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Surprise secret to soccer appeal
BBC News ^ | January 4, 2006 | BBC News

Posted on 01/04/2006 3:23:20 PM PST by Right Wing Assault

American football, basketball and baseball have millions of followers, but they can't match soccer for sheer excitement, says a team of scientists.

The reason is its element of surprise, claim researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, US.

Football is more likely to produce an unexpected result, such as a "giant killer" win in the FA Cup.

Scientists analysed results from more than 300,000 games played over the past century.

They reviewed five sports: ice hockey, football, baseball and basketball in the US, and English football.

The team decided to make unpredictability - how often a leading team is overcome by an opponent with a worse record - the best measure of how exciting a league is.

"If there are no upsets, then every game is predictable and hence boring," co-author Eli Ben-Naim told New Scientist magazine.

The results of the analysis showed that the "upset frequency" was highest for soccer, followed by baseball, hockey, and basketball. American football came last on the list, and so was labelled the least exciting sport.

But there was a twist in the tail.

When the scientists looked only at data from the past 10 years, English Premiership football and baseball swapped places.

One interpretation of the finding might be that soccer has become more predictable in recent years.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: football; soccer; sports
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Unredictability of outcome makes a sport exciting? Coin flipping should be the top rated sport in that case.
1 posted on 01/04/2006 3:23:22 PM PST by Right Wing Assault
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To: Right Wing Assault
American football, basketball and baseball have millions of followers, but they can't match soccer for sheer excitement, says a team of scientists.

Oh yeah. Gotta love those RIVETING 0-0 games where the ball get's bounced around midfield for 90+ minutes..../sarcasm
2 posted on 01/04/2006 3:25:00 PM PST by MikefromOhio (The department of redundancy department is ringing bells to be rung)
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To: Right Wing Assault

There is no sport in the world more exciting than Crimson Tide football.


3 posted on 01/04/2006 3:28:20 PM PST by AzaleaCity5691 (The enemy lies in the heart of Gadsden)
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To: Right Wing Assault

I hope this research wasn't government financed.


4 posted on 01/04/2006 3:29:34 PM PST by RippleFire ("It's a joke, son!")
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer - dullest sport ever? Unless you are 12 and playing it, it absolutely stinks. These must be the same "scientists" that insist the Kyoto Protocol is brilliant.


5 posted on 01/04/2006 3:29:46 PM PST by mallardx
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To: AzaleaCity5691

yes there is.

Ohio State football

:)

and, I can't resist, more dominant right now too....


6 posted on 01/04/2006 3:32:31 PM PST by MikefromOhio (The department of redundancy department is ringing bells to be rung)
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To: Right Wing Assault
researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, US.

This is scary if these are the guys doing our weapons research. Anyway, why are they studying sports excitement? Can't we find something a bit more useful for them to do?

7 posted on 01/04/2006 3:33:01 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: AzaleaCity5691

Exciting- I still wonder how Bobby Bowden hasn't died of a heart attack yet.


8 posted on 01/04/2006 3:34:02 PM PST by Tyche (A half truth is a whole lie)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer is gay.


9 posted on 01/04/2006 3:34:34 PM PST by MARKUSPRIME
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To: Right Wing Assault

What's to understand? If you like soccer, you are Latino, European, or gay.


10 posted on 01/04/2006 3:34:45 PM PST by Xenalyte (Can you count, suckas? I say the future is ours . . . if you can count.)
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To: mallardx

Ditto that!!!


11 posted on 01/04/2006 3:35:15 PM PST by boomop1
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To: sfsoldier

ping


12 posted on 01/04/2006 3:36:40 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day (Win the war. Confirm the judges. Cut the taxes. Control the spending. Secure the border.)
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I can't believe that they are wasting resources for this at LANL, even IF the funding came from a non-taxpayer source.

I almost would have thought this was just some lame satire...

Wrote to my friend who works at LANL; Asked her what the heck they were doing.


13 posted on 01/04/2006 3:37:18 PM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer is a game for people who are skilled enough to play sports.

Why do you think they have soccer leagues for 5 year old girls?


14 posted on 01/04/2006 3:37:18 PM PST by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer ia a socialist game. You gotta play with both hands behind your back.


15 posted on 01/04/2006 3:37:19 PM PST by Lexington Green (JOURNALIST - What a propagandist calls himself.)
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To: Stu Cohen

Make that AREN'T skilled enough.

1-0 final score. Woo-hoo.


16 posted on 01/04/2006 3:37:41 PM PST by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: AzaleaCity5691
There is no sport in the world more exciting than Crimson Tide football.

You are crazy. There is nothing more exciting than Arkansas Razorback football. You have no idea if you are going to lose 77-0 or win 3-0.
17 posted on 01/04/2006 3:42:39 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: Right Wing Assault

First of all I love football but Lacrosse comes a close second for me......

signed,
proud lacrosse mom


18 posted on 01/04/2006 3:43:09 PM PST by Kimmers
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To: Stu Cohen

They need to make that goal about twice as wide and give different points for shots from different distances. I'm not a soccer fan, so all the plays look the same to me. I love real football because of its variety.


19 posted on 01/04/2006 3:44:33 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Arkinsaw

I'll tell you this. I'm willing to put money on two things.

Next season, Arkansas will have a better record than Tennessee, and more importantly, Arkansas will come out of this season with a better recruiting class than Tennessee.

I have waited so long for the fall of Fulmer and now that it's happening, well, let's just say I'm overjoyed.


20 posted on 01/04/2006 3:49:37 PM PST by AzaleaCity5691 (The enemy lies in the heart of Gadsden)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer - the sport for guys too small to make the football team.


21 posted on 01/04/2006 3:56:40 PM PST by opinionator
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To: Right Wing Assault

I have never understood the appeal of soccer. What a bore.
And I'm a former athlete adept in many sports.


22 posted on 01/04/2006 3:59:10 PM PST by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: Right Wing Assault
Image hosted by Photobucket.com bout the only thing MORE boring than sucker, is womens sucker...
23 posted on 01/04/2006 4:03:09 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer's unpredictability means that the better team is less likely to win than in other sports. In other words, soccer punishes the strong and lifts the downtrodden. What perfect social justice!


24 posted on 01/04/2006 4:09:54 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: Right Wing Assault
They need to make that goal about twice as wide and give different points for shots from different distances.

They need to give them machete's, and maybe a pistol here and there. Maybe then I would watch it.

Actually, I still wouldn't watch it.

Soccer is luck. Kick the s*%t out of the ball and hope it somehow makes it into the goal through all of the obstacles and the gay guy that can use his hands doesn't get there in time.

25 posted on 01/04/2006 4:12:01 PM PST by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: MikeinIraq

The only time that soccer is watchable is if it is your seven-year-old child's club games. For "exciting" sports, I'll take NFL/ NCAA football and NCAA basketball over World Cup soccer any day.


26 posted on 01/04/2006 4:13:07 PM PST by Accygirl
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To: Yardstick

If unpredictability makes sports more interesting, why don't we just put the players from the two teams in a hat and pick sides at random?


27 posted on 01/04/2006 4:13:24 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Yardstick
Soccer's unpredictability means that the better team is less likely to win than in other sports. In other words, soccer punishes the strong and lifts the downtrodden. What perfect social justice!

Why do you think there are soccer leagues for 5 year old girls?

It's a self-esteem sport.

"Oh look, my little Shitney kicked the ball!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Never mind that she kicked it out of bounds or to an opposing player ... EVERYONE in soccer gets to kick the ball in some random direction. And really, isn't that all that matters?

28 posted on 01/04/2006 4:14:06 PM PST by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen
They need to give them machete's

That would be a great game. Muslims would love it, too!

29 posted on 01/04/2006 4:14:52 PM PST by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Right Wing Assault
Be interesting to match $amounts gambled on games with that list. The results of the analysis showed that the "upset frequency" was highest for soccer,
30 posted on 01/04/2006 4:36:13 PM PST by DManA
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To: Right Wing Assault
These "analysts" could never understand the very detailed logistics involved in baseball, real football, and basketball. Not that there isn't some degree of logistics in soccer but I doubt that it rises to the level of a situation in baseball in which it's the bottom of the ninth inning, with the home team at bat with runners on first and third, one out, leading by one run. The visiting team has to take into account so many variables: who's at bat, can they get a double play? where do you post the outfielders? Etc.

Why anyone would want to go watch a bunch of men poke a ball around a field without the use of their arms (no other "sport" that I have ever witnessed takes away one's arms and hands in its execution) is far, far beyond my comprehension?

This joke of a sport has failed at least four times in the USA. Lack of interest.

I honestly believe that the reason that soccer is so popular worldwide is not because of its being an interesting game; it's because it doesn't require much in the way of equipmet. Consider its requirements, especially as opposed to those of baseball, with its multitude of baseballs, bats, batting helmets,gloves, catcher's equipment, fences surrounding the park, bases and home plate, a pitcher's mound that must be maintained to certain specs. It's the ideal sport for a third world country. Four goal posts, some netting, one soccer ball, and you're in the business.

31 posted on 01/04/2006 4:42:24 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Right Wing Assault

Soccer has all the excitement of a chess tournament


32 posted on 01/04/2006 4:44:52 PM PST by fso301
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To: Right Wing Assault
...but they can't match soccer for sheer excitement, says a team of scientists. The reason is its element of surprise...

Surprised that one side actually scored a goal.

Surprised that Australian Rules Football didn't get a looksee. Now there's excitement.

And more blood than any televised slugfest that turmed into a pHockey game.

33 posted on 01/04/2006 4:47:34 PM PST by woofer (No amount of planning will ever replace dumb luck.)
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To: fso301
Hey, I find chess tournaments far more exciting than soccer. Soccer is really boring.

In my neighborhood loads of kids, both girls and boys play, play soccer. When they grow up, however, the great majority of them have no interest in attending soccer matches.

34 posted on 01/04/2006 4:51:33 PM PST by Dante3
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To: OldPossum
Wrote that too quickly. Change this: but I doubt that it rises to the level of a situation in baseball in which it's the bottom of the ninth inning, with the home team at bat with runners on first and third, one out, leading by one run. The visiting team...TO......it's the top of the ninth inning, with the visiting team at bat with runners on first and third, one out, and the home team leading by one run. The home team...

The earlier scenario made no sense. If it was the bottom of the ninth inning and home team was ahead, they would have won the game.

35 posted on 01/04/2006 4:52:11 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Stu Cohen

Found on the Net a long time ago:

After watching my six year old son Justin's first two soccer games this spring I finally understand why
Europeans riot at soccer matches. For the same reason that inmates riot in prisons: out of sheer boredom.
There is no surer sign of decline of America's culture than the modern-day craze over this godawful
European sport. Drive past a park on a clear spring afternoon and your likely to witness a depressingly unpatriotic sight: the baseball diamond lies empty as crab grass grows in the infield,
while herds of healthy red-blooded American children dressed in preposterous looking polyester
uniforms run around aimlessly kicking a white and black ball nowhere and to no apparent end.

Soccer at any level--from six and under peewee leagues to the pros (I am forever amazed that there
are people who would actually pay money to watch a soccer game)--is about as scintillating as 90
minutes of Court TV. Soccer is somewhat reminiscent of ACC college basketball games in the
pre-shot-clock era when halftime scores were in the single digits: North Carolina 9, Virginia 7.
(What is it they used to say about Dean Smith? The only man who ever held Michael Jordan to less
than 20 points a game.)

Soccer is the least offensive-minded game ever invented. They might as well establish a slaughter
rule once a team gains a two goal advantage. Throw in the towel. No mas. To overcome such a
deficit is to ask the losing team to climb Mt. Everest.

During the second period of one game last year a Good Humor truck drove by the park and on
hearing the tinkling of the bells half our team instinctively awoke from their on-field slumber and
scrambled from the playing field in joyous pursuit. Finally a prize worth pursuing.

Meanwhile, on the field the game relentlessly continued. For more than five minutes our opponents
commanded the equivalent of a five-man power play advantage and they still couldn't score. Now I
know what it must have been like to have lived through the Hundred Years War. Soccer is the
furthest thing imaginable from instant gratification.

No other activity in life requires so much effort for so little reward. Ninety-nine point nine percent of
the action in a soccer game has virtually no bearing on the outcome of the game. Herein may lie the
explanation for why so many of my government-bureaucrat neighbors in the Virginia suburbs of
Washington, D.C. have a love affair with soccer.

In soccer every mother's child is above average. There's no shame in losing (no wonder the French
love this sport so much) and a tie is the likely outcome. No one's performance is better than anyone
else's and no child can be, God-forbid, judged. This egalitarian philosophy extends to the absurdity
of giving every kid a trophy at the end of the season. Even the kids that stunk up the place.

I am convinced that the ordeal of soccer teaches our kids all the wrong lessons in life. Soccer is the
Marxist concept of the labor theory of value applied to sports--which may explain why socialist
nations dominate in the World Cup. The purpose of a capitalist economy is to produce the maximum
output for theleast amount of exertion and work. Soccer produces huge volumes of work and effort
but no output.

What makes peewee soccer particularly insidious is that boys and girls play together. The left has
converted this sport into a giant social experiment imposed upon us by the geniuses that have put
women in combat in the military. No one seems to care much that co-ed sports is doing irreparable
harm to the psyche of America's little boys.

At this prepuberty state of life girls tower over the boys and typically have greater coordination. Last
year the Pele of my son's league was a kindergartner named Kate Lynn--Secretariat in pig tails.
During one game, Kate Lynn stampeded over Justin repeatedly, which, of course, did wonders for
his fledgling self-esteem. After the third knockdown, I quietly pulled him aside and advised:
"Remember that rule about never hitting a girl. Let's suspend that for he next 40 minutes." But he
never did because she was bigger than he was.

If the girls are bad, the moms are worse. They berate the referees. Taunt opposing players. Nag the
coach unmercifully to put their no-talent kid back in. One woman paced the sidelines all game in a
wild-eye frenzy screaming: "Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey..." My kingdom for a muzzle. Once the game
mercifully ended she smothered him with hugs while cooing: "Oh Jeffrey you are soooo good at
soccer." Take my word for it, Newt, the Republican party is much better off without these women.
If she's in, I'm out.

During the games, I usually stand mute on the sidelines reading the newspaper. My refusal to feign
interest is a source of great irritation to some of the more fanatical soccer moms. They now whisper
disapprovingly among themselves:

"Oh, that's Justin's dad. He has an attitude problem." They regard my cavalier attitude as a form of
child abuse. Next they'll be notifying the child-welfare league about me. So the issue of the day is
whether we Americans will take back our culture from the un-American soccer enthusiasts. We
need to begin to channel our kids energies into more productive activities: baseball, football, tennis,
MTV--even smoking would be an improvement.

Soccer is draining America of its top talent in the sports that really matter--like basketball. Charles
Barkley recently warned that within the next three Olympics the Europeans will be competitive with
the U.S. Dream Team. When Sweden beats the NBA stars in basketball, Americans will assuredly
awaken from their slumber. But by then it will be too late.


36 posted on 01/04/2006 4:59:43 PM PST by saurus ("giving money to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys" P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: MARKUSPRIME
Soccer is gay.

Nothing, and I mean nothing (apart from maybe the Highlander Games and kilts) is gayer than "lining up behind center" and "taking the snap" in American football. Sorry.

37 posted on 01/04/2006 5:02:54 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Right Wing Assault; SittinYonder

IN SOCCER
There Are No Timeouts
There Are No Helmets
No Shoulder Pads
No Commercial Breaks
No Halftime Extravaganza
No Cheerleaders
So If That's What You Need
Go Play Football you big wuss.


38 posted on 01/04/2006 5:11:47 PM PST by eyespysomething (This space intentionally left blank......oh crud)
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To: Right Wing Assault

The surprise secret is that testosterone levels are lowered precipitously by viewers. Many males at the event try to overcompensate by going on murderous rampages.


39 posted on 01/04/2006 5:14:19 PM PST by FreedomSurge
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To: 1rudeboy

In the mid-70s, TIME magazine had an article pointing out all the "homosexual references" in football.


40 posted on 01/04/2006 5:26:25 PM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: canuck_conservative

During the 90's, some lefty sociologist on the West Coast ruminated on the homoeroticism of NFL football. He compared the players on the field, and their "stances," to baboons displaying their genitals to their peers as a gesture of submission. What a hoot.


41 posted on 01/04/2006 5:32:48 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: MikeinIraq
Caution: Beware the false giant puffball, a.k.a. the poison goalpost fungus, common in grassy fields throughout much of the Earth.

False Giant Puffball (Poison Goalpost Fungus) Note the cracked surface about to erupt, ejecting enough spores to victimize up to 22 people at once!

This mushroom is so deadly, merely inhaling the spores rearranges your brain's neural synapses, making you race endlessly back and forth across a field, stopping occasionally to jump up and down and cheer or curse insanely, never resting until death from exhaustion ensues.

Poisoning is so virulent, relatives of the victim, especially the parents, have been known to succumb as well!

42 posted on 01/04/2006 5:36:40 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud member of the Free Republic Humility Club. We are twice as humble as you are.)
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To: 1rudeboy
Nothing, and I mean nothing (apart from maybe the Highlander Games and kilts) is gayer than "lining up behind center" and "taking the snap" in American football. Sorry.

You've obviously never seen a wrestling match.

Look, these are the sports:

Basketball
Baseball
Football (American)

Hockey (Even though Hockey is soccer on ice, I would call it a sport because people get their teeth knocked out and they beat the snot out of anyone who wrongs them. They are heterosexual soccer players who have the balls to slide around on ice)

Those are the only sports. Everything else is a game, past time, or hobby.

Except for soccer.

Soccer is a cry for help.

43 posted on 01/04/2006 5:42:50 PM PST by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: Stu Cohen

I bet you just love those tights American football players wear.


44 posted on 01/04/2006 5:45:06 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Right Wing Assault

Tighter ofssides enforcement over the last couple of decades has taken what little interest soccer could generate. Clearly these folks never actually watched a soccer game. I can't recall a legitimate breakaway goal since World Cup in Mexico City, 1986.


45 posted on 01/04/2006 6:52:43 PM PST by noblejones (Ben Stein for President, 2008.)
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To: saurus

The NBA players that end up on the US Olympic team are all prima dona's....who spend all their time showboating, and can't play on a team. That's why our basketball players will get beaten by a swedish TEAM at some point.


46 posted on 01/04/2006 8:42:30 PM PST by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: Right Wing Assault

Go Seahawks!!!!


47 posted on 01/04/2006 8:53:29 PM PST by Chewbacca (Not all men are fools. The smart ones are still bachelors.)
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To: Right Wing Assault
"not a soccer fan"

Just reduce the number of players from eleven to eight and throw out a lot of the goofy offsides rules. Soccer would then be interesting. Oh, and allow the ball to be batted with closed fists. I suspect I have a great chance of the world football (soccer) association implementing my suggestions. (/sarcasm)

48 posted on 01/05/2006 4:57:05 AM PST by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: 1rudeboy
I bet you just love those tights American football players wear.

I'm not a big fan of the tights, but they keep the pads in place. You know, the pads that protect you when some 300lb linebacker tries to knock you senseless.

I don't know if you've ever worn them, but there is a big 1" thick pad inside the tights that covers the crack of your ass (to protect your tailbone), so your gay fantasies would be almost impossible to accomlpish in a full football uniform.

Soccer on the other hand .....

Well, I think I know why some of them wear knee pads.

49 posted on 01/05/2006 5:26:27 AM PST by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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To: AzaleaCity5691
Next season, Arkansas will have a better record than Tennessee, and more importantly, Arkansas will come out of this season with a better recruiting class than Tennessee.

Good chance Tennessee will get Mustain. Not sure how Razorbacks can have a better recruiting year than Tennessee unless we get him.
50 posted on 01/05/2006 5:45:21 AM PST by Arkinsaw
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