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A conversation I had with my wife today

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A conversation I had with my wife today

Old 02-13-24, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie
A tie is a tie. How exciting would a game be that ended in a 978,243 to 978,243 tie?
Probably a lot more exciting than a 0-0 “soccer” game.
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Old 02-13-24, 10:10 AM
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This was one of my favorite Mike Royko columns:

(He was not a fan of soccer)

WITH A FEW CHANGES TO SOCCER RULES, THE WHOLE WORLD COULD HAVE A BALL

  • By MIKE ROYKO
  • Jul 4, 1994

IT'S ALWAYS been my policy to keep an open mind and be receptive to new ideas. So I have been listening closely to those soccer fans who say I'm a fool for failing to appreciate their game.An example: Monica Svars, a native of Argentina, who moved to Chicago 26 years ago, says:

"You really showed your ignorance of soccer and your American provincialism.

"First, soccer is not just a game from poor countries. Second, it is a very interesting game. Third, what makes you think baseball is such fun? What's the fun in a game that lasts four hours, the players spit on the field and constantly touch their genitals?

"When the Bulls won the championship in 1993, Chicagoans went into a frenzy, destroying property. All this because the Bulls could throw a ball into a basket?

"Football fares no better. Big, tough guys with brains the size of a raisin pushing, hitting and throwing themselves on top of each other just to score some silly points."

Ms. Svars makes a valid point: Just about any sport or game can be ridiculed, even my favorite: women's mud wrestling. The acts of hitting, kicking or throwing balls have no great value, other than as entertainment or exercise.

So like many American commentators, I was probably misguided when I poked fun at a game that has such great worldwide popularity.

However, I still believe there is something about the game that turns off the vast majority of American sports fans.

I don't know if it is the lack of scoring, the helter-skelter dashing about and falling down, or the undignified act of bouncing a ball off one's head.

But the game lacks a certain something, and until it finds this certain something, it won't ever catch on big in this country.

Maybe I can help. I've forced myself to watch a couple of the World Cup matches and have an idea or two how the games can be made livelier and less predictable.

They should get rid of the ball.



Instead of a ball, they should use a dog.

Obviously, I am not suggesting anything that would be cruel to an animal.

The dog could be encased in a suit of thick, inflatable rubber that would protect it from harm, even when booted long distances or bounced off a head.

However, it would still have the full use of its legs, which would make it mobile, so it could scamper about with as much or more speed and agility as the players chasing it.

Imagine the merriment of a game in which the ball has the capability to run from the players, change directions on its own, or relieve itself on the foot or head of a world-famous athlete.

And if they really wanted to enliven the game, they could use a strong-jawed breed of dog, such as the notorious pit bull, which might resent being kicked about.

Then we would have the added element of the ball retaliating by chasing the players and biting off a toe or chomping on an ankle.


That would give the spectators the choice of cheering for one team, the other team, or the heroic ball, which would be acting in self-defense.

And the announcer, instead of howling "goooooooooal," could occasionally shriek: "biiiiiite."

When I mentioned my idea to several friends who are avid sports fans, they all said that they would enjoy watching such a contest.

As one of them said: "I have a dog that is a great Frisbee catcher. So if someone tried to bounce my dog with his head, he could easily nip off an ear, which would be a dramatic touch."

Another said: "How about using little people -- dwarfs or midgets?"

I had to remind him that when the game of dwarf tossing spread to this country from Australia, it provoked such outrage that the mayor of Chicago, the governor of New York and other sensitive public officials declared it illegal to toss a dwarf, even if the dwarf consented and was well-compensated.

But I don't see how any animal rights activists could be upset by the use of dogs, so long as the animals are well-padded and have the opportunity to bite the athletes.

And if not dogs, how about sharp-clawed chickens, which have the advantage of being able to fly short distances?

Then the winning team would get to eat the ball. In no other sport does that happen. Let the games begin.


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Old 02-13-24, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
This was one of my favorite Mike Royko columns:
(He was not a fan of soccer)
If Royko wrote that column today, he'd have to end it with /s -- and even then, the animal rights people would come after him.
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Old 02-13-24, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If Royko wrote that column today...
It would add a whole new meaning to the term ghost-written.
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Old 02-13-24, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
This was one of my favorite Mike Royko columns:

(He was not a fan of soccer)
That is very funny, but I find it hard to believe that Monica Svars actually used the word "soccer".
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Old 02-13-24, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
This was one of my favorite Mike Royko columns:

(He was not a fan of soccer)
I think Ms. Svars’ comment on baseball was actually funnier than the rest of Royko’s column.
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Old 02-13-24, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If Royko wrote that column today, he'd have to end it with /s -- and even then, the animal rights people would come after him.
When I was searching for this, I came across a series of very sanctimonious letters to the editor of various papers (it was a syndicated column at that point).
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Old 02-13-24, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by petehski
that is very funny, but i find it hard to believe that monica svars exists.
fify
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Old 02-13-24, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
If Royko wrote that column today, he'd have to end it with /s -- and even then, the animal rights people would come after him.
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
It would add a whole new meaning to the term ghost-written.
Yeah, my post was poorly written -- I know he's dead.
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Old 02-13-24, 11:03 AM
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I'm all for that, except if they use a Chihuahua, that would be racist...
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Old 02-13-24, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Well yeah, I did mention that a couple of times already. The term "soccer" went out of fashion very quickly when it became widely adopted in the US. I don't know if it was ever used outside of the UK before that. It was certainly a popular term growing up in 70s Manchester. The real Manchester that is, lol.
Man U, as I understand it, are such a wonderful team, they deserve to be knighted.

(Or so my friend Linda remembers the chant, but she's from Shirley, Solihull, Birmingham, so her testimony may be suspect.)
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Old 02-13-24, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Mmmm…. not going there, but it was certainly a bold move calling their game “football” and then rebranding the original.
Well, if you study American History, you'd learn that American football began its life using rules from the London Football Association. But the game was just too delicate for the Americans, so they mixed in some rugby, added wholesome American "values", and did away with all that incessant running-and-kicking ball nonsense to give us the gladiator/war game spectacle we have today. But the name "football" stuck. And no need to call it American football, either, because nobody in the US confuses football with the running-and-kicking ball ball game.
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Old 02-13-24, 12:47 PM
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Where is the love for synchronized swimming? Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!




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Old 02-13-24, 12:48 PM
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Ghosts of the 19th century rattle around, still.
Inevitably, the names would be shortened. Linguistically creative students at the University of Oxford in the 1880s distinguished between the sports of “rugger” (rugby football) and “assoccer” (association football). The latter term was further shortened to “soccer” (sometimes spelled “socker”), and the name quickly spread beyond the campus. However, “soccer” never became much more than a nickname in Great Britain. By the 20th century, rugby football was more commonly called rugby, while association football had earned the right to be known as just plain football.Meanwhile, in the United States, a sport emerged in the late 19th century that borrowed elements of both rugby and association football. Before long, it had proved more popular than either of them. In full, it was known as gridiron football, but most people never bothered with the first word. As a result, American association-football players increasingly adopted soccer to refer to their sport. The United States Football Association, which had formed in the 1910s as the official organizing body of American soccer, changed its name to the United States Soccer Football Association in 1945, and it later dispensed with the “Football” altogether. No longer just a nickname, soccer had stuck.
The NGFL really punted on the opportunity for that fourth letter.
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Old 02-13-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
Total screen time probably amounted to 10 seconds throughout.
54 seconds during the game according to Entertainment Tonight. I didn’t watch the pre-game or post-game coverage.
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Old 02-13-24, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
54 seconds during the game according to Entertainment Tonight. I didn’t watch the pre-game or post-game coverage.
Well, lookin' like she does, it's easy to lose track of time.
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Old 02-13-24, 09:37 PM
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This thread went exactly as I would figure a thread about a mainstream sport would go on BF General Forum.
My gosh.
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Old 02-13-24, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
Well, lookin' like she does, it's easy to lose track of time.
According to your own post, you only watched about the last 5 minutes, so I don’t know how you had any basis for commenting on her air time to begin with. Hope you left a good tip at the end of your upscale, non-chain restaurant dinner.

Swift creates quite a buzz wherever she goes. Last time she was in town here for concerts, hotels in town were packed. So many young girls with their parents preparing to go to the show.

You may not like her (I don’t care for her music.), but you cannot deny her influence with any credibility. She’s done well for someone who spent early years on a Christmas tree farm in PA.
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Old 02-14-24, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
According to your own post, you only watched about the last 5 minutes, so I don’t know how you had any basis for commenting on her air time to begin with. Hope you left a good tip at the end of your upscale, non-chain restaurant dinner.

Swift creates quite a buzz wherever she goes. Last time she was in town here for concerts, hotels in town were packed. So many young girls with their parents preparing to go to the show.

You may not like her (I don’t care for her music.), but you cannot deny her influence with any credibility. She’s done well for someone who spent early years on a Christmas tree farm in PA.
Oh, you misunderstand. We watched the first half. Well about the first 3rd, really, and ducked out for dinner. Our local restaurant is pretty close. The game was on in the background (visible to both of us) at the restaurant. It just wasn't the focus of our meal together because our meal was together. Then we returned home with about 5 minutes left and that's where the game got interesting enough to actively hold our attention.

Between Mrs. Base2 and myself, I'm definitely the Swifty. If she was on TV at any point, I would've noticed. The Mrs. usually just rolls her eyes at me and my pop music ways then goes right back to reading through the 60 years back catalog of Poison Ivy & her relationship with Harley Quinn.

She did go with me to the Eras concert tho and didn't hold it against me. So there is that.

Yep. We're a couple of nerds who like each other.

Last edited by base2; 02-14-24 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 02-14-24, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Beautiful? If you like watching paint dry. Can there be a more boing sport?
While I like gridiron, I think it’s a brilliantly tactical game, the idea that association football is more
boring, with its near continuous flow and switching of play, difficulty of scoring, extemely high technical skill and opportunity for dramatic turnarounds seems entirely unjust.

The one thing that does make it boring as a professional sport is the pay-to-win model it has become that American football controls much better with the draft. But even then we can see upsets like Leicester City’s astonishing 5000:1 outsider
(only enhanced in drama and tragedy by the chairman’s fatal helicopter crash outside the ground after a match 2 years later.)
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Old 02-14-24, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
While I like gridiron, I think it’s a brilliantly tactical game, the idea that association football is more
boring, with its near continuous flow and switching of play, difficulty of scoring, extemely high technical skill and opportunity for dramatic turnarounds seems entirely unjust.

The one thing that does make it boring as a professional sport is the pay-to-win model it has become that American football controls much better with the draft. But even then we can see upsets like Leicester City’s astonishing 5000:1 outsider Premier League triumph (only enhanced in drama and tragedy by the chairman’s fatal helicopter crash outside the ground after a match 2 years later.)
Football, sorry soccer, at the highest level is sublime. I watched Man City vs Copenhagen last night. The way City move the ball around is next level brilliance. But Copenhagen still somehow managed to equalise (at least briefly) with their one and only shot on target. All 4 goals in that match were pretty awesome and totally unique.

The two games really have nothing in common. Rugby seems more vaguely related to American Football, but still very different.
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Old 02-14-24, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Football, sorry soccer, at the highest level is sublime. I watched Man City vs Copenhagen last night. The way City move the ball around is next level brilliance.
Chickens running around with their heads cut off. Maybe Americans are just more discerning in their sporting tastes?

Thank you for cricket, though. It provided a great basic starting point to perfect into the greatest game ever invented.

Last edited by smd4; 02-14-24 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 02-14-24, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz

Swift creates quite a buzz wherever she goes.
That's not buzz, it's carbon footprint.
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Old 02-14-24, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Chickens running around with their heads cut off. Maybe Americans are just more discerning in their sporing tastes?

Thank you for cricket, though. It provided a great basic starting point to perfect into the greatest sport ever invented.
That is frankly a bizarre viewpoint. Maybe at a 6year old level, it's like that.

Baseball is good but did inherit the boring aspects of cricket. Both benefit enormously from being used as a backdrop to a good conversation over beer.
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Old 02-14-24, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie
A tie is a tie. How exciting would a game be that ended in a 978,243 to 978,243 tie?
If points are the determining factor Bowling Rules ! ! !
This is the "Soccer Sux" fallacy ... that game play doesn't matter and only goals are exciting.

A game with lots of scoring can be exciting even if it ends in a tie (NBA, anyone?) A game with non-stop scoring can be boring (cricket, anyone?) A game with no scoring can be exciting ....as long as the players are playing really well. In an average NFL game, there are half a dozen to a dozen plays each drive, and any of those plays can be exciting ... even an incomplete pass, if it is almost a 3rd-down conversion or a long ball downfield

Last edited by Maelochs; 02-14-24 at 08:24 AM.
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