T Nation

Boys Need More Football, Less Soccer

Am I wrong?

Is it just me or just my part of the country but soccer seems to be rampant and football and baseball for certain seem to be languishing. I played all three and I think soccer is a very poor substitute for the others. My nephews who play soccer have no idea what they’re missing out on.

Guys need something in their lives that is uniquely male. I think our culture is wussifying boys and it worries me. I’m gonna insist my sons some day play a contact sport. Let’s face it hunting and fishing are dying out and one of the few remaining “male” activities are contact sports.

I got smashed on another thread because I said I told my nephews that if they’re playing a sport that girls play too … it’s not for them. I’m trying to get them off soccer and tennis.

I have a buddy who’s son is about 5 … he and I talk about this all the time. His wife wants to start him on soccer cuz with football he might get hurt. Classic.

I’m surprised about how many guys I talk to about this that think my concept is nuts. I’m not sure if they’re being politically correct … or maybe they never played anything but soccer and so they think I’m calling THEM wusses?

Anyway … am I alone on this?

1 Like

There is much more contact in Soccer than Baseball. I’d say Soccer is much manlier, except you don’t get to stand around and scratch your balls.

You have a long way to go if you think playing a sport makes you tough. I know plenty of pussies that played highschool football.

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The kids should play whatever sport they want to. I didn’t play any organized sports when I was a kid, my parents tried to get me interested in a lot of sports, but I hated it. It wasn’t the sport, it was the official-ness of it that I hated. Having to show up at a certain time, wear equipment, listen to adults, follow the rules of adults.

We had a field next to my house and we played everything, baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, volleyball, badmitten, whatever. We kept our own scores, made our own rules, if there was a foul or a dispute we fought, made up and carried on. That was fun.

Organized sports are great for teenagers, but don’t put pressure on little kids. Give them a chance to play with kids their age and stay out of the way.

I played football, not soccer. I don’t agree with you, but I wouldn’t say you’re nuts.

I will say this tho: when people start talking about how football teaches life lessons, etc etc one need look no further than Pacman Jones, or any of the other fine upstanding citizens who play in the nfl. To illustrate, I was trying to remember that really good running back from Nebraska about 10 years ago, got drafted by the rams despite dragging his girlfriend down a flight of stairs by her hair. wound up playing in the cfl. ANyway, I typed ‘running back huskers rams wife beater’ and at least a half dozen other running backs came up. I didnt even find the guy from 10 years ago.

Football’s a big game. You get a big enough group of people you’ll have some real @$$holes as well as some saints. Competitive sports are good for kids, i dont think it really matters what specific sport.

Although make sure to tell your buddy’s wife that at 5 years old theres no way her kid is getting hurt - does anyone think that a kid who lacks the coordination to tie his shoelaces can actually run fast enough or hit hard enough to injure somebody? Even with pee wee sized pads they still effectively double their bodyweight only making them even more awkward.

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
I played football, not soccer. I don’t agree with you, but I wouldn’t say you’re nuts.

I will say this tho: when people start talking about how football teaches life lessons, etc etc one need look no further than Pacman Jones, or any of the other fine upstanding citizens who play in the nfl. To illustrate, I was trying to remember that really good running back from Nebraska about 10 years ago, got drafted by the rams despite dragging his girlfriend down a flight of stairs by her hair. wound up playing in the cfl. ANyway, I typed ‘running back huskers rams wife beater’ and at least a half dozen other running backs came up. I didnt even find the guy from 10 years ago.

Football’s a big game. You get a big enough group of people you’ll have some real @$$holes as well as some saints. Competitive sports are good for kids, i dont think it really matters what specific sport.

Although make sure to tell your buddy’s wife that at 5 years old theres no way her kid is getting hurt - does anyone think that a kid who lacks the coordination to tie his shoelaces can actually run fast enough or hit hard enough to injure somebody? Even with pee wee sized pads they still effectively double their bodyweight only making them even more awkward.[/quote]

Lawrence Phillips.

This is funny. You seem to think Football is the be all and end all of sports, because that’s what you did, like to do, and you think it makes you tough. Soccer, or, real ‘Football’ is just as good as your favorite arbitrary physical activity. Hell, in most countries, even showing up to watch a soccer match guarantees more physical contact than actually playing in a game of American football. I never played football, and I certainly didn’t enjoy soccer as a wee lad, but I’m not going to condescend and say football makes you a man.

Honestly, it sounds like you’re worried your nephews might turn out to be ‘a couple of them queers’ because they play one sport opposed to another. That’s just silly.

We need to stop treating children like fragile little dolls. You will get cut, scraped, pulled, twisted and broken stuff just by being a kid. Our society makes too big a deal out of really little stuff.

If it is serious check it out. If not get back in there and play.

Kids do not seem to just play for the sake of playing anymore. So many of them now seem to want to specialize in something far too early. Parents have taken the fun out of many activites by thinking they have a future star. That or they want everyone to feel good about themselves.

Play for fun, compete to win and at the end of the day make sure you gave it your best.

Kids, like pets, are a direct refelction of their parents, or owners, ability to raise them. I blame parents.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
There is much more contact in Soccer than Baseball. I’d say Soccer is much manlier, except you don’t get to stand around and scratch your balls.

You have a long way to go if you think playing a sport makes you tough. I know plenty of pussies that played highschool football.[/quote]

Baseball is pretty manly when someone is throwing a curve that looks like it is going at your ear and you stay in the batters box.

Kids ought to play soccer, football, baseball, wrestling and every other sport that time and resources allow. Also soccer is a tough sport. I play every week with a local pickup team and damn it if I don’t get kicked with those freakin cleats several times a game! Maybe it is because I am, and I play with, amateurs that there are more injuries.

As another already said – football doesn’t make you tough either; to think so is woefully ignorant. I would guarantee my high school wrestling team would slaughter the football team. Anyway – as for NOT playing a sport because they might get hurt. Well that is stupid. And that is why mothers should not be making those decisions…the father should.

I agree with you about parents and coddling kids, I always cringe when I hear someone say they love football and would have played but their parents wouldn’t let them. Symptom of a lot that’s wrong with society. I played football for half of high school and then in college (D3), and wish I’d started playing as a kid.

But I don’t think kids need to play football, the vast majority of American kids probably don’t want to play tackle football, nor do they need to to “become men.” I hate soccer, but I think it’s as physical a sport as baseball or basketball, both great games. The best thing I read on why soccer sucks is Chuck Klosterman’s essay in “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs”, worth picking the book up just for that.

In most European and South American countries, soccer is king. Its just not as popular here. That doesnt mean that only pussies play it. The contact isnt as much as football, but agree that its more than in baseball. Run between 6-8 miles at a very high intensity off again on again, I doubt you will think its pussy like. The players arent huge because the sport itself would suffer for it.

[quote]flyboy51v wrote:
Am I wrong?

… am I alone on this?

[/quote]

What do your nephews think?

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
This is funny. You seem to think Football is the be all and end all of sports, because that’s what you did, like to do, and you think it makes you tough. Soccer, or, real ‘Football’ is just as good as your favorite arbitrary physical activity. Hell, in most countries, even showing up to watch a soccer match guarantees more physical contact than actually playing in a game of American football. I never played football, and I certainly didn’t enjoy soccer as a wee lad, but I’m not going to condescend and say football makes you a man.

Honestly, it sounds like you’re worried your nephews might turn out to be ‘a couple of them queers’ because they play one sport opposed to another. That’s just silly.[/quote]

Well … I just picked on football because it’s what I know. If I lived in Austalia I’d probably be talking rugby. I’m not suggesting they’ll become “homosexuals” because of soccer or lack of football. That would be stupid. I’m just saying they are definitely a little softer as a result …

When I was a kid … every guy wanted to play football … now kids are playing soccer. Soccer is NOT a tough, aggressive sport. I’m sorry all you soccer fans. I’ve played a lot of soccer. There’s a reason mom’s all want their kids to play soccer so they don’t get hurt.

I know you’re being sarcastic and soccer is arguably better endurance conditioning than football … but soccer fans getting more exercise than football players???

I just think that not too long ago there were a lot of kids who still did manual labor … a lot of them still lived on farms … a lot of them hunted and could handle a gun … they worked on equipment from a young age … and if they played sports it was typically a tougher contact sport.

Now they tend to live in suburbs … no physical labor ever … they don’t have a clue about hunting or guns or fishing and if they’re increasingly playing wimpier sports.

Hell … schools are banning dodgeball and tag because it’s too “rough.”

Anyway I was trying to see if I was alone on this … seems like I might be …

[quote]flyboy51v wrote:
Am I wrong?

Is it just me or just my part of the country but soccer seems to be rampant and football and baseball for certain seem to be languishing. I played all three and I think soccer is a very poor substitute for the others. My nephews who play soccer have no idea what they’re missing out on.
[/quote]

Soccer has the distinct advantage of requiring nothing more than a ball and a field to play on. Football requires all the pads. Baseball a bat, glove, and specialized field. Also, soccer, at its most basic level, is a lot easier for younger kids to grasp and perform the skills necessary to play. Kick a ball into a goal. There’s more involved in learning the basics of football and baseball.

While I agree that kids, especially boys, should play contact sports. I don’t necessarily agree with the ‘uniquely male’ part of it. Rugby is one of the toughest contact sports in the world, but it’s also one of the only where men and women play with the same rules at all levels (unlike say, hockey, where women aren’t allowed to body check).

Again, I agree that contact sports are important, but I think your idea that “if girls play it, it’s not for you” is ridiculous and antiquated. If your nephews are out running around, getting exercise, and having fun, the what the fuck does it matter whether it’s with a football, soccer ball, or tennis racket? Hell, maybe, and this is a pretty radical concept but it just might work, they try lots of sports!! I mean, shit, when I was a kid I played soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, and did martial arts. Now, as an adult, I play mens rugby, lift weights, bike, and fish. I never played football, but I dare you to call me a ‘wuss’ because of it.

Well, sure, he might get hurt. Especially if he sticks with it through high school or college. It’s a contact/collision sport. Injuries happen. They suck, but they teach you how to deal with pain and shitty situations. I understand it’s natural for parents to want to protect their children from harm, but kids are going to get hurt, it’s a part of growing up.

Tell your buddy to show his wife a professional soccer game, especially with the Italian team playing, like the world cup final 2 years ago. Just don’t tell her how many of the injuries are acting and she’ll be put off soccer for her precious little snowflake.

No, I definitely think contact sports can be great character builders for young boys, despite the pacman jones’ of the world. They aren’t necessarily going to work, or be implemented well, but I think they have the propensity to provide a good foundation for work ethic and a lot of values like teamwork and camraderie (and while these can be found in any sport, I think the added risk of physical harm and the element of protecting one’s teammates adds a little bit more).

However, the chauvinistic side of your argument is probably what puts most people off. Aside from the whole PC aspect of things, I know plenty of tough girls who’ve benefited just as much from contact sports as a lot of guys have.

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I think that’s retarded. I love football. Much more than soccer or tennis. But maybe they’re awful at football. No reason at all to play football if they suck at it but are great soccer players because ‘girls play scocer too.’

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
flyboy51v wrote:
Am I wrong?

… am I alone on this?

What do your nephews think?[/quote]

They’re not really old enough to have considered opinions. They like soccer but they’ve never done anything else. My older nephew just told me he’s trying out for the football team at his new school. I think he’s getting close to 13 now? It will be good for him. I can tell he’s proud of himself for it …

[quote]flyboy51v wrote:

When I was a kid … every guy wanted to play football … now kids are playing soccer. Soccer is NOT a tough, aggressive sport. I’m sorry all you soccer fans. I’ve played a lot of soccer. There’s a reason mom’s all want their kids to play soccer so they don’t get hurt.

[/quote]

I don’t think you are so alone as you think. We agree with your fundamental premise - that boys ought to be tough and ought to play tough games…and that too many boys and girls today are just pussies. That said I think what we disagree on is soccer is a tough game or not. I say it depends. If you play with all the rules, a ref and all that, soccer quickly becomes a bore…and I would agree with you.

But if you play like my local pickup team does - without a ref, not much rules (because we don’t know them and don’t care to), then soccer quickly becomes very rough and there is a lot of contact.

In my games it is common to see pushing, elbows, hip-checks, and the like. Of course due to our lack of grace we are always trying to kick the ball as hard as possible and sometime we miss and hit an opponent. The game takes ona whole different dimension. And I think it goes for other games too. Basketball can be fun if you play it like out soccer games…add the rules and the refs - it sucks…

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
flyboy51v wrote:
Am I wrong?

… am I alone on this?

What do your nephews think?[/quote]

What does that matter? Kids are to be taught and trained. When they move out - then they can express their own desires.

If they were doing drama for the reason of avoiding getting hurt, I might agree with you. But soccer is tough. You don’t get tackled. But you have to be tough. You have to be mentally tough. You have to be physically touch. It teaches you to work through pain. It teaches you discipline. It teaches you how to be cooperative and a team player. I can’t see any long term benefits you get from football that you wouldn’t get from any other strenuous team sport. Other than learning how to take a fall better.

[quote]flyboy51v wrote:
Am I wrong?

Anyway … am I alone on this?

[/quote]

No, I agree.

Can’t make the football team? Go play soccer, bocce, or curling. Otherwise, let there be football!!!