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Bloggingheads 07-08-2010 10:42 PM

Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 

AemJeff 07-08-2010 10:47 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition
 
Good grief. I think Eve Fairbanks is great. I'd love to spend an hour listening to her talk on most any topic. But, an hour of soccer talk? I haven't the strength.

TwinSwords 07-08-2010 10:59 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 168886)
Good grief. I think Eve Fairbanks is great. I'd love to spend an hour listening to her talk on most any topic. But, an hour of soccer talk? I haven't the strength.

LOL! I have to agree. (Though, that "Soccer is Socialism" segment might be worth a few laughs.)

rfrobison 07-09-2010 12:12 AM

Yea! A soccer dv!!
 
Russian spies? Mideast Peace? Economic crisis? BP oil blowout? Who cares?! Finally we get a dv on something that matters--soccer! Can't wait to hear this one. Too bad I gotta finish work first.

Ocean 07-09-2010 12:13 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I'm just starting to listen to this one, and I don't think I'll get to listen to the whole diavlog tonight. But, at least I wanted to state that the population in Uruguay is almost 3.5 million people. By most standards, we are a rare species. ;)

rfrobison 07-09-2010 12:14 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 168886)
Good grief. I think Eve Fairbanks is great. I'd love to spend an hour listening to her talk on most any topic. But, an hour of soccer talk? I haven't the strength.

Yes you do, Jeff. The future of the U.S., nay, the world (if not the galaxy--Not the L.A. Galaxy, the Milky Way) depends on it!

AemJeff 07-09-2010 12:17 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rfrobison (Post 168901)
Yes you do, Jeff. The future of the U.S., nay, the world (if not the galaxy--Not the L.A. Galaxy, the Milky Way) depends on it!

:) If the future of the multi-verse depended on my ability to pay attention to professional sports... Let's just say we could save a lot of ink on cosmology texts.

BeachFrontView 07-09-2010 01:09 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
George Orwell's take on Soccer's negative affect on society and how it spreads hatred of the other.

http://www.orwell.ru/library/article...glish/e_spirit

"that sport is an unfailing cause of ill-will, and that if such a visit as this had any effect at all on Anglo-Soviet relations, it could only be to make them slightly worse than before."

"I am always amazed when I hear people saying that sport creates goodwill between the nations, and that if only the common peoples of the world could meet one another at football or cricket, they would have no inclination to meet on the battlefield. Even if one didn't know from concrete examples that international sporting contests lead to orgies of hatred, one could deduce it from general principles."

"In Burma, I have seen the supporters of one side break through the police and disable the goalkeeper of the opposing side at a critical moment. The first big football match that was played in Spain about fifteen years ago led to an uncontrollable riot. As soon as strong feelings of rivalry are aroused, the notion of playing the game according to the rules always vanishes. People want to see one side on top and the other side humiliated, and they forget that victory gained through cheating or through the intervention of the crowd is meaningless."

"If you wanted to add to the vast fund of ill-will existing in the world at this moment, you could hardly do it better than by a series of football matches between Jews and Arabs, Germans and Czechs, Indians and British, Russians and Poles, and Italians and Jugoslavs, each match to be watched by a mixed audience of 100,000 spectators."

ohreally 07-09-2010 01:49 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
The World Cup is a reminder of America's loneliness. On Sunday, one third of the planet will be watching the game, and the other two thirds will be distracted by it. America, instead, will be debating if Miami was the right choice for LeBron while smelling George Will's latest brainfart. Lonely nation.

GhaleonQ 07-09-2010 02:36 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
No new ground was broken, but that's to be expected when there's a whole industry of soccer pundits.

...Have we thought about that stimulus strategy? Copy the U.K.'s blather-based sports economy? Alexi Lalas can't be the only homer pulling in paychecks.

uncle ebeneezer 07-09-2010 02:37 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I think Bryan's "soccer agnostic" theory seems pretty on the mark. I remember when I was in college (90's) and the only people I knew who were into the World Cup were former high school players. Nowadays, even many of my friends who aren't into sports in general, have been getting up and watching games early.

It's been an amazing experience here in Los Angeles. EVERY tv, everywhere you go has the game on and people are not just watching the US or Mexico. The other day I went to have a burger and everyone in the place was transfixed by the Netherlands game. Obviously our large immigrant population has alot to do with the world cup fever here, but I've been surprised by how many white, african-americans and other demographics not usually associated with being soccer fanatics, are all caught up in the drama. It's pretty cool.

Florian 07-09-2010 05:59 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I have absolutely no interest in soccer, but I did find it interesting that even such a trivial subject as football, as the rest of the world calls the game, drives some Americans to reaffirm their "exceptionalism"---for once an accurate description of reality. But it is beyond ludicrous that some American politicians identify the game with socialism.

I wish both speakers had gone a little more deeply into the cult of sports that arose in the late 19th century and has always been associated with nationalism.

Whatfur 07-09-2010 09:10 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 168923)
... Obviously our large immigrant population has alot to do with the world cup fever here, but I've been surprised by how many white, african-americans and other demographics not usually associated with being soccer fanatics, are all caught up in the drama. It's pretty cool.

The demographics are being added to by more and more successful grade school/high school soccer programs being instituted around the country. With that comes a small army of parents learning the game and learning to coach the game. Comparatively low cost to involvment helps. Knowledge of the games intricacies is the only thing that can make it exciting while playing yourself is the only thing that can make you love it...maybe like baseball is to the uninitiated.

I drive by a huge international sports complex quite often that has numerous soccer and other fields...quite sad actually that I drove by a couple weeks ago and saw full soccer fields and empty baseball fields. The times they are a-changing.

liberrocky 07-09-2010 09:19 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Soccer: Corrupt, tedious, with arbitrary rules, where stalling & feigning injury are the main tactics. It's the U.N. in short pants.

Simon Willard 07-09-2010 11:35 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
American exceptionalism with respect to soccer is really just a symptom of the richness of American interest in other sports. There's plenty of soccer in America. All my children play it. When the rest of the world starts watching baseball, gridiron football, basketball, golf, tennis and hockey, America will no longer be exceptional.

Whatfur 07-09-2010 11:41 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 168938)
American exceptionalism with respect to soccer is really just a symptom of the richness of American interest in other sports. There's plenty of soccer in America. All my children play it. When the rest of the world starts watching baseball, gridiron football, basketball, golf, tennis and hockey, America will no longer be exceptional.

Goal!!

nikkibong 07-09-2010 11:54 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 168929)
I have absolutely no interest in soccer, but I did find it interesting that even such a trivial subject as football, as the rest of the world calls the game, drives some Americans to reaffirm their "exceptionalism"---for once an accurate description of reality. But it is beyond ludicrous that some American politicians identify the game with socialism.

But, of course, it cuts both ways: look to ohreally's comment above. He seems to view America's (comparative) lack of interest in soccer as a moral failing. That's quite bizarre, IMO.

Also, I don't believe any politicians have claimed that soccer is "socialist." I'm pretty sure that was just one silly columnist.

Florian 07-09-2010 12:24 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 168941)
But, of course, it cuts both ways: look to ohreally's comment above. He seems to view America's (comparative) lack of interest in soccer as a moral failing. That's quite bizarre, IMO.

Also, I don't believe any politicians have claimed that soccer is "socialist." I'm pretty sure that was just one silly columnist.

I misheard. But here is an excerpt from the New Yorker article. If famous conservative oracles can say such things, can politicians and ordinary Americans be far behind?

Quote:

“I hate it so much, probably because the rest of the world likes it so much,” Glenn Beck, the Fox News star, proclaimed. (Also, “Barack Obama’s policies are the World Cup.”) What really bugs “silly leftist critics,” the Washington Times editorialized, is that “the most popular sports in America—football, baseball, and basketball—originated here in the Land of the Free.” At the Web site of the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, formerly a speechwriter for George W. Bush, wrote, “Soccer is a socialist sport.” Also, “Soccer is collectivist.” Also, “Perhaps in the age of President Obama, soccer will finally catch on in America. But I suspect that socializing Americans’ taste in sports may be a tougher task than socializing our healthcare system.”.

Whatfur 07-09-2010 02:15 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 168942)
I misheard. But here is an excerpt from the New Yorker article. If famous conservative oracles can say such things, can politicians and ordinary Americans be far behind?

Marc Thiessen is big enough to have appeared on the Daily Show but is a pretty small potato to be made representative of the conservative banquet. I did appreciate your response however and it WAS actually better (more informative) than the "shorter" version of "I guess you were right bong bong".

Florian 07-09-2010 03:16 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 168938)
American exceptionalism with respect to soccer is really just a symptom of the richness of American interest in other sports. There's plenty of soccer in America. All my children play it. When the rest of the world starts watching baseball, gridiron football, basketball, golf, tennis and hockey, America will no longer be exceptional.

There is only so much time in the day for intelligent human beings to devote to trivia like sports. American football will never interest anyone outside the US. Baseball is played and enjoyed in Japan and Cuba. I have even seen it played in France.

The other sports you mention are not peculiar to the US, as you seem to believe. Are you really such a provincial rube? You really need to get out of your Boston suburbs more often.

harkin 07-09-2010 03:59 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

"George Orwell's take on Soccer's negative affect on society and how it spreads hatred......"


"I tried to introduce football onto the island. I managed to get hold of a football and presented it to the school. I was the referee. I had to give a foul against the Garryboo team. It was more than a foul, it was a deliberate assault. And what do you think happened?"

"I don't know sir."

"Young Willie Maclellan, the captain of the team, deliberately dribbled the ball to the touchline and kicked it into the sea."

Ocean 07-09-2010 04:16 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 168974)
American football will never interest anyone outside the US.

And I will be eternally grateful for that.

Whatfur 07-09-2010 04:33 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 168974)
There is only so much time in the day for intelligent human beings to devote to trivia like sports. American football will never interest anyone outside the US. Baseball is played and enjoyed in Japan and Cuba. I have even seen it played in France.

The other sports you mention are not peculiar to the US, as you seem to believe. Are you really such a provincial rube? You really need to get out of your Boston suburbs more often.

I don't think Mr. Willard isolated things in the manner by which you can extract errant "rube"ness. On the contrary, I think you errantly extracted things as to unfairly isolate Mr. Willard. I'm having a boring day too.

bjkeefe 07-09-2010 04:49 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 168941)
Also, I don't believe any politicians have claimed that soccer is "socialist." I'm pretty sure that was just one silly columnist.

"Silly" I'll agree with. But it was a lot more than just one (cf., cf.).

And I can find you many more, if you really want. This was a wingnut culture war thing for weeks, hard as that may be to believe.

I don't recall any specific Republican politicians being caught making this same absurd statement, though, so maybe they're finally learning something.

uncle ebeneezer 07-09-2010 05:06 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
This seems like wishful thinking on your parts. You may be right, but I don't think an emphatic statement like "football will never" is appropriate given the complexity and unpredictability of cultural changes.

In only a few decades we have seen basketball go from being largely a US sport to one that has huge fanbases in Europe, South America and even Asia. Baseball has been adopted by Japan and Carribean/Latin America. Russia (former USSR) and Latin-America are becoming much bigger in tennis (both in the # of players and viewership.) And soccer has even taken hold in the US, slowly. With the shrinking of the world due to increased information exchange (internet etc.) I would not be surprised at all if American Football gains popularity in other markets. Already the NFL is playing games regularly in England and Mexico City. Baby steps, granted, but that is how this stuff usually happens. You may be right that American Football will never catch on in the rest of the world (partly due to the restrictions of the game that make it hard for poverty-stricken populations to pick it up on the fly: namely, alot of equipment), but I don't think anything in the trends of sportsviewership growth suggests that yours is a slam-dunk hypothesis (sorry to mix metaphors.)

Ocean 07-09-2010 05:51 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 169015)
This seems like wishful thinking on your parts. You may be right, but I don't think an emphatic statement like "football will never" is appropriate given the complexity and unpredictability of cultural changes.

In only a few decades we have seen basketball go from being largely a US sport to one that has huge fanbases in Europe, South America and even Asia. Baseball has been adopted by Japan and Carribean/Latin America. Russia (former USSR) and Latin-America are becoming much bigger in tennis (both in the # of players and viewership.) And soccer has even taken hold in the US, slowly. With the shrinking of the world due to increased information exchange (internet etc.) I would not be surprised at all if American Football gains popularity in other markets. Already the NFL is playing games regularly in England and Mexico City. Baby steps, granted, but that is how this stuff usually happens. You may be right that American Football will never catch on in the rest of the world (partly due to the restrictions of the game that make it hard for poverty-stricken populations to pick it up on the fly: namely, alot of equipment), but I don't think anything in the trends of sportsviewership growth suggests that yours is a slam-dunk hypothesis (sorry to mix metaphors.)

Perhaps you're trying to address Florian's comment. In terms of mine, you're missing my point. I just deeply dislike American Football as a sport. I can't predict what the rest of the world will do, but I don't look forward to popularizing it globally.

uncle ebeneezer 07-09-2010 06:16 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Yes, I meant to address Florian's hypothesis. I know how you feel. Though I don't feel that way about football, there are other American cultural exports that I'm unenthusiastic about.

themightypuck 07-09-2010 06:21 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I do love how pretty much every soccer game is done in 2 hours. You can't beat that. Baseball are you listening?

themightypuck 07-09-2010 06:25 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I was always curious what sport they played on the playing fields of Eton?

uncle ebeneezer 07-09-2010 07:00 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Lacrosse??

Ocean 07-09-2010 07:47 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I tried to listen to the rest of this diavlog. But I think I'll give up. It isn't about soccer and if I had to say, it would be difficult to figure out what it is about. It seems that the diavloggers ruin the discussion by trying to give too much meaning to something that perhaps isn't as deep as they hint it to be.

Of course sports can both unite and divide. It isn't either-or. Yes, indeed making soccer popular in the U.S. would mean to become a little more part of the international community and a little less "exceptional". But if there's going to be a discussion about what that means, there has to be an acceptance that being truly exceptional would involve participating in global sports and win. Inventing its own sports so that there is no real outside competition, isn't really exceptionalism but self- delusion.

The U.S. seems to be clear about that at the Olympics level, but when it comes to these other competitions, it engages in a different dynamic.

And just to end, I didn't appreciate quite a number of comments made by Eve. She would do better using less snark and putting more substance behind her words. Take away the seemingly "cool" attitude and what is left?

rfrobison 07-09-2010 08:07 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
I remember reading a quip from George Will (that socialist!) about (American) football. It was something along the lines of:

"Football combines two of Americans' worst tendencies into a single sport: violence and committee meetings."

I say this with a wink, as I am a moderate fan of both footballs.

uncle ebeneezer 07-10-2010 03:14 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
The great thing about opinions and politics is that I can't stand George Will, but I still had to chuckle at that line. And I love football!

Florian 07-10-2010 06:28 AM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 169015)
This seems like wishful thinking on your parts. You may be right, but I don't think an emphatic statement like "football will never" is appropriate given the complexity and unpredictability of cultural changes.

I share Ocean's wishful thinking. I think you are indulging wishful thinking too, at least as regards Europe. Several attempts have been made to interest European publics in American football---especially the Brits whose cultural affinities with Americans are real but superficial. They have all been dismal failures. A game that combines brute force, arcane strategies and an undemocratic
star system, doesn't appeal to the "socialist masses" of Europe. Soccer has always been the game of the people and for the people.

By the way, neither tennis nor golf are American sports. They both developed first in Europe.

bjkeefe 07-10-2010 12:45 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer (Post 169072)
The great thing about opinions and politics is that I can't stand George Will, but I still had to chuckle at that line.

Agreed. That was pretty good.

Kandigol 07-10-2010 02:47 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
To all you soccer-agnosts and unawares here at Bloggingheads: just be glad you do not live in Europe. Over here, everything is soccer. All radio and television is devoted to one thing only: soccer. This is usually the case every Monday, the day after the weekends matches, but right now, it has been going down for over a month. Each and every second of the day.

I really enjoy Bryan and Eve talking soccer, and support them in their determination to take this seriously. But it is a bit disconcerting, it's like them stepping out of their historic roles as Americans.

To know is to love, American comrades. If you knew more, about the sport, the traditions, the rivalries, the pain and sudden triumphs, the superstars and how most of them they got their butts thoroughly kicked, it would be far more enjoyable for the untrained North-American eye. Ghana going out was the stuff of opera. Holland-Spain is a beauty, whoever wins. And the tournament is definitely not socialist. On the contrary, Fifa is a profit making machine. This is a multi-million dollar business.

themightypuck 07-10-2010 04:09 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
American sports are far more socialist on the business side than soccer. The NFL is the most socialist of all sports with a draft, a salary cap, wage controls, transfer payments and the like.

nikkibong 07-10-2010 04:19 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by themightypuck (Post 169110)
American sports are far more socialist on the business side than soccer. The NFL is the most socialist of all sports with a draft, a salary cap, wage controls, transfer payments and the like.

Correct. Isn't it the European soccer leagues where players are "bought" outright?

Lyle 07-10-2010 04:56 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Yep. The English Premier League is almost pure capitalism (they do have restrictions on when they can purchase players). It's wonderful in a lot of ways. Anyone can just barge right in, buy a club, purchase a team, and then start collecting trophies. Chelsea is a good example, with their Russian oligarch owner. Manchester City is the most current example and now the wealthiest, per their UAE owner's investment.

Professional baseball is the closest American sport to the professional football leagues of Europe... in baseball if you have the money you can buy the players, but you do have to pay a luxury tax if you spend over a certain amount in wages (or however it is setup exactly). And the taxes paid are shared with all the small-market teams. So at least in baseball, the wealthy can spend their way to the top if they so choose.

The Germany league has 'socialized' their Bundesliga a bit more than some others though. They have financial rules in place, like teams can't carry any debt, and private, non-club ownership can't make up more than 50% of the ownership.

uncle ebeneezer 07-10-2010 05:55 PM

Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)
 
Florian, to clarify, I don't really give a damn either way. If soccer never becomes an American obsession, or football never gets beyond the US, no biggie. I still like them both and appreciate both of them. I think analysis of why certain populations like one and not the other are about as fruitful as discussing why some people like one food and others like others. My guess is that more than anything, people like whichever sport they had the most exposure to. Much like the fact that our taste in food and our religious beliefs are VERY highly correlated to those of our parents and peers. As far as tennis and golf go, true both were started in Europe but they have sinced thrived both in participation and viewership due to their spread to the US. And our now gaining footholds in Asia and Latin America as well. Which just goes to show that these things can be exported though it's hardly a guarantee.


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