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There is and would be tension simply because comebacks would be easier. Teams couldn't rest comfortably on a 2 or 3 goal advantage, they would have to continue to attack and risk being scored on. That's why I brought up ice hockey: there are games that end up 2-1 or whatever, but there are also times when a team will be down 3-0 and then twenty minutes later the score is tied 3-3.

I think soccer fans are getting entirely too accustomed to and defensive about the 1-1 and 0-0 matches. That is like watching a low-scoring baseball game: every pitch counts, and so on, and that can be great fun to watch, especially for the devoted fan. But if that were the only type of baseball game, the game would naturally become much less popular.

About the 10 on 11 matches, Serbia just experienced that yesterday. The Guardian expert and most observers had no idea why the Serbian defender was given the red card (he hadn't received a yellow earlier) for either nothing or routine interference. Ghana, I think, scored after he was sent off and ended up winning 1-0. Again, did a blown ref's call decide another World Cup match? Maybe.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 12:31:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is that soccer is insanely popular worldwide, to the point where everything starts to slow down when the games are on because everyone's watching. there isn't anything that needs fixing, in terms of building a fan base. it's already extremely successful just as it is.

people are dismissing your solutions because they're unnecessary.

by wu ming on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 12:41:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And a big part of the appeal of soccer seems to be meta-discussions about improving the game.

Obviously some decisions are unfair, players cheat, clubs may not be models of probity, matches are thrown, money changes hands, and in the middle of it are twenty two guys kicking a ball around.

It's always possible to make the game more perfect. But this would eliminate some significant parts of its appeal.

And besides - soccer used to be a participative semi-amateur sport that was a major focus for communities.

Now it's a professional high-value sport that's a major focus for corporations.

The best way to improve soccer would be to take it back to its roots - but clearly, that's not going to happen.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 12:46:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think people here at ET are simply being defensive: this is not an "I hate soccer" diary but most here have chosen to respond as if it is. Soccer's goal drought has long been recognized except here as a growing concern, and now, with goals down 30% from 2006, it presumably will be recognized as more of a problem.

I didn't question football's worldwide popularity, but sometimes I feel here like I'm talking to General Motors executives circa 1973. Could we be proactive, and maybe look into the future a little? If scoring declines another 30% next World Cup, then will the "don't change a thing" crowd begin to stir?

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 02:49:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To rephrase myself from upthread, if goals are down 30% vs. 2006, that is after four years in a century old game that had many ups and downs in that number, what most fans think of is not sweeping changes of basic rules. Most fans would
  • debate changes to refereeing;
  • blame vuvuzelas or
  • the sponsored new ball or
  • too long club seasons producing tired top players; or
  • criticise the tactical choices of the coaches (tis is the most common behaviour), or
  • just demand the replacement of the national coach.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 05:56:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have added: the World Cup is just one event of football. You want to fiddle with rules also applying to continental championships for national teams and club teams, as well as national championships, national cups, and regional ligas for club teams; based on the first match of potentially seven matches which teams are to play in one tournament held every four years.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 16th, 2010 at 05:45:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fairleft:
There is and would be tension simply because comebacks would be easier.
Did you know the probability of a lead reversal in the second half of a game is equal to 1/2 and independent of the length of the game?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 12:42:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 02:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, because the statistics get all weird if there are scores of 0-0 and 0-1 involved.
by asdf on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 at 11:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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