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    So, the MLS title game was today. Not so coincidentally the only football competition is….the Army Navy game.

    Nevermind that even the NFL takes today off to give this game the national spotlight.

    Apparently soccer knows where it’s bread is buttered and shows no such restraint.

    I have always suspected that part of the appeal of soccer was the idea that “the whole world likes it, we should too” argument. And I think one of the main reasons that soccer’s popularity in the US has paled to the rest of the world is because of the great game of football.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this game is scheduled during this time.

    Can’t give guys who play a game truly because they love it the sole spotlight. Well, as it has been the last couple of years the Army Navy game was incredible.

    I think soccer would do better if they didn’t have to toot its horn and allowed it to grow organically.

    Personally, I enjoy the heck out of the world cup and I have seen Real Madrid and Bayern Munich play in Madrid – it w as lots of fun, but it pales to college football.


    I went to countless games from the time my son was 5 through high school. Good Lord willing, I won’t have to go to another one until a grand kid comes along.


    I mean this is no knock on those who love futbol and play it, but it’s been my experience that in the South, soccer isn’t played by the best athletes.

    Aside from the transplant and Hispanic population, it’s a game still largely played by mamas boys who don’t won’t junior to get hit or sweat alongside his darker neighbors.

    With that said, I hope should mine want to play, he kicks the chit out of the sissies.


    Agrt whiteshoes.

    I think that’s a huge part of the appeal Ironically, it’s a hit amongst those who claim to be the most open-minded.


    Lacrosse is the new futbol. At least the natives played it


    Lacrosse is the new futbol.

    Lacrosse !!!

    And in 10 yrs or so…
    it wlll be the old football too…

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    I don’t get the connection. There were numerous sporting events held today – NCAA M/W bball, NBA, NHL, golf… why single out MLS? If the NFL does schedule Saturday games it’s typically late in the year, games 15 and 16, so they don’t conflict with Army/Navy anyway. I honestly don’t think there’s a lot of overlap in people interested in Army/Navy and MLS.


    Soccer sucks.

    It’s a nice game for kids to get to learn team skills with other kids (maybe) but from a bystander’s standpoint, the scoring is ridiculously low (we all love to see a score), and, truthfully, the game is molasses slow.

    If we have to go international, give me rugby versus soccer.

    Ice took soccer to a much higher viability.


    “If soccer was an American drink, it would be Diet Pepsi”-Lewis Grizzard



    Maybe you don’t like futbol because you can’t run. I like women’s futbol. They are vicious!


    Swift as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel, no Diet Pepsi if you please.



    “If soccer was an American drink, it would be Diet Pepsi”-Lewis Grizzard


    I was thinking maybe more like Tab.


    I don’t mind futbol but it is not my first choice.


    I enjoyed playing it far more than I enjoyed playing American football. I don’t particularly enjoy watching it outside of national play, much like I don’t like watching almost all of the Olympic sports outside of the Olympics.

    I don’t like that our national team is a joke. It’s getting our 4th tier athletes behind American football, basketball, baseball. It’s also getting lower level training worse than those sports and also worse than hockey and the Olympic sports. American youth soccer is a joke compared to countries that take the game more seriously, and until that changes, American soccer isn’t going to improve.

    It’s all about the money. When eyeballs get on TV, TV dollars will go up. That will pump more money into the sport and draw better athletes. With more money there will be better coaching and better youth programs. So, with that in mind, I’m perfectly fine with MLS being forced into the national spotlight.

    It might not be popular here, but another sport in the US that is that way is auto-racing. Our professional circuits are inferior, and we don’t develop top level drivers. For a country that prides itself on 100 years of automotive innovation, we’re way behind on this one as well.


    Yea Rye – I played it as well. And as much as anything, that reinforced my belief that there was a toughness lacked in the average American soccer player.

    I think the game is classically European – risk averse, resistant to any kind of change (heaven forbid you stop the clock when there’s an injury or stoppage of play)…the flopping.

    You see, I don’t want America to be in great in soccer. The main reason that the push to be great in soccer is the “everyone else is doing it!” crowd.

    I do see why it’s a popular game for participants. The action is more constant than baseball, the rules are easy to understand, and you get a good cardio workout. But from a spectator sport perspective – like auto racing – it isn’t as good as other sports.


    In the US… Soccer led the way for the rapid growth rates — read that: chasing the BigBucks — of both local gov’t Recreation Depts and pay-to-pay leagues for grades 1 – 12… much, I’m sure, to the detriment, of millions of kids, esp. boys…

    How many kids had bad experiences when their 1st grade team went 1-11 when playing teams with better coaches and 2nd graders and refused to come out again the next year. Hey Mom! Hey Dad! I’m talking to you….

    Moms & Dads everywhere bought into year round, drop ’em off and pick /em up, leagues choosing to pay for convenience, rather than teach and supervise their kids and their friends…

    Years ago… John Fuqua, the lawnmower king from Danville whose name is on the B-school at Duke, wrote a thought piece… about ‘YardBall’…

    What he said was simply this…

    The real lessons learned playing football and baseball in the yard or street as a young kid were far more important than catching, passing, tackling, hitting and fielding.

    In order to play, kids had to learn how to
    1. Organize — schedule the game, agree on the local rules, handle logistics — who’s got the ball, who’s got the bat, etc, etc, etc…
    2. Recruit — round up enough kids to get up a good game…
    3. Get along with enough of ’em to kept ’em coming back…
    4. Play all the positions — both offense and defense — decently — re #2 & 3…
    5. Play successfully with younger and older kids with different physical and talent levels — re #2 & 3…
    6. Clean up your own mess after the game…
    7. Fess up when you F’d up and broke a window or trampeled a freshly planted dogwood…

    In addition, in YardBall… there was no scoreboard, no box score, no champions, no participation trophies… everybody was a winner, at least in his own mind…

    And the sport changed every season… which led to the development of multiple skills and more healthy uniform body / muscle development…

    Parents pretty much left the kids alone, to work out their differences, and no parent was thinking about the big bucks awaiting their future Hall of Fame kid…. Homework always came first, at least in my neighborhood….

    By replacing YardBall — government and business all across the country have succeeded in helping millions of kids over the last 30 years graduate from High School without being able to do consistently 1 thru 7 above.

    Soccer — with a field way too big field for little kids to run hard for 30 or more minutes and a ball too heavy for little legs — was not the villain, just the villain’s unwitting accomplice.

    Look around your or your grandkids’ neighborhood and Think about that….


    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    The youth league / traveling team / AAU movement and model is just terrible. I know so many parents who are spending thousands a year on youth sports, but who aren’t putting any money away for their kids for college. I ask them why they’re spending so much on youth sports, and they say that they think their kid might get a college scholarship. I ask them what happens if their kid gets a partial scholarship to a small D3 school halfway across the country, versus nothing to a good state school they’re admitted to, or the opportunity to go some place really good like an Ivy, Stanford, etc.. They don’t have an answer. It baffles the mind. We have some really messed up priorities in this country.

    I don’t think that model started with soccer. I think it probably started with baseball and soccer just latched on to it. The Little League World Series has been around since 1947. “Traveling” youth soccer models popped up in the mid-80s. My parents declined that fleecing, and I have no regrets that they did. Rec soccer, basketball, baseball, etc. was fine. I was never going to make a career out of a sport.


    Bill and Rye – I tend to agree.

    I was a latch key kid of the 80s. My Mom and Dad split up for good when I was in 5th grade (even before then, he wasn’t around much) – but by that time, I had my routine established…in August, we’d start playing pick-up football. We played tackle – first downs were 2 completions or a reasonable amount of yardage, 3 Mississippi rush, with 1 blitz per set of downs.
    When it got colder, we had pick-up basketball at the local Baptist Church – and played until school ended.

    This is when I mention that during this time, starting in the fall and the spring, I had soccer practice. In the winter, there was Y League basketball. It was usually 1 day a week and an hour. Games were on Saturdays – but our true passion – even though almost all kids played soccer – was the basketball and/or football games we played every afternoon until school ended.

    My son doesn’t have that. These days kids don’t roam the neighborhoods. It’s little wonder that kids are gender confused these days. We medicate our boys so they don’t act up. We institutionalize them in class rooms – and kids have little freedom. Heck, I walked to school when I was in kindergarten and 1st grade.

    And Rye with a name like “Ryebread” you really need to be weighing in on the food thread!


    These days kids don’t roam the neighborhoods.

    Ya’ll may believe this or not…

    Back in the day, growing up in what was then called “The Sock Capital of the World”…

    The summer I was 12yrs old, two weeks before school started… I went to the man who was operating my Granddaddy’s ‘bacca farm and asked if I could “go to field?”. I’d been hanging ’round the barn as the ‘hook-up’ boy for a couple summers, getting a cold drink and nabs or peanuts twice a day.

    He smiled and said “Billy… I think you might be big enough to do it…”.

    Two weeks — tough as f’ing nails — wet in the mornings, hot in the afternoons, third pullings, not all the way bent over, not standing up straight — stayed a good 100ft behind the slide the whole time, but I didn’t quit. That tender back ached in bed at night, while I dreamed of pulling ‘bacca… $5 a day = $60 in 1967 dollars.

    When I got back to The Sock Capital of the World… my mom took me to buy a new ‘Spider Bike’for $20 to replace my old Western Flyer, which was no longer cool…. the rest I opened a savings account with….

    Anyway… we’re supposed to be talking ’bout roaming the neighborhood…
    Everybody had spider bikes and we rode them places our parents didn’t know about…

    On the East side of The Sock Capital of the World, everything was new thanks to the Carolina Missile Factory where they built guidance systems for the Missiles to kill Russians…

    The main storm sewers were all concrete and 6′ tall by 8′ wide and we could UNDERGROUND for miles, including to the big shopping center, we we’d park our bikes and hang out…

    I bought my first bike lock when I moved into Alexander as a freshman…
    By then, I had mastered the art of pulling ‘bacca and had made $65 a week all summer on Granddaddy’s farm… Put most all of that in the same saving account. I did buy a new bike, since I wasn’t taking a car to college.

    My new 10 speed was stolen from the bike rake near the tunnel to Harrelson and DH Hill before Thanksgiving…

    I shoulda took the Spider Bike to State…
    I’m pretty sure I still got that bike somewhere in the Museum….

    Thanks for memory – Chop!

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    chop: In high school, I had more passion about the pick up basketball games played at the Y every night (after whatever practice for school sport ended, and my homework was done) than I did about the actual sport I was playing for the school or another league. I think what is being called out is the perceived importance and interest of things that people chose to do and take part in creating, versus more structured events that they just show up for.

    Those things are true for us as adults as well. I bet many are more passionate about Wolfpack sports than they are about their jobs……….


    BoTB – Thanks – and thanks for sharing your yarn…sounds like you earned your time at the beach.

    And, boy, gonna sound like the old foagie now, but that’s another thing that has changed is the expectation of work. I think the time when one was expected to work is getting older and older. When he was around, my Dad would give me the stink eye when I was 10 or 11 or so for not working (because he worked in some of those ‘bacca fields in the summer.) Of course, you couldn’t really do that in the suburbia that I grew up in (Greensboro/ Raleigh). But I did go to door to door and find some lawns to mow until I found my first official part-time job at the local Kerr Drugs when child labor law allowed me to work. That gave me ample walking around $$.

    Rye – it’s not just the structure. It was the expectation to entertain oneself. You see like you’re about my age. But from the 70s-80s – a lot of things happened to the American family that forever changed our society. Kids started showing up on milk cartons, divorce, working Moms, no parents around, and well, we were the last generation of children with real freedom.


    I cannot remember when anyone played soccer in high school back in 63 when I graduated. Maybe I would have played cause I was undersized for football at 150, but was fast and quick. Nellie Cooper introduced me to the sport in PE my freshman year at State and soccer was a really fun game to play. 3 years or so later when I was in the Army, I got to put my rusty skills to test with some of our Hungarian language instructors one afternoon..Had 2 assists and we won 3-2.

    But I cannot stand to watch the game!

    "Whomp 'em, Up, Side the Head"!


    Yardball…..roaming the neighborhood…..good things and they are gone.

    The encouragement of children away from the endless feminine desire to structure every movement of life would be a good thing.



    chop: I suspect that we are of similar age. I too was expected to entertain myself as a kid. If I got near my parents and wasn’t doing something perceived as productive, they’d just give me some work to do.

    Like you, I find soccer very fun to play. I don’t really enjoy watching it that much outside of national play. I feel that way about a lot of sports (racquetball, golf, table tennis, badmitten, etc.). There are sports that I feel the other way about where I like watching and don’t like playing (football, tennis, etc.).


    I was 10 the first time I was kind of introduced to futball. A kid whose family was in the military I think said soccer was the greatest game ever and wanted to teach us to play. We were in the process of deciding between a tackle football game or basketball and couldn’t decide.

    A ball was rolled out so somebody tried to see how it would bounce and asked if we were going to play volley ball. No it was soccer and then a description was given of what off sides was and what a goalie could do and … we could not find a suitable goal area so we decided to play a bit of kill the man with the football known a bit more colloquially as smear the queer, can you say that any more, I know back then we did not know any other definition than the one that meant unusual or peculiar? Anyway the soccer pro declined the polite invite extended to join in or to paly basketball with us afterwards and that was that.

    That was the same year I learned how to prime bacca. I remember that I was as wet that morning when we primed those sand lugs as I was in the afternoon. At the end of the first row I was soaked with dew at the end of the last row that afternoon it was sweat. That first week I primed bacca all night long too.

    The guy used a mule to haul his trucks and I learned to hate that mule cause it only stopped at the end of each row. The next year I was told my legs were long enough to hang a stick barn so I split my time between the two. That year for him it was load up all of the trucks with bacca then go to the barn and hang it. Same crew for both jobs but others I worked for had two separate crews.

    I thought how strange to walk out of that barn and it actually feel slightly cooler in the 98 degree in the shade temps. RC cola and a moon pie for breaks and noon meals in the yard provided by the missus. Was glad to break that stalk off from the last field and stick it up like a flag in that last truck after we stripped that last plant.

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