Saturday, June 5

Ten Reasons Why Soccer Sucks

I know what you're thinking: only ten?

Before long, the World Cup will begin, and we'll hear all about the "beautiful game" and how it's the world's most popular sport and how Americans are so dumb for not liking it and blah blah blah. I'll watch the games, in part because I enjoy and appreciate athletic competition at its highest levels (additionally, I like the Indians) and also because I like cheering for the USA, but my participation in the World Cup should not be construed as a tacit endorsement of the game of Association Football nor, even worse, the culture surrounding the game.

Thus, I give you: ten reasons why soccer sucks. I apologize for not allowing room for that weird thing where you can't substitute freely or the nauseating "Olé" song.


10) "The Beautiful Game"
This is, to me, roughly as inapt as "sweet science" is for boxing. Just calling it this does not make it so, and I completely fail to see how there's any more beauty or elegance in soccer than in, for example, basketball or baseball.

In fact, I'd go the other way with it. I'll get to the stultifyingly-low scoring problem later, but I think the difficulty with notching a goal significantly reduces the elegance of the game. So much good teamwork and skill typically go all for naught because of one defender making a play, meaning that outstanding teamwork and skill almost always goes unrewarded and fluke goals and shootouts take on greater importance. That, to me, is not the mark of a well-designed game. Nor is the extensive midfield play so brilliantly lampooned by The Simpsons some years ago.


9) Injury time
I remember in 2002 when someone first explained this concept to me, and eight years later it makes no more sense. The gist of it is as such: a half in soccer is 45 minutes of running clock, but only the official on the field really knows how much time remains in the half/game. The time you see displayed on the scoreboard is an approximation; the real time is that plus some amount of "injury time" that the official adds solely at his discretion.

This time is, of course, added to account for the time players spend on the ground faking shin injuries, regarding which I have to wonder: why not just stop the clock if someone's hurt? Does it really make more sense to add semi-arbitrary time to the game instead of just stopping the clock and resuming? No, it does not.


8) Yellow cards and red cards
If you do something bad on the field, the referee comes out and holds up a yellow card. If you do a second bad thing, or one really bad thing, he comes out with a red card. I'm fascinated by the fact that they haven't instituted any better in-game discipline system than this. Surely FIFA is aware of the NHL's penalty box concept. The only way I would like this is if the player had to carry the card around all game.


7) Soccer player guys are jerks
You know it, they know it, we all know it. If you're a soccer player or former soccer player, and you are not a jerk, then I apologize to you personally for this statement because I recognize that it is a generalization and that there are always exceptions to highly subjective rules such as this. But most of you are, sorry.


6) The smugness of soccer fans
I know, you all think your game is the best, and you all think some day Americans will come around and love The Beautiful Game, just like we all did in 1994. You are firmly convinced of this. And you are wrong.

There's a misconception among supporters of Association Football that Americans' indifference to their favorite sport is due to a lack of exposure or familiarity; that if they'd just give it a chance, they'd see how great it is. Yet this is not consistent with the reality of the situation. In fact, soccer-playing is incredibly widespread in America; pretty much every kid starts playing soccer at a young age, when they're rather impressionable and could reasonably be expected to develop an attachment to the game. I myself played from the ages of 6-11. Part of the reason why so many youngsters play soccer is this: it can be played with virtually no athletic skill.

Now, settle, soccer fans. I'm not saying that soccer players are unathletic. Far from it. I think their skill and physical stamina is remarkable, regardless of how I feel about the game they play. I'm a marathon-level runner and just watching soccer makes me tired. I hate boxing more than anyone I know, but it doesn't mean I don't appreciate pugilists' athleticism.

My point is that, more than other popular sports, soccer can be played with no talent whatsoever as a youngster. You can wander around the field, kick the ball in the general direction of the opponents' goal, and consider yourself to have a reasonably successful game. There is no baseline of skill needed to participate in soccer. This is in contrast to baseball or basketball, where any deficiency in ability is quickly manifested by a swing of the bat or a dribble of the ball. In those games, at least some measure of talent is needed to participate, unlike soccer.

Yet though we all play the game in our youth, most Americans do not stick with soccer, and there's a simple explanation why: we discover other, better sports. Once we get to 6th grade or so and acquire the coordination that allows us to start playing baseball, football, and basketball, we pretty much all leave soccer behind and devote our time and interest to other, more fun games. Sorry to break it to you this way, but it's true. Pretty much every other country in the world does not, for various cultural and financial reasons, have these options, and so their best athletes stick with soccer, but we're lucky here in the States to have a multitude of great sports.


5) 0-0
That being the approximate average score of every international soccer game I've ever seen. Teams simply don't score enough for me to be interested in the game, and when they do it's so frequently of a fluke nature that it annoys me that the club gets to advance on such a silly play. It also enhances the value of the penalty kicks, which seems like undue punishment for an in-zone infraction, since a penalty kick is comically easy to score on compared to normal play. I remember the US' 1-1 tie against Italy, reading about what a classic game that was. Two goals were scored all game and one was an own goal. Riveting. I know there are low-scoring games in other sports - I just watched the Indians' near-perfect-game-against the other night - but the problem is when that becomes the standard.


4)Scarves
Those scarves that supporters of soccer teams wear? Super lame. Can I interest you in a hat?


3) Jersey advertisements
Soccer jerseys make me want to puke when I see the logos of corporations festooned across the front, where there should be either the player's number or the team's logo or a crest. Yes, there's advertising all over American sports, on outfield walls, the boards of a hockey rink, and basketball scorer's tables, but not on the jerseys themselves. Some things are off-limits. And it's not even a little patch: it dominates the front of the jersey. Look at Manchester United (England's answer to the Yankees): their unis have a giant AIG logo on the front, which is appalling on several different levels. I will never be OK with this.

It's weird to me to see a fan walking around with an international soccer jersey with a big corporate logo. Do you want to be a fan, or a billboard? The day you see me wearing an Indians, Browns, or Cavs jersey with Progressive, Visa, or Quicken Loans across the chest in front of the team logo, just come up to me and punch me right there.


2) Two-game series
During a recent business trip to Europe, it came to my attention that the Champions' League tournament was being held. This pits the winners of the various national top leagues against one another for a sort of Intercontinental Championship even more prestigious than the one that the WWE offers. The format is a tournament-style draw, like the NBA and NHL, only the multi-game series that teams play are, yep, two games in length. Two. Not an odd number. An even one.

Are you wondering yet what happens if the teams split these contests? Glad you asked! Ties are broken by goal differential. So if you claim a 2-0 victory and lose 1-0, you advance. I would hope that any American sports fan finds that as hideous as I do. A win is a win. What if the World Series was six games, and the club with the better run differential won? Imagine: you could have a team up 3-2 with a +10 run differential via some blowouts, as the two teams head into the decisive Game 6. The team who led loses by 8 runs, then takes the field in celebration of their championship. Would that make any sense to anybody?

Astute readers must now wonder: what if the net goals are zero for both sides? Glad you asked! The advantage then goes to the squad who netted the most away goals. I'm not even making this up. If you win a 1-0 decision on your home field and lose to your opponent 2-1 in their stadium, you advance because you scored one more road goal than them. I'm absolutely speechless at this point.

Have you gotten to the next question yet? What if both teams mirror each other's performance - you win 1-0 at home and lose 1-0 on the road? Frankly, I don't know. And I don't even care at this point. As arbitrary as they've made the process up to this point, nothing would really surprise me: Rock, paper, scissors; inka dinka; cornhole tournament; coin flip; reading entrails; Astrology. Nothing.


1) Penalty Kicks
Without a doubt the most indefensible aspect of Association Football is the practice of deciding even the most important games via penalty kicks in cases where the game's normal 90-minute length, arbitrary injury time, and overtime cannot produce a winner. I don't see how even the most ardent backer of soccer can defend this lunacy.

I like to present my opposition to penalty kicks via any number of analogies. What if tie baseball games were decided by a Home Run Derby? What if NBA ties were broken by playing HORSE? What if a field-goal kicking contest decided NFL overtime contests (OK, you got me - it sort-of already does, but that rule bugs me too). I know the NHL has shootouts, but those are used only for regular-season tilts; come playoff time, no one goes home until a goal is scored, and that's how it should be. Playoff hockey OT winners are such incredibly special moments in sports that I can't believe soccer wouldn't want to capture that on its biggest stages. Yet even soccer's World Cup final can be decided by penalty kicks.

So what am I suggesting to remedy the penalty kick situation? Well, I'm under no pressure to do so, since I don't really care, but why not: just keep playing until someone scores? Crazy, I know.

29 comments:

Ernest said...

Does your hatred extend to indoor soccer? I have vaguely fond memories of the Crunch (led by the great Hector Marinaro) winning a couple of championships in the '90s. Obviously, they were a distant 4th in my affections for Cleveland teams but hey, that at least puts them above the Rockers.

Andy said...

Hatred? What are you, the Emperor? Frankly, I liked playing indoor soccer much more than outdoor, and it's a better spectator sport because they actually score occasionally.

So I play Corporate Challenge dodgeball tournaments in this gym in Parma where apparently the Crunch used to play. Their '94 and '96 championship banners still hang there, reading "World Champions," which is hilarious because: they were thus the best soccer team in the world those years.

ALSO, a friend of mine does promotions for the Lake County Captains (motto: "no, Ashtabula County is the one further east"), and they had "Cleveland Sports Night" last year and former Crunch great Otto Orf was an honored guest.

Meanwhile, the Rockers collected two division titles but not even so much as a Conference banner. Boo.

Mitch said...

I so completely agree that I'm overjoyed to find such a kindred spirit. I have repeatedly made some of these very same points to some soccer heads whom I know but it's like their love of soccer makes them into a form of sports-moron. They lose the ability to conjugate verbs when presented with these facts/suggestions. I have always said that if injury/wasted/out of bounds/post goal celebration time were measured accurately I would be in favor of the extra time. "Ok you morons have wasted 14 minutes and 32 seconds in the first half. So that's what we are adding." That would change the hell out of the game. Or, simply stop the clock for certain things and not for others. Try to be like every other sport that exists, have a clock or don't. Also the World cup is not comprised of the best teams in the world. There needs to be a certain number of teams from every continent so crappy teams from Asia get in just because they suck less than all the other shitty Asian teams. Really good teams from Europe or South America can't get in because there are already enough teams from those regions. Thi is so indescribably dumb and honorless. No other world competition works like that. Does Saudi Arabia get to have a sprinter in the 100 meter race just beacause their guy is not as awful as the Phillipino guy? That is exactly how the World cup works. That is why in 2002 the Germans beat the Saudis 8-0 but other European teams who also could have beaten the Saudis easily were not even in the contest. So it's not the 32 best teams at all. It's some of the best and some fairly weak teams. Awesome idea. That is why soccer may be a great game but it is cannot be deemed a sport.

Anonymous said...

Shame,...closed, small minds will always remain closed, small minds.
Enjoy the rest of your uneducated life.

Kyle said...

Nothing like making completely generalized, blanket statements towards a sport and it's players. Soccer is subjective, it's not objective like baseball and basketball are. I know you NASCAR loving, baseball gagging sports fans need your ERA's and batting avg's, but soccer isn't like that. And can you completely discount soccer as the beautiful game just because a defender makes a great play on a great build up?? Does that not also happen in basketball, football, and even your beloved baseball? A well designed and executed play in football stopped on the goaline with a swatted ball by the DB or stripped from behind on the goaline, most often leading to the ridiculous touchback rule. And how many times have we seen a nicely anticipated steal with great outlet passes end with Bron Bron swatting the lay up into next week? You're challenging the very foundation on which all sports depend. One great play/player beating out another great play/player. If Torri Hunter were to snag a homerun over the wall, you'd say that was great but a defender in soccer stops a great build up and it's the travesty of the century and it completely negates "the beautiful game" moniker. Very logical.

And here, let me explain the aggregate system that is used in soccer. Unlike your boring 7-game baseball series, the Champions League and other tournaments use the aggregate system. Do you not see how everything does not have to be done the way Americans and true patriots of freedom do it? How about this years World Series that is going into NOVEMBER! Lord knows it could benefit from a shortened series. The aggregate system places emphasis on tactics and how managers create sides for away and home matches. Home field advantage is far more significant in soccer. You are clearly too closed minded and used to the way good ole Americans do it to even see how this would be beneficial. Your arguments are based on ignorance. Ignorance towards the game, ignorance toward it's fans and especially toward how the game is played.

Also, do you really want to compare soccer fans attire to say football fans?? Can I interest you in an un-tuck of that huge jersey from your dad jeans?

And this is coming from a diehard football family. My dad is a 20 yr high school head football coach. You don't have to hate sports you don't understand to enjoy the ones you do. Nice close minded piece.

And finally, if you want to sound all proper and use large words like "festooned," maybe your arguments should be equally as tactful and not so devoid of logic. It will keep you from looking like a jackass like you did in this article.

Kyle said...

Nothing like making completely generalized, blanket statements towards a sport and it's players. Soccer is subjective, it's not objective like baseball and basketball are. I know you NASCAR loving, baseball gagging sports fans need your ERA's and batting avg's, but soccer isn't like that. And can you completely discount soccer as the beautiful game just because a defender makes a great play on a great build up?? Does that not also happen in basketball, football, and even your beloved baseball? A well designed and executed play in football stopped on the goaline with a swatted ball by the DB or stripped from behind on the goaline, most often leading to the ridiculous touchback rule. And how many times have we seen a nicely anticipated steal with great outlet passes end with Bron Bron swatting the lay up into next week? You're challenging the very foundation on which all sports depend. One great play/player beating out another great play/player. If Torri Hunter were to snag a homerun over the wall, you'd say that was great but a defender in soccer stops a great build up and it's the travesty of the century and it completely negates "the beautiful game" moniker. Very logical.

Kyle said...

And here, let me explain the aggregate system that is used in soccer. Unlike your boring 7-game baseball series, the Champions League and other tournaments use the aggregate system. Do you not see how everything does not have to be done the way Americans and true patriots of freedom do it? How about this years World Series that is going into NOVEMBER! Lord knows it could benefit from a shortened series. The aggregate system places emphasis on tactics and how managers create sides for away and home matches. Home field advantage is far more significant in soccer. You are clearly too closed minded and used to the way good ole Americans do it to even see how this would be beneficial. Your arguments are based on ignorance. Ignorance towards the game, ignorance toward it's fans and especially toward how the game is played.

Kyle said...

Also, do you really want to compare soccer fans attire to say football fans?? Can I interest you in an un-tuck of that huge jersey from your dad jeans?

And this is coming from a diehard football family. My dad is a 20 yr high school head football coach. You don't have to hate sports you don't understand to enjoy the ones you do. Nice close minded piece.

And finally, if you want to sound all proper and use large words like "festooned," maybe your arguments should be equally as tactful and not so devoid of logic. It will keep you from looking like a jackass like you did in this article.

Jamez said...

Thank you so much for investing your time in explaining in great detail what I have always felt- I have always detested soccer. My hatred sprang when forced to play it in middle school PE and my contempt has only grown with its increasing popularity in the US. As you said any kid who can barely stand or most likely fail to demonstrate any athleticism can look like a champ on the soccer field, because you don't even have to score to win. To make it worse, Soccer champ trophies for every kid in every league have eroded the integrity of proving yourself and actually earning a trophy. Now every kid in every sport across the nation expects a trophy for every event. Your explanation of how games are won and tournament qualifiers are determined further proves that soccer makes no sense and is a complete waste of time. The cancerous spread of soccer has in fact degraded the fiber and integrity of American sports. We have so many sports that are interesting and require a level of athleticism and most of all - that are interesting. I think that our politicians could better spend their time outlawing soccer in the US, rather than continually - well, doing whatever it is they claim to be doing. Americans unite- stop soccer! My presidential platform will be to simply ban soccer in the US, let's Leave it to the underdeveloped nations and Europe!

Kyle said...

Jamez, it's almost beyond words how stupid you are. If any sport gives out trophies to every kid like candy, it's America's precious baseball! Only those who cannot play the game say it takes no athletic ability. It's the only sport that uses primarily foot-eye coordination which makes it especially difficult for clowns like you. Which is why you probably hate it, because you suck at it. Also, if you can't figure out how qualifiers and tournaments work, it's no wonder you're too ignorant to appreciate the beauty of the game. Enjoy figuring out how to get your shit out of your boyfriends dick slit while watching your precious and far more "interesting" sports, a la fucking boring ass 163 game baseball seasons.

Andy said...

Kyle, I think your tone and extensive use of ad hominem attacks say almost all that needs to be said about your comment. How about you cool it with the language and personal attacks, huh?

Your foot-eye coordination thing is a total non sequitur.

Sucking at something is not necessarily the same as hating it. I'm not very good at darts or racquetball but I like both of them.

Also, no one said soccer takes no athletic ability, but I'm sure you didn't really bother to read my post. I said it can be played with no athletic ability, while expressing my admiration for the athletic skills and endurance of the world's top players.

It's not that I can't understand how the tournaments work; I explained them rather clearly. I just think it's an exceptionally poor way to decide a champion.

Kyle said...

Well my last comment was not intended for you, Andy. Keep citing logical fallacies for me though, I'm very intrigued. Are you implying that all of your arguments would stand to logical scrutiny? I doubt it.

Also, I loathe baseball, but I don't need to write a blog about it. It just seems odd that one would need to express their dislike for something so unnecessarily. You can love baseball, football, basketball and all the other American sports you want without degrading soccer players and its fans, correct? You tell me to cool it on the personal attacks, yet you also poke fun of soccer fans attire. You're hypocrisy is laughable.

Kyle said...

"5) 0-0
That being the approximate average score of every international soccer game I've ever seen."

Hmmm, adequate sample size you took to base your argument upon. Smells a bit like a hasty generalization.

Andy said...

Kyle,

I realize your last comment wasn't intended for me, but it was on my blog and in the comments of a piece I wrote, so it sort of pertains to me.

[You seem to have posted another comment since I started writing this. Prolific! Let me address that. (a) You do not know what sample size I used because I didn't cite one because it obviously wasn't meant to be a rigorous statistic because this is a nonserious blog about sports. (b) Hopefully you recognize that 0-0 was (like the entirety of this post) not meant to be taken as literal fact. Obviously that's not the actual average score of the soccer games I've seen. (c) Again with the "hasty" thing. I've seen lots of soccer games. I've played in lots of soccer games. It's boring.]

Am I implying that all of my arguments would stand up to logical scrutiny? No, of course not. This was an opinion piece, though I did try to back up my opinions with valid, logical reasons wherever I could. To some extent, obviously, my distaste for soccer is subjective, and that's reflected in a few of my 10 reasons.

No one needs to write a blog about anything. I elected to write about soccer because I don't like it and thought it deserved some ribbing. I write this blog for my friends and I and thought they'd be entertained (and I was correct). I can love the major North American sports without picking on soccer...but in this case I decided not to.

And Kyle, surely you can recognize the difference between me describing soccer fan scarves as "super lame" and you making suggestion that Jamez "enjoy[s] figuring out how to get [his} shit out of your boyfriends dick slit." There is no hypocrisy on my part here asking you to refrain from something inappropriate like that. I wouldn't even write something like that to a michigan fan!

Also it's "your hypocrisy," not "you're." "You're " is a contraction of "you are." You also left an apostophe out of "boyfriend's." Maybe try spell-check or, preferably, please go away.

Kyle said...

Excuse me, I'm fully aware of the distinction between you're and your. Typo. Do forgive. Also, when did this turn into a grammar lecture?

Was I taking shots at Jamez? Absolutely. Does that discount my point? Nope. Was it necessary? No. Was it mature? No. But it's a tad annoying to constantly see something that you love be unnecessarily degraded by people that, generally, know nothing of the game. And yes, when you say that all of the games you've watched ended 0-0, thus soccer has no scoring, that IS a hasty generalization.

Andy said...

Kyle,

It turned into a grammar lecture when you showed up in the comments calling people "stupid" and "jackass."

And no, your over-the-top criticisms of Jamez did not discount your point because you did not, as far as I can tell, attempt to make one.

I don't know what to tell you, other than you have to be able to perceive sarcasm when you see it. The "0-0" thing was a rhetorical device picking on soccer's chronic low scoring. I want you to understand this, really. If you leave another comment, at least include something like, "I understand, you don't really think every game is 0-0, you were just trying to make a point about low scoring." Even if you don't agree with my point! Even if you think soccer has the absolute perfect amount of scoring, that's fine, but PLEASE I want you to grasp this point, because I don't want you out in the world alone not understanding when people are openly exaggerating for effect. Jamez, for example, would likely not ban soccer were he to become president.

I tried to anticipate some of your criticism in point #6, but it doesn't seem to have registered, so I'll restate it. I am very famliar with soccer. I have seen and played lots of it. Despite this, I do not like it. It's not out of ignorance or lack of exposure. It really isn't. You dislike baseball, a game you seem to know well, and I don't chalk up your disdain for the game to a lack of knowledge. Sometimes people don't like things. I don't like soccer.

Kyle said...

Andy, let me preface this by saying, I am not trying to convince you to like soccer. Not at all. You’re free to like and dislike any sport. I simply find your criticisms of the game mindless generalizations (yes, I know, they were intentionally generalized), and criticisms that could easily be applied to sports you happen to like - a la baseball.

Next, don't insult the game by saying you’re not ignorant to it simply because you've played it and watched plenty of internationals. Talk to me about modern tactics. Name a full squad of any European club team. Name me the last three Ballon d'Or winners. Heck, tell me what the Ballon d'Or is! Have you ever followed a Barclays Premier League season from Match Day 1 to Match Day 38? Probably not. Of course, you're more than capable of looking any of these facts up (not to mention the ego to lie about knowing them), but let's not kid ourselves. People like you "think" you know about the game, but you don't. And just for clarification, even if you did know all of the above (and more) about soccer, I'm not implying it would or should instantly reverse your disdain for it. I’m simply saying you don’t know as much as you think you do. That’d be like me saying, “I played baseball as a kid and in high school. I’ve gone to plenty of games. I now know enough about the game to trash it on a blog.” Rather elementary thinking, no?

And finally, contrary to what you may think, I am fully aware of your use of exaggeration for rhetorical effect, but since you were pointing out logical fallacies in my over-the-top arguments, I thought it necessary to do the same to yours. Especially considering the self-righteous, smarter-than-you attitude you've so cleverly displayed. You're not the only person who took Logic 100, Andy.

I'm sure you're a perfectly nice guy and maybe the smartest, most clever writer I’ve ever met, but I just found this blog post annoying and lazy.

Andy said...

"Don't insult the game" is pretty rich from a guy who managed to call me "mindless," "lazy", egotistical, and "self-righteous" in the span of one comment.

And no, thankfully, I haven't been subjected to the boredom you described in paragraph #2. The exposure I have had to the game does not merit further study, with time limited as it is.

I am not smart nor clever, just a sports fan who finds soccer and its culture objectionable and felt like writing about it, making some valid points and some silly points. I'm done with this comment war.

Andy said...

And for the record let me answer your question:

- I know all about modern tactics: kick the ball aimlessly around the middle of the field. I kid, Kyle!

- A "full squad" seems like an overly difficult request. I don't think I could name you the current full roster of the Indians, Browns, Cavs, or Penguins, and I really like those teams.

- Yes, know what the Ballon d'Or is...even someone who didn't know the game could rough out a guess if they knew a bit about sports and some of a romance language. You're not the only person who took Spanish 100, Kyle. I also knew (you'll just have to trust me here) that Messi was the reigning holder - much digital ink has been printed over that fellow.

Kyle said...

I love that I’ve kept you so entertained. You can insult me, my posts, or my grammar all you want, but please, don’t insult the game. The fact that you think you know the game so well, when in reality, you know SO little, entertains me. It’s quite rich, as you put it.

I’m originally from St. Louis where baseball is king and always will be. I played from age 4 to 18 and have been to more Cardinals games than I care to admit. My dad played college baseball and taught me the game himself. I have an ACTUAL knowledge of baseball and can therefore critique if I so choose (which I don’t, because hating baseball doesn’t make me like soccer more). You’re knowledge of soccer is akin to a 4 year olds understanding of biomechanics.

And Excuse me, Andy… by full squad, I meant starting lineup. Either way, you wouldn’t be able to name even that. For ONE team. And unfortunately, I did not having any say in the choosing of the name “Ballon d’Or”, so my taking or not taking of Spanish 100 is completely irrelevant in the matter Nice try, though.

And finally, as a person who appears not to be a toddler, you might want to drop the “y” and try the “rew.” I just REALLY don’t want you wandering alone in the world thinking it is acceptable for an adult male to be called “Andy.”

kyle said...

*have, not having in last second to last paragraph. Excuse me.

Kyle said...

Fail. *Second to last.

Nick said...

Yeah, Andy's a horrible name. Andy, your parents should have gone with a really soft name like Kyle.

Go tear cities apart with the rest of your hooligan buddies in Europe, pinko.

Andy said...

I've yet to insult you, Kyle - I've left that department entirely up to you. Read through the comments thread - every insult is from you, directed at me.

Also, wow, hitting me right where it hurts most: my knowledge of soccer. The unkindest cut of all.

I would indeed not be able to name a "full squad," nor do I in any way aspire to. It does seem like an inapt name for just the starters though, no.

Great point on my name, I appreciate your thoughtful concern. After all, any time a semi-anonymous internet commenter suggests you change a name you've used for 32 years, why, you jump right on that!

Ryan C said...

I don't understand what the argument is about here. Every soccer game that is played literally ends 0-0. Why would anyone argue otherwise?

Kyle said...

Very hurtful and intelligent comment, Nick. My implication was that it is childish to continue being called Andy when you're an ADULT. Unless his parents named him "Andy," I would assume his full name is "Andrew," quite like how yours is probably "Nicholas." How ridiculous would I look if I went by "Ky"? Let me anticipate your comeback, "You already look ridiculous with a SOFT name like KYLE!" Clever.

Andy/Drew/Andrew, I never said you insulted me (although your assaults on my grammar may indicate otherwise), I was simply saying, insult me (not "you insulted me,” a big distinction a grammar guru like yourself should be able to make) all you want, just don't insult the game.

And did I think you would be offended that I took a dig at your lack of soccer knowledge? Nope, sure didn't. My point, which was quite clearly laid out, was that you don't know as much as you think, thus making your critique LAZY. A point I made nearly 10 comments earlier that was dismissed as a personal attack.

Anyway, this debate is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle. I'm done. Enjoy blogging about Cleveland sports and how much you hate Bron.

Andy said...

My implication was that it is childish to continue being called Andy when you're an ADULT.
Right, and this is a remarkably stupid implication, but thanks for the lesson on nicknames. You wouldn't say that to legendary soccer hooligan Andy Nicholls, would you?! I've done just fine as Andy, no reason to change now, but appreciate your concern.

We can pretend like there was no insinuation in your phrase "insult me" if you like.

Plus, I will insult the game all I like, thanks. It sucks. I am well aware of how much I know and do not know about soccer. I didn't dismiss your "point" as a personal attack - I noted personal attacks as and when they happened - but I certainly know enough to write this piece. If your criticism is that I didn't immerse myself fully in the game and learn everything I could about it before picking on it in a blog article, then OK, yep, I sure didn't.

Dan said...

I'm not sure why baseball and American football is brought up when soccer is mentioned. There is already a far superior put-object-in-net-guarded-by-a-man sport and that's ice hockey. But ice hockey is never mentioned by soccer fans in their retort.

Andy said...

Dan, I agree that ice hockey is vastly preferable to soccer. But wouldn't the anti-soccer ones be the ones using it in their responses? It would seem to weaken the pro-soccer case, like "hey look, we botched this object/net/man concept that others have done so much better at." The anti-soccer individual would be more like, "why don't you play a real goal/net sport, like hockey?"