Soccer

Ace talks about “The Real Reason the Right Doesn’t Like Soccer“.

A better question to me is, “why does the rest of the world love soccer so much?”  I think it comes down squarely to economics.

Soccer is cheap.  What do you need to play?  A ball and matching clothes.  In fact, you don’t even need the matching clothes until you get into league play.  Kids can play the exact same game in the street if they have a ball.  Or a ball-like object.  Shin guards are nice, but even then you can get a serviceable pair for $5.

Football is hideously expensive.  Pads and helmets and the other safety gear is ridiculously expensive.  On top of that, there is the issue of injuries.  It’s a catch-22.  Football is expensive because of the pads.  Why can’t you play without pads?  Because you’ll pay even more in medical care.

Baseball isn’t much better.  Sure, you can play with a stick and a cheap ball, but unlike soccer, you can’t play the real game.  You’re playing stickball.  To play the real game, you need at least one bat, a real ball, and nine leather gloves.  That’s an expense that people in a lot of places in the world can’t afford.  Not when you can play soccer with one ball.

I think that is really what it comes down to.  Soccer is popular because people all over the world can afford to play soccer as kids.  In America, football and baseball are popular because kids all over America can afford to play football and baseball.

6 Comments

  1. Soccer is a blast to play, I enjoyed every single game I played in my 10 year “career”, intramural to select teams. It was fun. I enjoyed playing basketball, softball, kickball and dodgeball too.

    Most sports are unwatchable to me on TV. Hockey, baseball, basketball are like soccer – boring on TV and as unlike watching the game in person as anything I can imagine. Football, on the other hand, is just about the same on TV as it is in person. The benefit to watching it on TV is that I get to use my own bathroom.

    I do get sick of being told that “soccer is the most popular sport in the world!” Like that’s supposed to get me into it.

  2. mexigogue says:

    I love watching the World Cup because it’s the closest thing you’ll ever see to these countries going to war against each other. What would happen if Mexico invaded South Africa? We’ll never know because there isn’t a fence you can hop over to get from Mexico to South Africa.

  3. R says:

    Or, you know, maybe because soccer is by far the oldest of the three games.

    I’ll grant you that economics probably played a part in the proliferation and development of soccer, but I challenge your reasons as to why the world “loves” soccer.

    America loves baseball but it is mind-numbingly boring, the players are all fat, out of shape performance-enhancing junkies, and wear floppy wind-resistant pajamas in a game that involves RUNNING as fast as possible. Regardless, America loves itself some baseball because of something called tradition.

    Anyway, soccer requires a lot more skill to play than American football or baseball. Using your hands to manipulate a ball? Come back when you take the training wheels off.

  4. Phelps says:

    Meh, all the same arguments work the other direction. Soccer is mind numbingly boring, the players are all slightly effeminate diving and crying prima donnas. The world loves itself some soccer because the only sport they play on TV is soccer and the one sport more boring, cricket.

    Anyway, any American game requires more skill than soccer. You can only use your feet? Yeah, it’s “skill” to be a weenie who only knows how to use half his body. The others at least require real coordination.

  5. Next time some Euro wannabe corrects me and tries to make me call soccer football, I’ll have to start insisting that everyone call cigarettes fags, gas petrol, dicks wankers…I could go on and on.

  6. mexigogue says:

    You’re both wrong. It’s futbol.