Thursday, December 4, 2008

In Defense of Soccer

I went to the last couple of home Real Salt Lake playoff matches this Fall. (Note to college football fans: RSL is a soccer team. Soccer is a sport. Players try to kick a round ball into a net....)

And yes, soccer is commercial. So much so, in fact, that RSL's opponent named themselves for an "energy" drink: The New York Red Bulls. And almost all teams wear the name of their sponsor on their jerseys.

But soccer does have one saving virtue that insulates it against commercialism in a way baseball, basketball, and football do not: no time outs!

There was something refreshing about not hearing the stadium announcer trying to hawk something between every play or at bat; something relaxing about only hearing music produced by fans; something genuine about not needing cheerleaders to get fans to cheer. (They did all these annoying things at half time, but I went for a stroll.)

Do any of you know of baseball teams that don't blare music between innings or football teams that don't have a first down "brought to you by..." or basketball teams that don't have an American First dunk of the game? If you do, I'll make them my new favorites.

1 comment:

Robert J. Hudson said...

You know, Corry, this is one thing I really love about soccer: no time outs. You know exactly how long a match will last. When your wife wants to know when the game will end, you can say "in 21 minutes plus about two minutes of stoppage time." With football its a crap shoot. And, heaven forbid a basketball game be within reach in the final 90 seconds--the foul and hope he misses it turns 1:30 into 15 minutes... it takes the fun out of watching the game. Major points for soccer's lack of irritating pauses!