Monday, April 03, 2006

The commie game

I love good football writing and, after reading Gulay's perverse thoughts on Galatasaray, I often go searching all over internet. Well, I hit another nugget of gold this weekend. This time from The Observer.

Basically it is about why football will never make it in the U.S. and A.. It is a cracking read and coming from Australia and having been brought up on rubgy league I can definately sympathise.

Some snippets from the Dave Eggers' article "Using your feet is for commies"

Our continued indifference to the sport worshipped around the world can be easily explained in two parts. First, as a nation of loony but determined inventors, we prefer things we thought of ourselves. The most popular sports in America are those we conceived and developed on our own: [American] football, baseball, basketball. If we can claim at least part of the credit for something, as with tennis or the radio, we are willing to be passively interested. But we did not invent soccer, and so we are suspicious of it.

Well that seems like a typical American view of the world but it is Eggers' next point that I have to agree with 100 per cent.

The second and greatest, by far, obstacle to the popularity of the World Cup, and of professional soccer in general, is the element of diving. Americans may generally be arrogant, but there is one stance I stand behind, and that is the intense loathing of penalty-fakers...

But diving in soccer is a problem. It is essentially a combination of acting, lying, begging and cheating, an unappealing mix. The theatricality of diving is distasteful...

...It's disgusting, all of it, particularly because, just as all of this fakery takes a good deal of time and melodrama to put over, the next step is so fast that special cameras are needed to capture it. Once the referees have decided either to issue a penalty or not to our Fakey McChumpland, he will jump up, suddenly and spectacular uninjured - excelsior! - and will kick the ball over to his team-mate and move on.

Too bloody right.

Eggers goes on to talk about the most famous moment in American football history being Sylvester Stallone saving the day for the allies in the film "Escape to Victory" but also has a warning to us lovers of the round ball.

If you were soccer, the sport of kings, would you want the adulation of a people who elected Bush and Cheney, not once but twice? You would not. You would rather return to your roots, communist or otherwise, and fight fascism with your feet.

Excellent stuff.


  1. I certainly agree about the diving. It does look as though FIFA may start to act against this. They may start suspending players after matches when they see the replays on TV. It is the worst part of our game.
    Was this about the USA or North America? I'm sure the Canadians invented Basketball and Baseball is based on the Irish game of rounders. I do agree with the final point. Personally, I don't want any nation to win the world cup if the people of that nation don't care about it. It would devalue the sport of football. However, The U.S would start to care about football, but only if they did win. I wonder how the public will react to their poor showing in the baseball classic. Yet FIFA seem keen to expand their empire by playing the world cup in countries where it is not the dominant sport. Do they even push for these countries to do well so that their popularity rises there? Profits?

  2. Kankas, please let's get real about the diving thing. The professional footballer today doesn't give 2 stuffs if he has to cheat to win. The whole point of the game is to WIN by any means. Being 2nd or a loser is not an option.

    For Hibernian to be in 2 semi finals in 2 seasons is not good enough for me. I want them to win the bloody cup by any means possible !!!

    Shock horror. Are you surprised ???

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

  3. Eski Kanka is way off beam yet again. The point is that diving is cheating, it's is a blight on the game and that at the moment there is no penalty for this kind of cheating. If FIFA are serious about suspending players after seeing TV replays than I'm 100 percent behind them.

  4. Winning is the only thing...or something to that effect. Eski, you're sounding more like an American every day.

    I find it interesting that arguably the most successful World Cup was staged in the good ole U. S. of A. Of course FIFA is looking for profits, why else would htey have held the WC in the US to begin with?

    Facts: US played in the first World Cup (1930), Engerland didn't. They won the first match played in a World Cup, defeating Belgium. The last time the US and Engerland met in the World Cup (1950), Engerland lost. What happened in 1950 has no bearing on 2006. Ask an English fan if 1966 matters now? Of course it does.

  5. Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Dave is all over the place as usual. I'm not sure I understood what your point was.

    But I did like the little history lesson about the US and England, never knew you have such a glorious history over the Poms. Of course, last time Australia played England we beat them 3-1. Not Sven's greatest night.

  6. Yeah, OK, so I sound like a Yank, but believe me, they are not the only ones who refuse to accept defeat. If you dared to walk down Leith Street wearing a maroon scarf after the Scottish Cup Semi Final you would be extremely lucky to escape alive !! I stand by original post, even if Oz Kanka is shocked...... WINNING IS EVERYTHING and losing is nothing !!!

    Look forward to receiving more posts in the future from my `best buddy` Smart Ass Kanka !!!

    All the best from Eski Kanka Jim