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  #1  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:42 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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  #2  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:47 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:59 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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.)
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:14 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
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!
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:17 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition

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Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
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.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:12 AM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:13 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2010, 01:09 AM
BeachFrontView BeachFrontView is offline
 
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Default 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."
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2010, 01:49 AM
ohreally ohreally is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2010, 02:36 AM
GhaleonQ GhaleonQ is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2010, 02:37 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2010, 09:10 AM
Whatfur
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
... 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.

Last edited by Whatfur; 07-09-2010 at 11:41 AM..
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2010, 05:59 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #14  
Old 07-09-2010, 11:54 AM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian View Post
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.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2010, 12:24 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
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.”.
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  #16  
Old 07-09-2010, 02:15 PM
Whatfur
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
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".
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  #17  
Old 07-09-2010, 04:49 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
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.
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2010, 09:19 AM
liberrocky liberrocky is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #19  
Old 07-09-2010, 11:35 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #20  
Old 07-09-2010, 11:41 AM
Whatfur
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
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.
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  #21  
Old 07-09-2010, 03:16 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
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.
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  #22  
Old 07-09-2010, 04:16 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
American football will never interest anyone outside the US.
And I will be eternally grateful for that.
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  #23  
Old 07-09-2010, 05:06 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default 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.)

Last edited by uncle ebeneezer; 07-09-2010 at 05:21 PM.. Reason: change word to clarify
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  #24  
Old 07-09-2010, 05:51 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
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.
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  #25  
Old 07-09-2010, 06:16 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #26  
Old 07-09-2010, 06:21 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default 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?
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  #27  
Old 07-10-2010, 06:28 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
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.

Last edited by Florian; 07-10-2010 at 06:31 AM..
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  #28  
Old 07-10-2010, 05:55 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default 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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  #29  
Old 07-10-2010, 06:13 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
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.
Uncle, I agree with the first part of your post about what people like being highly dependent on what they grew up enjoying, or understanding.

But there is something to be said for the latter part of your post. I really don't know exactly what you mean. I grew up in South America, and I knew people who played golf and tennis in international tournaments. And I doubt these sports weren't known or played before then. Both golf and tennis are played here by a relatively small percentage of people. What do you mean by saying that these sports are gaining footholds in Latin America and other places thanks to the U.S.?
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  #30  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:10 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Hey Ocean, I just meant that the pool of world contenders is getting increasingly diverse for both. Tennis is being dominated on the women's side by Russians and the Williams sisters, but there's an increasing number of Asian women getting into the mix as well. On the men's side, aside from Nadal and Federer's dominance we are seeing more contenders from Latin America (Del Potro), and Russia/Eastern Europe. I don't have statistics at hand but I believe the ratings have also increased in these areas (except for Asia which I still don't think has become tennis-crazy ratings wise.) Latin America is a strained example I suppose because there have been some significant players like Sabatini, historically, but still as Florian pointed out the game came from Europe, so any increase in viewing and playing outside of Europe (America, South America) shows that sports from one culture can catch on in others given the right set of circumstances and luck. As for golf, the leader boards of the majors are now frequently showing representation from Korean and Japanese players, where that was not as much the case in previous decades. And as much as golf is European by root, I would be surprised if any country on earth plays/watches as much golf as the US. Part of this is obviously due to weather and population differences (we have more areas with weather conducive to golf courses, and a shitload of people.) So while golf originated from Europe, it seems to me that it really caught on in the US to the point where the all-time list of greats features a disproportionately high # of Americans (Tiger, Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson etc.) For a sport that may have originated in "socialist Europe" it sure has been embraced by capitalist Americans.

Anyways, I don't want to belabor this. My original point was that I think Florian's (and many sportswriter's) theories on cultural implications and the role they play in who likes which sports, are probably over-thinking the reality of the fickleness of human taste and trying to attribute deeper meanings that really aren't there. And that is why I think statements like "football will never..." are not very grounded in data and I wouldn't bet on their predictive power. And consequently, pointing out football's "brute force", "arcane strategy" and "undemocratic star system" seem more like attempts at reinforcing the illusion of one culture's (Europe) supposed superiority, rather than any real insight into what really makes a sport catch on with one population and not another.
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  #31  
Old 07-10-2010, 07:47 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Anyways, I don't want to belabor this. My original point was that I think Florian's (and many sportswriter's) theories on cultural implications and the role they play in who likes which sports, are probably over-thinking the reality of the fickleness of human taste and trying to attribute deeper meanings that really aren't there.
I most certainly agree that the diavloggers here seemed to try to extract more meaning than is merited, at least IMHO.

Quote:
And that is why I think statements like "football will never..." are not very grounded in data and I wouldn't bet on their predictive power. And consequently, pointing out football's "brute force", "arcane strategy" and "undemocratic star system" seem more like attempts at reinforcing the illusion of one culture's (Europe) supposed superiority, rather than any real insight into what really makes a sport catch on with one population and not another.
I agree that it would be hard to predict any of that Rational choice isn't to be expected when it comes to activities such as sports which are driven by more primitive aspects of our psyche (competition, tribalism).

Thank you for expanding on golf and tennis from an international perspective. I think that what you're describing is an effect of globalization and as such it works in various ways. Your initial comment seemed to imply unidirectional influence from the U.S. to the rest of the world, but this last one implies that other countries are starting to excel in those areas. Globalization has some equalizing effects and is multidirectional. Holding on to traditional patterns could be quite problematic and a source of internal conflict. I hope it gets worked out well. In my opinion there is more to gain by accepting change, including accepting elements of culture that come from other parts of the globe.
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  #32  
Old 07-10-2010, 10:05 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Ocean, yeah I must have phrased it poorly. I meant to stress that the globalization you mention means that cultural elements can now flow relatively easily between borders in either direction. And while there are still some limitations to which past-times will be taken up by which populations (I wouldn't guess that Sub Saharan African nations are going to pick up something like equestrian, which generally only the affluent can afford, or ice-hockey, due to the local environment making it very expensive to build/maintain an ice rink) the flattening of the world in the Tom Friedman sense means that cultures can adopt things that they like from other cultures nowadays, more easily than ever. Years ago a person in South America/Asia etc. couldn't watch something that was only broadcast in the US (and vice versa.) Nowadays, almost anywhere in the world an interested fan can subscribe to the tennis channel or english league soccer, or stream youtube videos of Jai Alai, or Takraw, or Brazillian jazz or whatever thing catches their fancy.

As far as predicting what will catch on, I see that as being a fool's errand. I never would have believed that Nascar would have grown SO popular during my lifetime, or ultimate fighting, or poker tournaments, eating competitions etc., etc. And those examples merely show how hard it is for me to predict the tastes of the culture that I am MOST familiar with. Which is why any sort of "the people of X will never embrace Y" statements seem like conjecture at best.
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  #33  
Old 07-10-2010, 10:16 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Yes, I think we tend to agree about the general idea of globalization and about the unpredictability of the blend of cultural elements that we may see. On the bright side, I would point out how lucky we are to be able to witness this changes that occur so rapidly right before our eyes. Exciting times.
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  #34  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:07 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Anyways, I don't want to belabor this. My original point was that I think Florian's (and many sportswriter's) theories on cultural implications and the role they play in who likes which sports, are probably over-thinking the reality of the fickleness of human taste and trying to attribute deeper meanings that really aren't there. And that is why I think statements like "football will never..." are not very grounded in data and I wouldn't bet on their predictive power. And consequently, pointing out football's "brute force", "arcane strategy" and "undemocratic star system" seem more like attempts at reinforcing the illusion of one culture's (Europe) supposed superiority, rather than any real insight into what really makes a sport catch on with one population and not another.
My observation about American football, a sport which I find distasteful (....de gustibus non disputandum est) was only meant to highlight why I think it will never catch on in Europe. It had nothing to do with the superiority of one culture to another, just the superiority of one game to another! Not that I give a damn either.
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  #35  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:43 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Contending that Europeans would only be fans of the "superior" sport, is in and of itself a claim of cultural superiority.

Claiming that there are such things as "superior" sports is pretty silly to begin with. While you're at it why don't you tell us which colors are better than others.
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  #36  
Old 07-11-2010, 03:59 AM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Contending that Europeans would only be fans of the "superior" sport, is in and of itself a claim of cultural superiority.

Claiming that there are such things as "superior" sports is pretty silly to begin with. While you're at it why don't you tell us which colors are better than others.
As I said, de gustibus..... So I already conceded your point that sports are like tastes and colors and no one should argue about them. But people will argue about them anyway because sports share certain characteristics and therefore invite comparison. Can I help it if Europeans consider their "football" superior?

In two important respects, I think they (we) are right--but only from the point of view of someone who finds the whole cult of sports pretty stupid: It is a more democratic game---all the players are equal; and it relies more on agility, grace and quick thinking.

Mais vive la différence!
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  #37  
Old 07-11-2010, 02:38 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

Good points Florian. I would concede that soccer is more democratic (although there is still stratification in soccer among positions based on who typically scores ie- the strikers/mid-fielders get the glory and the keeper often gets the blame, but these seem inevitable fact of life for any sport with positions that have different responsibilities.) But as far as agility, grace and quick-thinking, I would not go so far. Aside from the lineman grunts whose job is more-or less to push the pile in one direction or the other (brute force), every other position on the American football field: quarterback, receivers, running backs, safeties, cornerbacks etc. have to use just as much agility, grace and quick-thinking (in addition to brute strength) in a game that unfolds at break-neck speed. But as you say, to each their own.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:51 PM
look look is offline
 
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Default Re: Vuvuzela-Blowing Edition (Bryan Curtis & Eve Fairbanks)

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Originally Posted by uncle ebeneezer View Post
Good points Florian. I would concede that soccer is more democratic (although there is still stratification in soccer among positions based on who typically scores ie- the strikers/mid-fielders get the glory and the keeper often gets the blame, but these seem inevitable fact of life for any sport with positions that have different responsibilities.) But as far as agility, grace and quick-thinking, I would not go so far. Aside from the lineman grunts whose job is more-or less to push the pile in one direction or the other (brute force), every other position on the American football field: quarterback, receivers, running backs, safeties, cornerbacks etc. have to use just as much agility, grace and quick-thinking (in addition to brute strength) in a game that unfolds at break-neck speed.But as you say, to each their own.
Absolutely. It's a beautiful game.
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  #39  
Old 07-09-2010, 08:07 PM
rfrobison rfrobison is offline
 
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Default 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.
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  #40  
Old 07-10-2010, 03:14 AM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default 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!
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