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Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.

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djdawg

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Someone asked for my take on soccer so Iíll go ahead and share.

I need to make a few disclaimers here.† I am American and my views will be coming from an American.† We are quite unlike other countries as soccer is not our national sport as it is elsewhere.  I am also trying to not use absolutes like "every" "always" "never", etc. so if you are the exception, that's great but for my take it doesn't matter. 

My ďtakeĒ on soccer has more to do with itís rise in popularity with the youth in our country and not so much as to whether the sport is good or bad in itself.† I am going to share why recreational soccer as a whole has had a detrimental affect on our country.† Might not be the ďtakeĒ you were thinking ofÖ

Iíll say right upfront that I donít really care for the sport and Iím definitely not in the minority.† (again, here in America)† I find the game boring (We win 1-0!) and almost lacking in complete grace and intrigue.† All I see is several guys kicking a ball up and down the field passing it back and forth.† Occasionally someone will head the ball which is kind of cool but then the other team gets the ball back and so it continuesÖhour after hour after hour.†

Itís not unlike hockey in many ways (which I really only care to watch live) but in hockey you do have some added facets to the game which makes it much more interesting to watch.† First they can skate which is a talent that is far superior to say, then running.† (ha haÖI know, Iím funny)† The puck travels 100 mph, there is ice, and sadly for many Americans fighting seems to be major draw.† (not for me Ė Iíve never understood the appeal of that)†

So, no surprise that I donít like soccer.† Big deal.† Donít bother trying to convince me and telling me about all the intricacies that Iím missing because I just donít care.† Thatís not what this thread is about.† This is the part where the ďmanĒ in me comes out and many of the women reading this thread might become offended.†

There are sports that are truly part of our culture and identify us as a country.† Even people that donít care for sports will admit this.† For Canada itís hockey, for umÖ.everyone else itís soccer and for America itís baseball.† There is a lot of history behind the game and not just sporting history.† We all know about Jackie Robinson breaking down the color barrier at the time.† Just one of the very incredible things that is linked to the sport in itís long history.

For someone that has not grown up loving baseball, itís hard to explain what itís like.† All the romantic images about baseball (i.e. see Ken Burnsí epic ďBaseballĒ on PBS) are absolutely true.† As an adult now, itís a fantastic image to see 4 or 5 kids on a baseball diamond throwing the ball around and hitting it to each other.† Unfortunately all of this is being jeopardized by soccer.

Itís not just soccerís fault.† You can also add greedy athleteís, single moms and crappy fathers to the mix.† There was a time where playing catch with your dad was a rite of passage.† Learning how to hold a mitt, throw a ball, hold the bat and hit the ballÖall of that was taught to you by your dad.† Not too many moms doing that.

Then society started changing and divorce has now become commonplace which means that Dad is usually out of the house and that right of passage (along with many others) are no more.† Whatís a mom to do?† Little Jimmy has got to do something and if heís lucky his father will still be in the picture and he will make attempts to continue the baseball right-of-passage that his father shared with him.† Unfortunately in most cases, schedules conflict, mom and dad are now enemies and little Jimmy just doesnít see his dad much anymore.

Mom has to do something right?† Well she doesnít know much about baseball (Iím not saying every woman doesnít know much about baseball but we can all agree the vast majority do not right?† Please no angry letters)† however she did see the flyer about soccer starting up in the summer so she decides to sign up little Jimmy for that!† No equipment to buy, no ball and they will probably even provide the uniform!† And since she probably doesnít know much about soccer either (other then they run up and down the field kicking a ball and heck, she knows she can do that)† sheís gratified to learn that she doesnít have to know anything.† If she put Jimmy into baseball, who's going to show him how to hold a mitt?† Hit a ball?† She doesn't know how herself so soccer MUST be the answer.† Why the game is so simple and easy (easy to learn Iím saying) that any extra effort on her part will not be needed which is a relief to her since she takes Becky to ballet on Thursday, Jimmy has his piano lesson on Wednesday and Sally has two dentist appts next week!† You can't hardly blame single mom though as she is probably stretched pretty thin and she's just grateful that little Jimmy is getting some exercise.† ††

And so recreational soccer was born in America and it thrives to this day.†

I have no problem admitting that it builds teamwork, blah blah blah but the downside is is that kids are growing up playing a sport they cannot personally identify with.† When I was a kid I imagined myself as many different baseball greatsÖwhen I was hitting I was Babe Ruth, when I was running out and catching a fly ball I was Ken Griffey (ok that was last week!† LOL) when I was vainly attempting to stretch a single into a double I was Shoeless Joe Jackson but what soccer hero can any American child relate too?† Zero!† Heck, in my day it was Pele andÖ.wellÖ..Pele!† Thatís it!† Yeah thereís that guy thatís married to the Spice girl and I heard some stuff about some guy with long hair a few years back but they certainly didnít catch the hearts and minds of boys and girls in America.† And THATíS the problem.† American children are playing a game that is not intrinsic to this country and they grow up not knowing a damn thing about baseball and thatís why the game of baseball is in trouble.† And if the sport of baseball is in trouble then our countries history is ALSO in trouble.† Add to that greedy baseball stars, contract disputes and stupid owners and you can see why the sport is a mess and thatís too bad because it is truly an American game and in this day of age with the war and the whole world basically hating us Ė we need something that is truly American.

Thatís why I hate soccer.† The end.† † †

† † † † † † † † †
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falconcy

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 02:05:23 AM »

I think it's more a question of what you are brought up into. As I said previously, a Grammar School education got me into Rugby as opposed to Football (which is what we call it this side of the pond) I also played Hockey, though not on ice, if you have any doubt about how fast that ball can travel, I stopped one once with my ankle, it hurt like hell.

Then there is Cricket, hardly my game either, though 20/20 is apparently quite exciting. Cricket must be the equivalent of Baseball on this side of the pond.

My first encounters with American Football and Baseball came through contact with US Air Force personnel based in the UK. Part of the problem was simply not understanding the game, probably much in the same way as djdawg does not really understand our version of football. A better understanding of any sport can make it much more enjoyable and the atmosphere at any game can also be part of it. Watching a match at say the Stretford End or The Kop whilst following your team (Man Utd or Liverpool in those two examples) is something else. Way different from seeing it on TV.

I've been out of the UK for way too long,  these days they play American Football in the UK, Ice Hockey too. Not sure if Baseball made it over there yet though. On the subject of baseball, I have only one thing to say, Toronto Bluejays ;-)

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Pinkmug

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 02:50:17 AM »

I LOVE soccer, it's the most exciting sport ever, a game well played is like a beautiful symphony, a masterpiece. I don't know how anyone fails to see the beauty of a strategy behind a good team's play, originated in a good coach's mind, and put to practice by skilled players. It's like a thrilling chess game. Soccer (which I call football by the way) is the king of sports for me, period, and I don't give a damn if Americans or Chinese or Patagonians or Martians like it or not.





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Purple

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 06:29:43 AM »

I LOVE soccer, it's the most exciting sport ever, a game well played is like a beautiful symphony, a masterpiece. I don't know how anyone fails to see the beauty of a strategy behind a good team's play, originated in a good coach's mind, and put to practice by skilled players.[/color]

yeah I am with you Pinkmug- I LOVE SOCCER† :D
here in Oz they play aussie rules that they call football but soccer is real football
but hey I respect it's not for everyone!
and am not offended by those that hate it!
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tek_vixen

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2007, 10:50:39 AM »

Well djdawg, I was the one who asked, and I must say your take is very interesting.  Quite amusing in fact.  I seriously doubt that overworked single moms created the explosion of recreational soccer in America.  Most people I've encountered started playing soccer because their friends were playing soccer.  In my children's cases, all three of them were invited to play by a friend who was playing at the time.  In fact, my youngest DD was invited to be the goalie of a select team last fall despite never stepping foot on a soccer pitch prior to the invitation.  She was a natural.  But she prefers softball, so it was a short but extremely successful soccer career for her.  My son started playing baseball one year before he started soccer.  He played both for six years before giving up baseball because he just didn't enjoy it.  He never played catch with his father.  My ex must have missed out on that ritual where father and son play catch, because he never did anything sports-wise with any of the kids.  In fact, he's fought my support of their sports tooth and nail, and very rarely comes to any of their games.

I also can't quite figure out why you think baseball is in trouble.  I haven't noticed a decline in number of kids at the local little league over the past ten years.  There are so many girls playing competitive softball now, there aren't enough coaches/umpires to support it.

And I have to giggle a little at your assertion that there's no equipment required in soccer.  We started baseball with just a mitt and a pair of cleats.  Soccer was shinguards, cleats and a ball for home practice.  Pretty similar.  Over time we added batting helmet, batting gloves and bat.  In soccer, it was goalie gloves and shirt (very spendy - price them out), hip pads, and elbow pads.  Overall, I've spent way more on soccer equipment than on baseball.  And that doesn't count uniforms, which have always been provided in baseball, but I've had to buy for soccer.  Those puppies can add up to $150 + per season.  So, I'm not buying soccer as the cheaper alternative.

Baseball is more familiar to me, as I grew up watching it.  I didn't know the rules, though, just the basics.  I learned the rules when my kids started playing.  Same with soccer.  It's what a good single mommy like myself should do.  If they were into competitive chess, I would do the same.  Thank god they're not!  :lol:  But the funny thing is that the more you understand a game, the more appealing it becomes.  Before my kids played sports, I wouldn't dream of sitting down by myself and watching a baseball game or a soccer match.  Now I find myself doing both fairly frequently.  There's room for both (but I think I'll always love baseball more).  I'm just happy that my kids are active and healthy, they have a sense of belonging to something, and they get the benefit of learning to balance personal goals and team goals.  It's all good.

T-Vix
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djdawg

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 11:18:51 AM »

I think it's more a question of what you are brought up into. As I said previously, a Grammar School education got me into Rugby as opposed to Football (which is what we call it this side of the pond) I also played Hockey, though not on ice, if you have any doubt about how fast that ball can travel, I stopped one once with my ankle, it hurt like hell.

Then there is Cricket, hardly my game either, though 20/20 is apparently quite exciting. Cricket must be the equivalent of Baseball on this side of the pond.

My first encounters with American Football and Baseball came through contact with US Air Force personnel based in the UK. Part of the problem was simply not understanding the game, probably much in the same way as djdawg does not really understand our version of football. A better understanding of any sport can make it much more enjoyable and the atmosphere at any game can also be part of it. Watching a match at say the Stretford End or The Kop whilst following your team (Man Utd or Liverpool in those two examples) is something else. Way different from seeing it on TV.

I've been out of the UK for way too long,† these days they play American Football in the UK, Ice Hockey too. Not sure if Baseball made it over there yet though. On the subject of baseball, I have only one thing to say, Toronto Bluejays ;-)



Great points...very correct about how your raised and what you're exposed to.  I've seen those fans at soccer games and they are rabid!  I would probably be the same if I was born and raised there.....
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djdawg

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2007, 11:43:53 AM »

Well djdawg, I was the one who asked, and I must say your take is very interesting.† Quite amusing in fact.† I seriously doubt that overworked single moms created the explosion of recreational soccer in America.† Most people I've encountered started playing soccer because their friends were playing soccer.† In my children's cases, all three of them were invited to play by a friend who was playing at the time.† In fact, my youngest DD was invited to be the goalie of a select team last fall despite never stepping foot on a soccer pitch prior to the invitation.† She was a natural.† But she prefers softball, so it was a short but extremely successful soccer career for her.† My son started playing baseball one year before he started soccer.† He played both for six years before giving up baseball because he just didn't enjoy it.† He never played catch with his father.† My ex must have missed out on that ritual where father and son play catch, because he never did anything sports-wise with any of the kids.† In fact, he's fought my support of their sports tooth and nail, and very rarely comes to any of their games.

I also can't quite figure out why you think baseball is in trouble.† I haven't noticed a decline in number of kids at the local little league over the past ten years.† There are so many girls playing competitive softball now, there aren't enough coaches/umpires to support it.

And I have to giggle a little at your assertion that there's no equipment required in soccer.† We started baseball with just a mitt and a pair of cleats.† Soccer was shinguards, cleats and a ball for home practice.† Pretty similar.† Over time we added batting helmet, batting gloves and bat.† In soccer, it was goalie gloves and shirt (very spendy - price them out), hip pads, and elbow pads.† Overall, I've spent way more on soccer equipment than on baseball.† And that doesn't count uniforms, which have always been provided in baseball, but I've had to buy for soccer.† Those puppies can add up to $150 + per season.† So, I'm not buying soccer as the cheaper alternative.

Baseball is more familiar to me, as I grew up watching it.† I didn't know the rules, though, just the basics.† I learned the rules when my kids started playing.† Same with soccer.† It's what a good single mommy like myself should do.† If they were into competitive chess, I would do the same.† Thank god they're not!† :lol:† But the funny thing is that the more you understand a game, the more appealing it becomes.† Before my kids played sports, I wouldn't dream of sitting down by myself and watching a baseball game or a soccer match.† Now I find myself doing both fairly frequently.† There's room for both (but I think I'll always love baseball more).† I'm just happy that my kids are active and healthy, they have a sense of belonging to something, and they get the benefit of learning to balance personal goals and team goals.† It's all good.

T-Vix

It definitely sounds like you are the exception and that's great.  Wow, those uniforms are expensive...I guess not too different then baseball when it comes to that. 

For the record, I did not say the overworked single mom was the sole reason for the recreational soccer explosion in the U.S.  I lay just as much blame on the absent/uninterested father which you have experienced first hand with your ex.  Perhaps if he did take more of an interest with your son he would've enjoyed the sport more?  Who knows....

Also, I'm not talking about softball or girls softball....I'm talking specifically about baseball.  I'm sure that attendance at ball parks is probably about the same if not higher. (winning tends to do that)  I'm looking at the bigger picture...how baseball is not our "national pastime" anymore and that makes me very sad.  I don't think it's a contradiction to say that attendance is good but it's not our national pastime.  Ball parks have had to go to extremely ridiculous lengths to get people to the park.  There have always been funny theme nights but now we have every boutique type of food at the park, (starbucks, lattes, etc) and I know of one park that has a hot tub area that you can rent.  It's as if watching the game is almost secondary.  Short attention spans I guess.  There are so many reasons that it is NOT our national pastime anymore.  Players that are greedy and don't love the game (I think many of the players of old would've played for nothing because they loved the game so much)  contract disputes, greedy owners, the lack of any loyalty on the part of player OR owner (when was the last time you saw a player begin and end his career with the same team anymore?  unheard of) and of course...as I mentioned, difficult parental situations that don't allow the extra time it takes teach a child about the game.

The biggest difference between the two games is this:  it's very difficult for a child to walk onto a baseball diamond and not know ANYTHING about baseball.  I think most kids could walk onto a soccer field without knowing anything and get coached into doing well fairly quickly.  That is a great thing about soccer.  It is a easy game to learn but it's also why I don't care for it that much.  The game of baseball almost requires the child to have some experience with how to do basic fundamentals before he goes out for little league.  At the very least if not from Dad then a pick up game at the local field.  But THAT isn't even done that much anymore  because everyone is freaking playing soccer!  LOL....just as you said, friends invited your kids right?  So who is left to play baseball?  There is alot to be said for little boys emulating their favorite baseball hero and if they don't know any (cause dad isn't around...doesn't take him to see pro games, etc) then they will not play baseball and they will not grow up playing baseball and then in turn they will not teach THEIR children about baseball.  It's a vicous cycle....we also can't forget that there are a ton of things that are competing for our childrens attention in this present age.  Computers, cell phones, video games, etc.  Man, I was in the stone age!  LOL

I'm exaggerating here but you know what I mean.  Baseball is losing it's place in American history and that's a shame.   
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djdawg

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2007, 11:47:07 AM »

I LOVE soccer, it's the most exciting sport ever, a game well played is like a beautiful symphony, a masterpiece. I don't know how anyone fails to see the beauty of a strategy behind a good team's play, originated in a good coach's mind, and put to practice by skilled players. It's like a thrilling chess game. Soccer (which I call football by the way) is the king of sports for me, period, and I don't give a damn if Americans or Chinese or Patagonians or Martians like it or not.




Not really what this thread was about but you're entitled to your opinion.  Again...if your whole country watches soccer then of course you're going to love it.  You would probably feel just as troubled if all the kids in your country started playing baseball right?  Soccer is the sport of your country?  That's why I resent it because it is usurping baseball in our country.   



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karky

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2007, 06:23:23 PM »

Baseball is losing it's place in American history and that's a shame.†

For me, it's because I don't know anyone that can afford to take a family of 4 to a major league baseball game.† The closest ball park to me is over 4 hours away, so any trip† to see a game involves an overnight stay.†

That being said, we go see the Frontier League play at least 6-7 times a year.† That team is only 45 minutes away.
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anacara

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2007, 08:25:22 PM »

Or perhaps we should just add another line to John Lennon's brilliant "Imagine".

Imagine there's no national sport...
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falconcy

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2007, 12:13:12 AM »

I can relate to the cost aspect. In the UK, the cost of going to a Premier League game is horrendous. First there's the cost of getting there, fuel in the UK is way too expensive, around $2 a liter, then there's parking, add to that the cost of the tickets plus something to bite on whilst you are there. You'd almost need a second mortgage to be able to do it. I'm pretty sure that the situation is the same in the States, where corporate hospitality suites seem to be taking over the stadiums and pricing the real fans out of the equation.
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Tandoori Trilobite

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2007, 02:37:46 AM »

Soccer isn't a mainstream code here in Australia, either.  To see it on free-to-air TV, you have to go to the low-rating ethnic/minority-interests channel (SBS TV).  Apart from the fact that we already have two entrenched codes of football here (rugby football predominating in most of New South Wales/ACT and Queensland, and Australian Rules football predominating everywhere else), the main soccer competition here hasn't become "naturalised".  Teams are aligned with different ethnic identities, and, in some cases, matches provide an outlet for imported historical interethnic animosities to be played out (and cheered on) by proxy.

I assumed that the popularity of soccer as a sport for kids lay in its essentially non-contact nature (ie, contact being incidental to the game) -- as opposed to other, more roughhouse codes of football (eg, American football, rugby football, or Aussie Rules), in which contact is expected.

While I lack strong feelings about sport in general, being originally from the head office city of the national Australian Rules football competition (Melbourne), there's no doubt what the unqualified word "football" instinctively means to me and which code I'd prefer to watch. :wink:
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nimi

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2007, 05:56:09 AM »

"it's very difficult for a child to walk onto a baseball diamond and not know ANYTHING about baseball."

Sadly, that's not true anymore - you should SEE some of the kids that show up to play.    It's a shame - Baseball is - (was ?) - the quintessential American sport and it's dying. It's a pity.

http://www.oah.org/pubs/magazine/sport/briley.html

I have a different take on the problem though -  Kids used to be able to find a bunch of other kids and get up a game of sandlot ball.  It's hard to do that anymore.  It seems like every single minute is scheduled.  The cutting of gym classes in school is also a problem.  It's amazing the number of 12-14 year olds we see that don't know how to properly throw a ball (in the old days we would have called it throwing like a girl).


But my family is doing their part of keep Baseball alive - I can even keep score djdawg.  And I don't through like a girl - even though I am one.

If you abhor bragging parents - skip the next few sentences

My son is in Babe Ruth and he recently had a game in which he:

turned an unassisted double play at second base
had 2 doubles
2 singles
and 7 RBIs.
His coach moved him to 2 in the lineup :-)

And he rocks as a catcher. 

And we love soccer - it's a fall sport here so the baseball players also can do this sport.  And I hate basketball :-).  Although the above mentioned baseball player plays that too.
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tek_vixen

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2007, 07:33:33 AM »

I'm with nimi, here.  I agree that kids' lack of baseball knowledge and skills is more about not being able to get together for pickup type games than other reasons such as single moms throwing kids out on the soccer pitch.  Of course we didn't play baseball when I was growing up because it was all girls in my neighborhood and we were too busy playing "house", "school", and an enticing game that provides tons of social commentary on the neighborhood called "mean mother".   :lol:  Consequently, when I was about 12, my mother the PE teacher was throwing the softball with me, and she gave me this puzzled look and said, "Gee, you throw like a girl".  Duh!!!!

However, we are doing our part in keeping the sport alive also, just via softball.  I know you don't consider softball (I'm really talking fastpitch here) as the same thing, djdawg, but watching both has led me to the conclusion that the differences are subtle enough to be negligible.  I suppose my daughter could technically play baseball, but I've seen what the boys do to the few girls who try (especially if they are better than the boys - which I've seen).

Great job on your son's part nimi!  How old is he?  I wish my son still played baseball, but he wasn't one of the best, and his ego couldn't take it.   :lol:  Actually, I think the real reason he quit is that you aren't moving enough during a baseball game, and he's the type who can't sit still.  I think basketball is going to go the way of the dinosaur for him this year too.  He's focusing more and more on soccer.  I don't know why, but he really loves it.  And at least I've finally gotten to the point where I enjoy watching it.

T-Vix
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K-Mac

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Re: Why I hate soccer - be forewarned. Not for the easily offended.
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2007, 08:57:41 AM »

I think I would enjoy soccer if I understood all the rules and strategy of the game.  (I like most sports and games as long as I understand what's going on.)  Since it was not very popular in the southern US, I just never got around to learning anything about it, but I think I can understand why so many like it.  I just wish it were a little easier to score.  As with hockey, I think the games would be a little more interesting if points were scored a little more often.  Maybe just make the nets slightly larger? 
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