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Johannes

I have to admit that I never understood American Football (to be honest I never really tried). I watched Baseball when I spent a year in the US and it was kind of interesting once I understood the gist of it. However, it is a slow and rather eventless game and I don't understand how someone can find soccer (overall) boring and Baseball exciting. This is probably just familiarity and habit.
Of course, familiarity and habit are important and in soccer-loving countries almost every male (and many a female) has played the game in some fashion, sometimes with an empty coke can (or an old tennis) ball on the schoolyard.
There can be terribly boring soccer matches, but there can be very exciting 0-0 matches. As someone mentioned above, a main feature that makes soccer exciting is that it is a low scoring game where little mistakes, luck etc. can often decide a game and therefore underdogs often stand a reasonable chance against a champion.

Junger Gott

Your post very much reminded me of an observation an American friend of mine once made about soccer. It goes like this:

Soccer is pretty boring and lifeless for basically most of the time and most of the games. Unlike streamlined "American sports" such as football, baseball, basketball, you are not guaranteed to be at least moderately entertained when you decide to watch some game. After all, what other sport is there in which the absence of any recognized score for the entire alloted time of the game is not a freak occurence, but rather something that happens with depressing frequency.

However, if there is a lot at stake, and the game is close ("a big game") , there is no other sport that is nearly as exciting and engaging as soccer. That is due to the uninterrupted flow of the game and the simultaneous involvement of all the players on the field as well as due to the low-scoring nature of the game in which any tiny mistake or any one-off attempt any second might have tremendous impact for the result.
Nations accustomed to soccer know this, and like a drug addict are prepared to wither the rather drab majority of soccer matches in the everlasting hope to see and feel one of the rare rewarding moment at a big game that they may savor for the rest of their lives.


You seemed to echo this feeling, Andrew.

CN Heidelberg

Most people I knew in Germany had no problem with football, but my language skills weren't nuanced enough to pick up everything. I was surprised when I arrived in the UK and all the arty/hip types were like "ewwwww World Cup, everybody shut up about it" etc. Just so the opposite of the US, and this was a difference I hadn't considered. But it does make sense. You don't see the arty/hip types in the US caring about the Super Bowl much. The World Cup/football/soccer has a whole different vibe in the two places.

Marcellina

I, still American, will be rooting for Germany. The US team seems to be emerging out of underdog status to respected team. But America wins everything -- and when it finally conquers the World Cup too, I fear my interest in the tournament will disintegrate.

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