands when making a wall for a free kick!
Oh, size of the field....in case your curious, a true World Cup regulation field is 120 yards by 60 yards. For comparison, a football field is 100x40 yards.
Hmmm, before I decided to submit this, I went to FIFA.com to verify that field size...where I discovered there is more variation than I thought in the field size. For International play, the field must be between 110-120 yards long by 70-80 yards wide, so it's wider than I thought. What really threw me for a loop though is that the general regulations (Not the official international world cup games), the field can be 100-130 long, and anywhere from 50-100 yards wide...but must maintain a retangular shape. I just can't imagine playing on a field that is 130x100...that's nuts. Although I think most of the MLS games are probably pretty close to that 50 yard width due to using the existing football stadiums here in the US. Interesting stuff though, at least to me.
Here's the link to FIFA's "Laws of the game"