FIFA World Cup 2010

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The Ties That Bind

With the kickoff of the World Cup tournament it took all of about five seconds for the stereotypical North American sports fans (not from Mexico) to start with their barrage of criticisms about soccer. “It’s boring. There’s no action. How can games end in a tie?”

In their defense, I can understand how – if someone has only watched soccer within Canada and the United States (not Mexico) – they might not truly appreciate the game. While MLS players are talented, they generally pale in comparison to those who play internationally. The game is slower and the skill level is just not as high.

Anyone who saw Messi of Argentina or Rooney of England or any of the huge playmakers in action can see that what they do on the pitch is magical. There’s no other way to describe it.

I think it’s basically a Pros vs. Joes mentality. Realistically anyone can kick a soccer ball. Anyone can play. The beauty of soccer is in its shear simplicity. But the difference between an average Joe playing a pickup game and the likes of the best in the world is massive. Just because the sport is so easy to learn does not mean it’s easy to perfect!

As for the ties, I don’t buy it. Lots of sports can end in ties – maybe not as frequently as in soccer, but still. Take the US – England game. For the United States, a tie was AWESOME news. For their opponents, it was shameful. I do know this, however, for a 1-1 draw it was a heart stopper!

More excitement awaits this week and next before the Round of 16 is determined.

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In response to “The Ties That Bind”

  1. Crystal Rose Jun 14 20103:03 am


    I totally agree… it’s odd how soccer gets bashed by the US. It’s also a shame that it’s difficult for Americans to watch good soccer games, which makes it harder for more people to get excited by the sport. Why are only a few selected World Cup games available for free to the public in the US? Don’t other countries cover it with as much enthusiasm as the Olympics?

    1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20108:59 am


      In Canada, all the games thus far have been available on TSN, plus our government in Ontario has granted bars the right to serve booze an hour earlier than usual (10AM) and I know the pub at the top of my street has been taking full advantage of it (or of me!).

      1. Sebastian Soto Jun 14 20109:02 am


        TSN to?

        Ive been watching on CBC and when that gets dull (because the call guy is waaaaaaaay boring) i switch to SRC french counterpart…

        1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20109:24 am


          My bad, it is the CBC, not TSN…

  2. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20108:57 am


    Anyone who watched the Germany game yesterday, a 4-0 drubbing of Australia, could not possibly say it was boring! It was (at times) an end-to-end affair that featured some incredible playmaking and an incredible display of the tactics involved in the “beautiful game”. I personally think most North American (not Mexican) viewers simply bitch and moan because their teams aren’t yet considered among the best.

  3. Sebastian Soto Jun 14 20109:01 am


    Good point Crys, what channel in the US is broadcasting the games in the US? I dont have US Espn so it might be on that, ive only noticed 1 day of coverage on ABC (US-ENG, big surprise!)…Americans will never warm up to it I guess for a couple reasons in my opinion
    1) they have no history of soccer. Thats pretty important. Soccer is the sporting priority for all nations (or most at least) and theyve been following religiously for about 70 years. In the US there is no history simply put and it appears they never will have one because comes after football, basketball, baseball, hockey..and probably more obscure sports
    2)THey are not very good at it !! Americans are prideful when it comes to sports(I.e. Michael Johnson “fastest man” fiasco, winter olympics couting total medals for the first time this year as opposed to Gold count (because Canada won that) ) …the fact they arent respected as a power in soccer makes them less interested
    3) Americans cannot respect a sport where diving is the norm and rolling around in fake pain is accepted….I agree with them on that part.

    Just my opinion, i might be wrong of course..

    1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20109:27 am


      You make some good points there Sebastian. I think that the States will slowly get into it though, as they have a large immigrant population that comes from soccer-hungry nations. It’s just a question of establishing that history, as you pointed out. I believe soccer is now the largest enrolled sport in Canada, and it is also growing exponentially in the USA. The main reason is that it costs almost nothing to play, as opposed to football or hockey. I’d say it will eventually become the number one sport in the USA, but I doubt my generation will be around to see it…

      1. Gibby Jun 14 20109:41 am


        Us Canadians are too used to watching the fast pace of hockey to appreciate footy. The games over the weekend were pretty exciting, though. The goal by South Africa was amazing!

        The buzz of the vuvuzelas is a little much. I’m sitting at work wondering what the sound in my head is… I’d rather hear the chants and songs.

        1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20109:49 am


          well Gibby (if that is your real name), they are considering a ban on the vuvuzelas, so that comes as good news! I agree, I love the chanting, and would think that such a musical culture as one would find in Africa would have some really good ones! The Cameroon game will be loud as hell, and I think they’ll take it over Japan, although we shouldn’t rule out the Blue Samurais just yet, as they will be relentless in their running…

          1. Sebastian Soto Jun 14 201012:04 pm

            I also hate the buzzing sound, it puts me to sleep along with the comentators…much prefer the chants…but I also think theres something wrong with FIFA banning something the locals would consider tradition…especially on account of us Westerners not enjoying the TV broadcasts…so im split…

            Dan, i agree that its a fast growing sport, and as u pointed out the same in Canada, given economics and migration….but I doubt that will ever make it the TOP sport. It will grow I agree…but no way, no chance, it ever overtakes any of the BIG 3….but in a generation or so, it should be at the point where they at least boradcast all games live (WC games that is)on a major television network

    2. Crystal Rose Jun 14 201012:59 pm


      ABC will broadcast only 10 games (starting with US of course) then the rest go to ESPN with the final 10 on ESPN2.

      I have all the games set to record on my TV (in HD where possible!) My family and many friends will be watching also. I have a history of soccer from growing up with a dad transplanted to the US from England (the US-England tie made for a great conversation between us!) I was in a soccer league as a kid, and lived by the A.D.I.D.A.S creedo (All Day I Dream About Soccer!) I think anyone who plays while they are young, on any level, has their heart in the sport. Of course playing and watching are two completely different things. I started watching because of Mia Haam. :)

      1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20101:11 pm


        According to the great band KORN, Adidas stands for All Day I Dream About Sex, not Soccer….lol… But I subscribe to either hypothesis…

        1. Crystal Rose Jun 14 20102:17 pm


          Haha not when you’re a kid playing soccer… but yes, I saw them in concert and love that song all the same.

          1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20103:01 pm

            Agreed! I understand what you were saying earlier, and believe that all the major sponsor brands are doing a really good job of enticing kids into the beautiful game. I absolutely love the commercial branding for this World Cup, as the ads are focused on many great programs for kids. As a father of twin girls, I believe soccer enthusiasm is of utmost importance. It’s a great workout, a great team game, and a great opportunity to spend time outside.

            What other sport offers this type of meshing of culture and humanity?

          2. Crystal Rose Jun 16 20104:03 pm

            Actually I always preferred Puma. :)

  4. Stephanie Geosits Jun 14 20109:59 am


    Hi everyone – thanks so much for your comments. As an American living in Canada I can definitely say that soccer gets the short end of the stick in the US. The Americans have a spotty history when it comes to the sport, and very few people know about it. For example, in 1950 the US team beat England 1-0 in Brazil. The 70s and 80s gave birth to the NASL, featuring the New York Cosmos and Pele. There’s been a professional women’s soccer league and now MLS. It’s ironic because SO MANY kids play the game while growing up, but I think they don’t have people to teach them the rich history of the sport. That’s unfortunate. Soccer enthusiasts can only hope that with the growing interest among immigrant populations and better communcations technology (ABC/ESPN Broadcasts are pretty brutal) the American fan base can experience better soccer more often and truly see what all the fuss is about!

    1. Crystal Rose Jun 16 20104:08 pm


      I think it’s safe to say a good number of sports enthusiasts don’t have an idea of the history, despite the sport. But it’s true, once you dig into the deep history of soccer, the ties run deep and the blood runs thick. You can see why the world is so passionate about it. I’m excited to have friends from all parts of the world living here in LA and coming together to watch games. It’s been a riot!

  5. Chris Rydburg Jun 14 201012:19 pm


    While I appreciate the horn things are a cultural thing, they certainly don’t make the viewing experience any better. I think pretty much everyone who is watching the games on the TV can agree.

    1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20101:00 pm


      Screw the cultural aspect of the horns… Quite frankly, I’d prefer drums, or singing or chanting or whatever else. Those horns are the same things we have here at football games, and they sound like a swarm of bees coming at you. In this case, they’d be “Africanized Bees”, which are potentially deadly…lol…

      Way to go JAPAN!!!! Huge upset!!!

  6. Stephanie Geosits Jun 14 20103:27 pm


    Don’t know if anyone is watching but Paraguay is up 1-0 over Italy at the half and it is POURING RAIN!

    1. Sebastian Soto Jun 14 20103:34 pm


      I am steph and IM LOVING IT !!! I dont remember if I mentioned this on this article or another but I said iwould be rooting for Paraguay and wouldnt be shocked if Italy did not win. Hopefully the score holds !!!

      1. Dan Rakusan Jun 14 20104:56 pm


        Sadly a draw was the best they could muster, but at the end of the day, drawing against the reigning champs has to be a moral victory for Paraguay… I also root against Italy because I hate several players… lol

  7. Kevin Lee Jun 16 20105:54 pm


    Great discussion folks! Sooo nice to see.

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