“It’s too boring.” “There’s never any scoring.” “They’re all pansies.” “They’re always rolling around on the ground pretending to be hurt.” These seem to be the standard arguments I get from my American football loving friends and acquaintances whenever soccer is brought up, or showing on TV.
I would say that these could be valid opinions if they were founded on actual observations. Instead they take the stereotypical version of what they believe soccer to be. Any attempts to engage them in conversation on the subject ends with sarcastic comments being made about soccer player’s manhood.
The state of the current Premier League is such that suggesting it is boring means that one, they haven’t actually watched any of it, or two, they don’t understand the game (and perhaps they don’t care to). The EPL is perhaps the most exciting league to watch because of its openness and directness of play, and this season the amount of goals being scored adds to the enjoyment of the league. You could include with this the fact that the middle of the table is fairly evenly matched and there is always excitement in the relegation battle drama.
The EPL has toned down some in terms of its physicality, but it still remains a highly competitive contact sport. The interesting thing is that I have heard many English pundits complaining that the physical aspects of the game have been taken away. This flies in the face of what I have heard American football fans suggesting about soccer. The sport itself is highly physical and players “rolling around” do so for 3 reasons: 1.) They are hurt. 2.) They were fouled and need to get the refs attention about it. 3.) They are cheating.
I will agree with any fan that the cheating part needs to stop and is offensive.
I would posit that most of these people who make such statements about soccer are doing so because they are uninformed. Perhaps they don’t care to be informed, but if this is the case, then I suggest they just stay quiet and stop with their snide comments. While I know many readers on here enjoy American football as well as soccer, I have grown bored with the American sport, which could be due to the amount of flak I get from those around me. I always point out that in soccer the clock does not stop and the action only really stops when there is an injury. In American football, the clock may say that the game lasts 60 minutes but with all of the stoppages in play, expect to spend 2.5 to 3 hours of watching what becomes only about 30 minutes of actual gameplay. At any point in time during an EPL game, something is happening and there is always the possibility of a goal being scored.
I will continue to enjoy my Premier League soccer every weekend and will watch my matches despite the sarcastic comments from friends. I do suggest to these fans of American football that they get involved in supporting soccer now while the sport is still growing in America. Then when the NFL is dying, they can say, “I have always loved the EPL and I have supported [insert team name here] for years.”
Are you a fan of American football and soccer. If so, why? Do you ever hear these arguments aimed at you as a soccer fan? What are some of your “favorite” anti-soccer statements?
Todd Shenk can be found at www.PremierSoccerChat.com.