A Conversation for Talking Point: Football

Thickball!

Post 1

Zarniroop (er.... I'll think of something amusing to put here soon!)

Slightly Controversial but isn't this game played by people who tend to be a bit simple and supported by even simpler people who will even pay upto the price of a small house for a season ticket?


Thickball!

Post 2

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Ahhh... the 0-0 draws, the ballcarrier slowing down to let the defenders catch up*, the overly-effusive goal celebrations that would more properly fit a cure for cancer, the drunken rioting in the stands during the game, and the drunken rioting in the streets after... it's hard to beat this sport. But if we band together, we can try. smiley - winkeye


Thickball!

Post 3

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Oops, almost forgot my little asterisk...

*A response to a silly rule known as "offsides", not to be confused with the rules by the same name in other sports, where they actually make some sense.


Thickball!

Post 4

androyd

A typically ignorant response from people who clearly do not understanding finesse and grace of 'the people's ballet'. I don't go around slagging off your preferred cultural medium , please respect mine.


Thickball!

Post 5

Orcus

Would it be controversial to suggest that coming up with generalised and stereotyped rubbish like that is the height of intolerance?

Translate the first post as "I don't like football"

According to FIFA there are about 240 million football players in the world plus countless more supporters. I would venture to suggest that there is probably a normal distribution of intelligence among this group of people.

Its a game. Live with it.


Thickball!

Post 6

Zarniroop (er.... I'll think of something amusing to put here soon!)

Me intolerant?

Well on some subjects yes!

So fifa believe there to be 240 million thick people out there, they are probably right as I've met quite a few of them and football seems to be the church where you'll find them!


Thickball!

Post 7

Orcus

Your own, clearly towering intellectual prowess comes across marvellously in this thread.

Perhaps you should enlighten us as to *more intelligent* pasttimes so we can overcome our ignorance.


Thickball!

Post 8

androyd

Zarniwoop, you seem to be going out of your way to be deliberately offensive. Please stop as this is contrary to the house rules as you know full well. If you persist in calling me thick for supporting football and offering nothing else in the way of comment I will make a formal complaint as I do find your postings offensive. What is the point in this? This is contrary to the spirit of this site.


Thickball!

Post 9

Eusebio - squad number 11

Am I right in thinking you prefer the sport of egg-chasing, known in some circles as rugby?


Thickball!

Post 10

Zarniroop (er.... I'll think of something amusing to put here soon!)

Sorry Androyd!
I apologise for letting this subject upset me so much, but the amount of time and money spent by people kicking a ball around (tho I do find the odd-shaped one slightly less offensive), could easily be put to better use - solving third world debts,ending famines, creating world peace. That is the reason I believe these pastimes are so offensive, and why I question the intellect of it's supporters.


Thickball!

Post 11

androyd

Well if you read the postings elsewhere on this page you'll see some of the reasons why thats not going to happen, but here's one for starters: football is the one game more people follow than anything else - it is one point of understanding for people from all over the world - I may not understand the nuances of a particular culture but I know I will be able to converse with people from that culture if we have football as a common language. That is then a start, a way in to understanding how other people live.

As for ending third world debt - I'll think you'll find that banks, multinationals and governments are actually responsible for that, now agreed several hundred million people all joining together across the world might be a very powerful voice for change but hows is that going to come about? - not by going round telling them they are thick for supporting and enjoying the beautiful game. If only everyone would think as you do then the world's problems would be solved instantly....except they wouldn't exist in the first place...and we'd live in a very, very boring world...peaceful yes..prosperous, maybe...but boring.

What gives you the right to assume that you know more, have a greater insight than all those other people? - I put it to you that that kind of arrogant attitude is actually exactly the sort of mindset that causes the problems you mentioned rather than solving them.


Thickball!

Post 12

Orcus

Also, Football is essentially entertainment. I dunno the figures but I would guess that music and film generate far more money (how rich are Time Warner and EMI?). Lets start by banning football to clear a few third world debts and then ban film making so that we can feed people. I think this is a tad unrealistic and as you so rightly say it would be a boring world. Aren't all musicians stupid? smiley - winkeye
Football is played in many poverty stricken areas and gives the folks who live there a sense of community and also somehting to do other than lie around doing nothing. It is also a n excellent way of keeping fit and healthy.


Thickball!

Post 13

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

I hate it when people get sooo self-righteous about all the problems in the world... as if we're wasting vital energy on living our lives that would fix every problem in the world, if only it was redirected. That's nonsense in the first place... there are no easy solutions, or we would have employed them years ago, and their roots are primarily in the way people think, not in what they do. And as a massive society, we have time to spend the appropriate amount of energy on these things without sacrificing the things that makes life worth living.

I'm all in favor of sports. I just happen to think football is a rather dumb and boring one. It's that stupid offsides rule that kills the game. Yes, they have to do something about cherry-picking, but there are better ways. Ice hockey faced the same situation, but, rather than telling the puck carriers they had to slow down and let the defense catch up, they painted some lines on the ice and told them they couldn't pass across more than one at a time. Then they pointed at the blue one, and said the puck has to cross that one before the attackers.

The main difference is that the offsides line for hockey is static, but the one for football moves around with the defenders. A man without the ball slipping behind the defensemen is against the rules, so they don't have to pay attention to them. But if a hockey player slips behind, a stick-to-stick pass results in an intense, exciting moment. I've watched football, and it suffers from a tremendous lack of them.


Thickball!

Post 14

Zarniroop (er.... I'll think of something amusing to put here soon!)

Hey Orcus! Don't start me on musicians, I have the dubious pleasure of meeting and working with these people from 'sunday league - premiership' types and I haven't a very high opinion of them either!

Androyd, I understand the point u make about bringing together different cultures, but I think it causes more nationalism and xenophobia than cultural harmonies.

Colnel Sellers - Thanks for joining in this argument and adding intelligent critiscm to this thread

Z (who's going away for a few days!)


Thickball!

Post 15

androyd

Colonel Sellers, as you clearly like ice-hockey, a fast moving game with often lots of goals and violence built in to the game , I can understand why you find football boring. I mean the very thought of having the ball allowed to go out of play must seem to be tedious.

Personally I find the ice hockey rule to cause just as many , if not more stoppages in a game as the football law, its just that because the whole game is faster it doesn't notice as much. I started to watch NHL hockey a few years back but it failed to grip my attention to any significant degree and I did watch a fair number of low scoring games even one 0-0 which made me realise that Football is just about the only game where you can have an interesting 0-0 result - not often mind you but it can happen. Somehow I felt cheated because in hockey that's just not supposed to happen.

However Zarniwoop and Colonel Sellers I can understand why as outsiders looking in you don't fully appreciate the game - as a spectator you have to have some emotional investment in a match to really understand. Now I don't care how you personally feel about the game - life would indeed be boring if everyone loved football - but you must admit in a scenario where football is by far a wide the most popular sport on this planet, the problem is with your appreciation of the game , not other people's intellect?


Thickball!

Post 16

Sam

While division and zenophobic elements are surley to be found in football, the game itself doesn't create them. It has been my own experience that the game of football, taken as whole, has a spectacularly unifying capacity on a global scale. Having kicked a football around in various parks at various times with Columbians, Japanese, French, Spanish, Germans, Italians, Argentinians, Croatians, Venezuealans, people from the African continent, people from the Indian continent, I can honestly say that I'm unutterably proud to have any assocition with a sport that, warts and all, has a power to BRIDGE cultural divides, not create them.

I recall a time at the height of the Falklands Conflict, my friend hosting two people from Argentina, in England. They felt very awkward to say the least given that their host country was currently at war with their motherland. Also, the papers at the time were extremely virulent in their anti-Argentine stance. I remember feeling awkward too in their company because it seemed that the subject of the war was too close and current for us to ignore it. The Falklands Conflict seemed to bear down upon us like a dark shadow as we muddled through stilted small talk (made much worse by the language barrier). I mean, we were at war! Allegedly.

But soon I recalled how captivated I was as a youngster staying up late with my mum, dad and brother, watching Scotland in the Argentinan World Cup Finals in 1978, and how, after Scotland's ignominious departure, I became enraptured by the skill and sheer dashing verve of players like Diego Maradonna and Mario Kempes marshalled from the dugout by the chain-smoking Ceasar Menotti. Argentina went on to win the World Cup and I was spellbound. I relayed this to my two new Argentinan friends and the tense atmosphere dissipated giving way to relief and to genuine warmth - a real sense of hands across the water as the broken conversation, now that it had alighted upon common ground, became suffuse with good intention and warm-heartedness. We went outside for a kick around (while our respective nations were bombing the living daylights out of each other) and I marvelled then, as I've often done since, at the sheer eloquence the game of football has, an articulation that I can only wonder at.

I'm not for a minute saying that the opposite is true, but for me, to know football is to know a little of the hearts and minds of most normal folk the world over.

I celebrate football, as I celebrate humanity. I find it hard to separate the two.


Thickball!

Post 17

Orcus

Hey Sam you're making me feel all warm inside! smiley - cool


Thickball!

Post 18

Peta

Hey, Sam. I'm proud to work with you. smiley - hug


Thickball!

Post 19

Dinsdale Piranha

I can remember (vividly!) being in a room full of complete strangers who were all delirious with joy. Euro 96 and England had just won a penalty shoot-out (a memory to treasure as it turned out).

High-fives etc. abounded and I was hugged by someone whom I'd never met before. Anything that can cause that to happen must have something going for it.


Thickball!

Post 20

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

I don't recall making any negative statements about stoppages of play in football. Stoppages are unavoidable, and built in to many sports... American football and baseball come immediately to mind. I know that one of the selling points of football is that it rarely stops. I watch it and note that it also rarely starts.

The game of hockey seems faster because the players are moving faster. Football players can't even get up to full running speed, much less match a skater's speed. And when the puck gets shot into the stands, or the whistle blows for icing, I can get up and get a beer.

How's this for emotional attachment? Year 2000 Women's World Cup, hosted by the US. The championship game is playing practically right down the road from me in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA. The Chinese are playing the home team for the title. Aside from being terrific athletes, they look GOOD. So you've got national pride AND a bit of tittilation working for this game.

The US won in dramatic fashion, on penalty shots. After the winning kick, the enticingly photogenic Brandy Chastain rips her shirt off and runs around for a while, before being mobbed by her teammates.

However, it was a dull 0-0 tie, with only one moment of excitement through the entire regulation period, when a ball headed for the US net luckily bounced off the head of an unsuspecting defender. Otherwise, it was doldrum as usual.

Hockey has rather few 0-0 ties, but you can have VERY dramatic ties. First of all, football can't match the speed or the physical element. Secondly, it fails to generate many shots on goal. A tight-checking hockey game will still generate about 30 shots total. But 0-0 draws are incredibly rare. I went ahead and did the research myself. The NHL played 1230 games this season, and recorded 7 scoreless ties. That means 99.94% of games saw some scoring. I believe the average was around 5 goals per game. Would someone like to compare numbers with the Premier League?

I'm sure the others meant little, but the one 0-0 game I saw was QUITE dramatic. It occurred late in the season, as the Kings (my team) and Sharks were jockeying for playoff position. It was an intense, physical game, with heart-stopping saves as both goaltenders stood on their heads to keep their teams in it. But then again, I had an emotional attachment.

The hardest thing about becoming a hockey fan is learning the game. Icing, offsides, two-line passes, and the subtle differences between legal and illegal hits take some time to learn. It's hard to enjoy a game when it confuses you. And since hockey is rather unpopular in the UK, and aside from two NHL stars (Toronto forward Steve Thomas and Boston goaltender "Lord" Byron Dafoe), they don't have a team, it's hard to generate any excitement. So for now, it'll stay in North America and Eastern Europe... although, it seems to be catching on in the Far East.


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