T Nation

What's the Appeal of Watching Soccer?


Why is a boring, unwatchable sport the most watched sport in the world?

As a red-blooded american I hate soccer. Yet I can't ignore that its still the most watched TV sport in the world, while great exciting sports like NFL and MLB aren't. Someone explain to me: how can such a boring, girly, unappealing sport be watched by people overseas and do they actually get excited by such a boring sport...is it because foreigners like being bored? Don't they like excitement like the NFL?


'De gustibus non est disputandum' buddy.


People here just don't understand your "sports". I admit, NFL is pretty exciting, but if one knows the rules and undestands the game and it's complexity the game is interesting. Baseball is just plain boring.

When you grow up in Europe, you play soccer oops, excuse me, FOOTBALL since you can run. All you need is a ball and 4 t-shirts, and you got the whole game, anytime, anywhere. Imagine playing american football on the pavement with 6 players (3v3). Can't be done, eh?


I fail to see how is soccer girly. You need a lot of lower body and overall strength and also there is enough physical contact, just look how much the players get injured. Also what differs it from the "excitement" NFL, is that soccer is much more skill than brute force, the best players aren't necessary great athletes but possess immense technique. If you can't get excited by teamwork and technique, it's your problems.


/end stupid thread


Enough "brutality"?


What's the appeal of watching any sport?

Go out on the field and make your own game, you wusses!


As a red blooded American, I love soccer aka Football. Chelsea FC FTW!

What I like is the constant movement of the players, and the clock. You don't get the stalling that you do with all the timeouts in basketball, american football, and unofficial timeouts in baseball (of which there are numerous).

In short, I find the constant flow appealing. It's sort of like hockey, but with more people and a way bigger playing surface.


I don't know why i clicked, I should have known that was going to be Eduardo. I heard it was censored in the UK, was that true?

I'm from the US and played soccer and hockey my whole life and not baseball, hence why I watch that more than baseball. I don't understand all the numbers and tactics of baseball fully so I find it less enjoyable. You just watch what you know and understand I guess, it's not that I hate baseball. Although living in New England it's hard NOT to be forced to watch it.


I believe that, next to the Olympics, it is the only field of competition where countries unite despite personal differences. When you see an entire country shut down to party for days on end because their team won the World Cup, you never see something like that. My family told me how back in 2006, Rome partied it up in the streets for 5 days straight. You just don't see that, at least I don't.

BTW - Forza Azzurri


Why would someone willingly get excited over something boring like soccer. Are they faking it? WHen Italians, Germans, Brazilians, Mexicans, Nigerians...etc say they find soccer exciting, are they being truthful in finding a boring slow low-scoring no action game exciting? or do they only say that because soccer is the only sport they can beat us in (only because we really really really don't care abour soccer)?


We (USA) just have too many great sports, we don't have room for soccer. I think maybe if they could zoom in and maybe slow motion the moves that the players are able to do , then it would be more exciting. I agree, American football is hard for people who don't understand it to enjoy.

I play on an adult league tackle football team and learning the complexities of it made me really love watching it on TV much more. I now pay attention to more then what the QB, RB, and Receivers are doing.

I do think it's awesome for different counties to play each other regularly, other then the olympics. That really boosts the pride you have in your country I'd assume. I wish we had some Canadian and Mexican football teams in the league, so that we can root for our countries players.

  • Adam


Football is the most appealing and exciting sport ever made no doubt, soccer is the most simplistic, boring sport for kids. Once you hit 7 years old, you gain greater cognitive skills and physical abilities and soccer doesn't have rules to exploit those. Football has each play drawn out on paper, in soccer you just run around randomly kicking in no particular direction and no plan on paper.


Shit if you are too dumb to follow a soccer match (one of the simplest rule sets of any sport) how the hell do you follow baseball or NFL? I guess you just like it for those funny beer commercials every 10 seconds.


Despite the fact that I think this is a blatant troll job... I actually find soccer more interesting to watch than the NFL. Unless it's a playoff game, I find the NFL boring as hell. Run one play that lasts three seconds, wait around for another 25; repeat over and over again and half of the time the game is essentially over by halftime.

I love playing football in high school, but as far as watching it, maybe I just don't have the attention span. I like the fact that most even soccer matches are either tied or within one goal most of the game, so there is always the threat of that last second score that can completely change the game.

For my money though, nothing beats a good basketball game for watching television and a good baseball game for watching live.


Possibly the issue is that the football in the US is of such a low standard that you really do have people randomly kicking in no particular direction (either that or you have been watching Newcastle.)

But just think about the extra inventiveness that comes from the fact that the players are able to make up the plays on the fly interchanging passes with their team mates in a way that appears to need telepathy before using amazing skill to beat the defender and score a screaming goal. Compare that to learning a set play from a book and repeating it over an over. Also add in the fact that play continues almost without pause throughout the 45 minute halves. No stopping for a break every 7 seconds.

I love watching a good NFL game but normally the last half hr or so is dull beyond belief as one team winds the clock down. Compare that to the frantic action that you see up to the last second in most Premiership matches with one team desperately trying to hold on to their slender lead whilst the other team batters away at them, hitting the woodwork or being held off by last ditch tackles.


Basketball is cool as a spectical and they are amazing athletes but there are far too many scores for them to take any significance. It normally comes down to last goal wins as well.

Baseball is just poor man's cricket. You want a to see a proper sporting event live, get yourself along to watch test match cricket. 5 days of drinking! The ashes is on at the moment, possibly one of the best events in sport!


If you don't like soccer, don't watch. It's not either/or.


Americans don't like soccer because when we want to see shit like this we watch pro wrestling. The one at 0:45 is just awesome. Some seriously hardcore professionals.



I love Chelsea, my friends give me a hard time about it. Not because they are Man U/Real/Arsenal/non-Chelsea fans, but because my favorite player is Drogba. They always say 'why do you like him? He is one ugly guy.' Personally, I don't think he's ugly, but the main thing is that he's a great footballer, and that's all that matters. He's a footballer, not a model.