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On the other hand, I don't see what is thrilling about one particular sport gaining popularity. And, why not cycling or cricket and not soccer? Who cares? If countries want to obsess on a single sport or 2, or 5 or 7, I don't care either. It's not a tragedy that India focuses its sports dreams almost entirely on cricket and, if a boy is not good at that, he generally turns toward doing well in school (if he's lucky and rich enough to be in school).
I do know -- from a common sense and not a free market perspective -- that the sports entertainment industry captures an unreasonably large amount of public money in the U.S. (and elsewhere?), charges outrageous ticket prices, and vastly overcompensates owners and players. This gets more irritating in year three of a deep recession. So, I'm in favor of the public and government exerting some sort of popular control over our sports-industrial complex, and reducing its cost burden on society. But, that's another diary.
Soccer is also a great lifetime health kind of sport, or it can be.
Lots of awkward strains on the leg joints, especially knee ligament injuries from twisting motions with the foot firmly set on the ground (the boots have studs to make sure the boot doesn't slide on the grass which is great for running in a straight line and keeping balance on one foot but awful for turning). And that's saying nothing of the contact injuries when a careless or unlucky tackle is made.
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
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