a (late) visit from world cup

August 29, 2006 at 12:45 pm | Posted in brian, football (soccer) | 3 Comments

after the world cup i had this idea for a physical version of this blog. the idea was to compile the best world cup related articles from this guy knows what i’m talking about, make about a million photocopies of said articles and distribute them (possibly at gas stations). but i haven’t been very motivated this summer. i did, however, sketch out a kind of introduction for this unrealized zine which i had tentatively titled “a visit form world cup.” seeing that this zine will never come out, i have decided to post the introduction with the hopes of getting our five readers excited about the real football season which just started. so read this and then watch some (unamerican)football games or don’t read this and watch some (unamerican)football games because they’re fucking awesome. but don’t just settle for the dog and pony show (is that the right phrase?) they call the mls.

a visit from world cup

i have an urge to make these introductory remarks simply a list of reasons why (unamerican)football is the best sport in the world. i think that hypothetical list would look something like this (but while this list is numbered it is not numbered in order of importance):

1. unlike the major sports in the us, the world cup winner can realistically claim to be world champions.

2. while most ignoramouses complain about (unamerican)football is boring, it’s actually the least boring sport to watch because:
2a. there are no commercials
2b. there are no timeouts
2c. there are no significant stoppages of play
2d. the action is non-stop

i’m sort of over this list idea. i think i would rather compare and contrast (unamerican)football with the major us sports–baseball, basketball and (american)football– in terms of boredom.

baseball, to the casual fan, is nearly unbearable to watch. the pitcher nods off seven different pitches from his catcher, goes into his eighteen second pre-pitch stretch, holds it and finally throws home. at this point it’s either a ball or a foul ball. then the enitre routine is repeated except the pitcher adjusts his hat for twominutes before even looking towards the catcher. plus it’s like ten minutes in between every half-inning and don’t even get me started on mid-inning pitcher changes. what are bullpens for if the relief pitcher is going to throw twenty warmup pitches once he’s in the game? don’t forget conferences at the mount, base-runners changing their batting gloves, pickoff attempts, batters calling timeouts and throwing around the horn. with all this time-wasting it’s a wonder baseball games ever finish . . . under four hours.

basketball: if bill walton is one of the announcers, just turn off your tv. if not, it’s still probably a good idea to turn off your tv or get some coffee because i don’t know how you’re going to stay awake during this snooze-fest. basketball is the only sport that i’m aware of where “tv timeouts” are inserted to borify any action. past that it’s all twenty second timeouts (which are more like a minute), fouls, defensive three seconds and half-times with the worst kinds of player profiles imaginable. but even the game itself is boring: walking the ball up the court, throwing into the post, waiting for the double-team, kicking it out to someone who misses a jumper, rebound and repeat. (there are two exceptions to boring basketball–the suns [specifically steve nash] and allen iverson.)

(american)football: i saw a commercial the other day for some sort of nfl tv package where you could watch 8 games at once. they also offered a feature where you can watch an already finished game with all the inaction taken out–no commercials, no timeouts and not even huddles. you can watch an entire (american)football game–every single play–in about a half-hour. if every game last over three hours but there is only a half-hour of action, wtf am i watching for over two-and-a-half- hours? answer: commercials (and never good ones, except that one with peyton manning), replays of every play (sometimes multiple replays), official replays (as in when teams challenge a call using instant replay), huddles, substitutions, tv analysts with their in-depth reporting on the sidelines (i use in-depth and reporting loosely) and shots of bored fans.

the consensus: anybody who complains about(unamerican)football being boring is (1) a liar, (2) unaware of (unamerican)football and simply repeating what they hear on sports radio or (3) evil. the real reason there is such an effort to discredit (unamerican) football is because it’s so hard to advertise during matches.


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  1. Are you sure you’re not talking about tennis? That’s the only televised sport that doesn’t get boring. I’m one of the boorish brutes who thinks football is largely boring, and I’m neither a liar, nor unaware (though, I might be evil[but for completely different reasons]). It does have bursts of extreme intensity, but those moments are few and far between. Mostly, it’s (usually handsome) dudes dribbling the ball 10 feet and then passing or having it tackled away while half of their teammates roll on the ground in agony for five minutes after having tripped on their own shoe laces. Ugh! I do applaud the lack of commercials, but, as those of us who have seen non-dog-and-pony-show games are acutely aware, all advertisements take place directly on the players fucking jerseys! Defend that, if you dare. Frankly, I’ve had it up to here (roughly the bridge of my nose) with people overly defending football. It’s a fine game. I enjoy watching (and am still awaiting my fantasy invite). But I think, because of the attack under which it falls in this country, it’s overzealous defenders vehemently praise it beyond it’s merits.

  2. Remember that Freaks and Geeks when Bill is so excited to have a meeting on the mound? That was awesome.

  3. finally a dialouge.

    i should point out that i was talking about all those sports from a kind of outsiders perspective. i have a feeling every sport is interesting to watch if you understand the nuances of the game. i should have been clearer–or mentioned at all–that i was approaching the major sports in the us with about the same knowledge most people in the us bring to football. in those terms, football is the least boring because there aren’t stoppages of play. so when people (not necessarily clif) complain about football being boring, i think they’re just being unfair.

    as for the advertising on jerseys, i’m not claiming that football is somehow more pure than other major sports. i’m realistic and understand that advertising is a part of sports. football is obviously all about the money and often rigged (look at the italian league scandal), but at least the advertisements aren’t so intrusive. plus it’s funny to specific products tied to specific clubs. or i think it’s funny.

    and about the flopping, i think it’s a mute point. every single sport has athletes playing up injuries and fouls and so on. clif, you live in utah, you’ve seen karl malone play; football players should take a lesson from him.

    and it’s aaron’s fault you were never invited.

    and when are you going to post your fantasy draft story?

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