Jul 11, 2014

Countering Keane’s hissy fit: why soccer is great

So Bernard Keane thinks soccer is a 'silly sport', tainted by corruption. Writer Hari Raj reckons he's wrong, and sets out why the World Cup is worth watching (at 2am).

There’s a World Cup going on. You may have heard. It has been a rare feast — goal records shattered, stirring performances from unlikely sources, pantomime villainy, big names and bigger philosophies crashing and burning. And, like some insipid Newtonian ideal, there has been a backlash.

It’s a curious thing, this need to disparage soccer. The best explanation I’ve heard for why the various codes are called football is that they’re played on foot, instead of on horse; but instead of bonhomie, this shared DNA seems to cultivate the most spectacular sibling-oriented hissy fits since Cain rocked Abel’s world. Crikey recently hosted a fine example of the form via Bernard Keane. We shall sift through Keane’s vitriol for portents.

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22 thoughts on “Countering Keane’s hissy fit: why soccer is great

  1. zut alors

    One advantage of other codes of football over soccer is the nature of the crowds the game attracts. At the World Cup Brazil fans turned ugly & destructive when their team lost & the soccer riots in the UK are legion.

    Even when Collingwood wins a grand final there is nothing like the spilling of bad blood associated with soccer. Or when NSW defeats Queensland in a State of Origin game even rabid Maroons fans manage to behave civilly.

  2. David Hand

    The way to stop simulation is to award a penalty every time a foul in the box is committed. Tripping and handball are policed quite ell but holding and pushing are not. If refs started this, the first few games would have about 20 penalties in them and this is of course why refs don’t call them.

    But you only need a couple of games like this for defenders to work out that holding an opposition shirt generates a penalty so they stop.

    Then the contact that enables simulation to occur would cease and refs could yellow card simulators.

    Never happen of course.

  3. John Taylor

    Hissy fit? You ever heard of satire or irony? This response to Bernard is as much a taking of a dive and feigning injury as anything that goes on in the Greek Tragedy/Roman Farce (notwithstanding Greece and Italy are out) that is the World Cup. Get over yerself.

  4. mikeb

    Soccer is a great game. Not as good to watch as most other football codes, but it is a great game. I did play at school & enjoyed it a lot, plus I just wasn’t coordinated enough for AFL or dumb enough for rugby. For heavens sake though, the scoring needs to be easier (bigger goals) and diving should be rewarded by being totally ignored. I watched a 70’s WC replay during the week and one actor/player was writhing on the ground for minutes whilst play went on. He eventually got up sheepishly to resume play. That’s the way to stop it. Also I think some of the crowd violence is due to frustrations remaining unvented in a game. You go 90 mins of back & forth with no result. Something has to blow….and penalty shootouts are the worst way to resolve a deadlock.

  5. Parrellr

    Again with the pot shots! I love AFL, Union and most other sports played at the highest level.
    Why is it that some supporters (and some media) of other codes so vocal against the World Game?
    Is it just fear of something that they don’t really understand?

  6. glazedham

    Make the field three miles long and ,say, one wide. Arm the players and tell them they’re in Gaza. Recruit the eedjits in various governments to officiate. Make the media the official broadcaster. Oh wait….

  7. JohnB

    By all means, consider making the goals a little wider and higher, but first do away with those wondrous Goalies’ Gloves.

    Give them gardening gloves and their reach will be reduced by a foot. That should see some goals flow.

    Plus, I like the idea of awarding a penalty for fouls inside the box (David Hand, above). Indeed, a few yellow and red cards for holding on, regardless of where on the field that this takes place, would do wonders for the flow of the game.

  8. Matthew Drayton

    I’m with Bernard.

  9. michael dwyer

    Soccer has been actively promoting itself in Australia for many decades. The most interesting feature of this campaign is the way soccer enthusiasts are miffed that Australian (real) football and the rugby codes are far more popular than soccer. Soccer claims to have the most participants, but I believe that basketball would have similar numbers. Measured by the number of people prepared to part with money to watch the sport, soccer and basketball are well behind real football and both forms of rugby. The TV stations are run to make profits, and they value football and rugby at a multiple of the value placed on soccer. Soccer apologists have been both patronising and insulting towards those who prefer other sports. Their dreams will remained unfulfilled for many generations.

  10. outside left

    It’s the world game. Get over it

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