World Cup Soccer

Every World Cup I root against the US.  Not like they need any help losing; but I’m afraid if they somehow do well, the sport will finally explode in popularity among adults like the media’s been predicting/hoping for for the last 30 years.


68 thoughts on “World Cup Soccer

  1. That’s actually a really good reason. It’s not like we need any more high schoolers getting knee surgeries… Seriously, I’ve heard of female high school teams where every player had had at least one knee surgery. Dunno if males have similar injury rates, or not.

  2. Actually the US team has been playing well, notched up a surprise win against Ghana and almost beat super-favorites Portugal. This is probably the best US soccer team in a long while.

    Soccer is going to take over completely in 30-40 years. Of the two traditional “American” sports, baseball is utterly and mind-numbingly idiotic (people go to games to get drunk and horse around) and football is an attractive game, interesting to watch, but very few people actually play it. Soccer has a high injury rate due to high participation, just like any other sport that people actually… play (look up basketball, volleyball – just as dangerous).

    Anyone can play soccer, regardless of how skilled they are. Kids who play soccer grow up into adults who watch soccer, because they build a lasting relationship to the sport (like I imagine Wo watches Olympic lifting when they show it on TV, the rest of us probably don’t). Soccer has another massive advantage – international competition. On the other hand, most diehard football fans are overweight middle-aged men who never played any sport, let alone something as demanding as football, and who watch it to see ripped/huge gladiator-types bash each others’ heads, backs and knees in. This is why in the long term soccer will > American football and baseball in terms of popularity IMO.

    Just for this last game, thousands of Americans flocked to some heart-of-darkness-type backwater in the Amazon jungle to watch their national team play Portugal. Many more traveled to Brazil to cheer the US team on. This is happening in a country where 85% of the population doesn’t hold a passport and probably 60% of those who do have maybe visited Canada and/or Mexico.

    TL;DR, it won’t be an explosion of popularity, more like a gradual takeover.

    • The popularity of a sport is often determined by how many people play it growing up. Basketball and baseball are huge in the states because that’s what you do to kill time as a kid or fuck around when you’re grown. In Canada, it’s a right of passage to learn how to skate, just like swimming lessons. Everyone plays hockey so it’s big there. Kids will play it regardless of if it’s on the ice or with rollerblades or just on feet. I played plenty of street hockey games without skates (which kind of makes it like badass field hockey). Everyone in the neighbourhood owned at least a stick, and at least one of those owned a goalie stick or a net. If the yanks are going to start playing more soccer then MLS is going to grow tremendously.

      Here’s a video of my childhood:

    • Yea baseball has probably run its course, totally hasn’t been around in america and many other countries for 75+ years. American soccer fans are the biggest bandwagon bunch on the planet.

      • LOL’d at “many other countries”. Maybe if you count Cuba eleven times, you could say it’s popular in a dozen countries outside the US 🙂 🙂 🙂

        People go to baseball games because they can have a good time and get drunk and bullshit around without missing anything interesting on the field, and this will keep baseball going pretty much forever.

  3. you could have written that in 1980.
    more americans care about ALABAMA football – one COLLEGE team – than care about soccer
    this is especially true if you subtract immigrants. not saying that they are insignificant, but 2nd and 3rd generations typically have more Americanized tastes.
    the WNBA is going to be successful too.
    99% of kids play soccer and 98% of them don’t watch it as adults
    also you forgot basketball and that baseball is more popular in terms of attendance than ever.

    • It’s a slow trend, that’s why I said 30-40 years. Soccer in the US suffered from the stigma of “chick sport” in the past, because the women’s team dominated the world stage. Look at the change in popularity between 1994 (first men’s World Cup played in the US) and 2014 – back then most American men didn’t even understand the rules, today sports bars are full of guys watching Premiership matches. Sure, it’s much more prominent in urban/suburban areas and among white people, but it’s coming along.

      Also keep in mind that the crowd isn’t split into soccer lovers and football lovers. Most people I know watch both, baseball and basketball too.

      • In 1980 there were about 5 girls on high school wrestling teams. In 2006, there were over 5000. Extrapolating this trend, in 2040 there will be 5 million female HS wrestlers in the US, and by 2075, 5 Billion.

        • For completely made up stats, that’s a solid extrapolation.

          I only want the US to succeed in soccer so all the tryhard soccer nations who never achieve anything but think they have great teams (England, Portugal, etc.) can be adequately embarrassed.

          • believe it or not the real numbers are pretty close (the 5000 thing is right from wikipedia, 5 is from a sports illustrated article i read a few years ago; it may have been 7 or 12 or 3).

            For example in 1992 a girl tried to join our hs wrestling team; there was an emergency school board meeting, tv news reports, front page story in the sports section. Ten years later as coach of a nearby high school (both in suburban NY), we had at least one girl on the team every year, and so did almost every other team we faced.

            I admire your jingoism, but maybe in the future we could just send 3rd world nations aid IOT to help them embarass european powers rather than getting directly involved in these long drawn-out and costly conflicts.

    • My dad: “All the sports bars in (mid-sized US city) are full of people in the middle of the day watching soccer!”
      Me: “Yeah, i bet it will be the same way for a coupla weeks in 2018 too!”

    • Don’t they show some during the summer Olympics? In, like, the daily report or something?

      There’s a channel in Europe called EuroSport (creative). Not sure who funds that shit, but they literally only show non-sport sports. I think it might not be a real TV channel at all, rather some really dry and elaborate European joke. Their programming is split between Olympic lifting (30%), cycling (40%) and sumo (30%), and I’m pretty sure they show every WL championship, Euro and Worlds. Swede can probably confirm.

      Maybe you can look into getting a US EuroSport package? They used to show figure skating too, maybe Celica would chip in and you can watch it together.

    • good link. The army should use soccer as a password challenge, sort of like baseball in WWII

      US Soldier: Who has the single season home run record?
      Soldier at Gate: Record is vat? Run home?

      US Soldier: Who won the 2010 World Cup?
      Person at Gate: Spain, 1 – NIL.

      • This would be very successful considering the demographic of the army. A few internationally born soldiers who joined to become citizens might get caught up though. I don’t want the soccer but I do have green street hooligan-esq fantasies.

    • soccer is fine. i mean when i was in iraq they won the asian championships and they were all excited about it. it’s fine to play. it’s not interesting to me. and i get tired of people like my dad, fatman, the guy from yahoo sports, jezebel, whoever telling me how it’s gonna be the next big thing. which they tell me every 4 years.

        • picture this: every march the swedish news media goes crazy covering the US mens college basketball tournaments. Prints pictures of 3 guys in a stockholm sports bar wearing Duke shirts, their faces painted blue and holding up foam fingers. And tells you that soon everyone in sweden will be in love with US college basketball because it’s so much better and more “international” than all your “old tired” sports like soccer, skiing, and, uh… well, the other popular Swedish sports.

  4. hey coach, lots of comments here. I have a question: what headphones do you (and everyone else, for that matter) use at the gym? I’ve had it with the crappy radio shows currently playing on the speakers.

          • Pretty much every time either one side of my headphones quits working or they refuse to stay in my large earholes (I think the most I’ve paid for headphones is about $40 so this could be one of the issues). Haven’t had any issues with the latest pair of Phillips I bought from Walmart for about $10. They wrap around your ear and then go in your ear. Sound quality isn’t that great but they’re cheap, stay in my ear, and haven’t broken yet. Someday I may invest in a pair of Bose that have the same set up.

    • regular earbuds fall out of my large misshapen cauliflowered troll ears. so i used to buy a cheap sony pair with a thin metal strap over the top they were like 10 bucks and would last me about a year but they stopped making those. then i got yurbudz which i was satisfied with until i broke 2 pairs in a month. now i have my wifes awful ones which go around the back of my neck and they are already breaking.

      • cauliflower ftw. wrestling (in one form or another) makes you strong (sometimes) and beautiful (never).

        following the sound advice above I will try to get hold of cheap ones with a strap-ish design.

  5. Headphones don’t last long in the gym. I keep forgetting my arm strap thing and smashing the plug into the jack and breaking them shits when i skwat. See ya Beats, see ya Shures, see ya skull candies, see ya free airplane headphones.

    Also as soon as the world cup is over soccer will go back to being that sport for fags who can’t be in band.

    • “fags who can’t be in band.”

      But the audience for any and every sport in America is made up of fags who can’t be in band / can’t actually play sports. Soccer and football don’t clash, they complement – the same audience watches both.

      But unlike football, soccer offers year-round watching opportunities – after the World Cup there will be the English Premiership, the Spanish Primera, etc.

    • I wear $5 apple earbuds I buy off ebay. I once broke a pair in the gym by snatching and having my phone in my front pocket and breaking the jack in half.

      Other than that they usually last about a year and they sound decent for $5.

      Note I hate all other apple products except their $5 earbuds. I might one day ball out and upgrade to the $20 ones. Probably not.

    • um i have a 351 day streak. i stopped learning french and now focus solely on spanish, partly bc of my job. I have 727 lingots which i think is bragable. I still haven’t finished my tree because the last lessons are like “The Subjunctive” in 3 lessons and it’s demoralizing. The real reason is that I’ve been doing a lot of memrise instead, learning the 5000 most frequently used words. And each day i do duolingo i will “make gold” one of my skills with timed practice, but this will apparently never allow me to catch up to where everything is gold but the 3 units I have left.

  6. Less infrequent posts, less posts about lifting, HAES Hate (Hating on the main LFOD Fatty), this site is turning into mopeility

    • are you anti-main-fatty-hate? hard to tell bc of your admittedly broken english

      i stopped posting workout logs because hsilman said they weren’t interesting and no one disagreed.

      turns out I don’t have a whole lot else going on in my life.

      • Well, the based on his instagram he definitely seems like a chode but he also seems really positive so I can’t really hate on him too much. At the same time I probably wouldn’t have fat-fucked myself to increase my lifts but then again I don’t compete in powerlifting competitions so I can’t really blame him for doing what it takes to be successful in his chosen endeavor. I’m torn because my natural instinct is to hate him but if I’m being rational I really don’t have any reason to.

        By the way, I have gone back and read some of your older posts (2005-2006ish) and you have definitely improved as a writer or at least your posts are much more clever and funny these days (did you delete old pictures of yourself from some of the posts?). Also, I can’t say I care too much about your complete workouts but I am interested in your heavy sets and wouldn’t mind seeing a complete work out posted every now and then.

        • re fat: it’s funny he’s always posting shirtless pics of himself (and his gf) where they look great, but i see him in the locker room and he looks fat. and i see her lifting in her little spandex pants and it looks like she is gaining tons of weight. my wife said “photoshop?” but I don’t think they would do that.

          okay i will post some heavy sets or something

          thanks for the compliment. re 2005-2006 i was writing a lot of these in a barracks room drunk, and my average reader would have been a private in my company who got all the inside jokes and just got a kick out of seeing his own name mentioned. also the day rating thing was phenomenally stupid, i think a friend may have suggested it to me; i kept at it with an idiotic persistence.

          yes i deleted old pics in a moment of paranoia but now i wish i didn’t because i looked slightly less ugly 10 years ago.

          • After going back and looking at your old “Meet” post apparently he only weighed 220 but based on the transformation picture I thought he was a lot fatter I guess 220 isn’t that bad unless he’s pretty short.

            From your old posts it seemed like you used to get pretty rowdy, if I remember correctly you also wrestled in college and did some jiu jitsu. Any good bar fight stories? Also, any combat stories in old posts that haven’t come across yet?

          • “and my average reader would have been a private in my company who got all the inside jokes and just got a kick out of seeing his own name mentioned.”

            So, same thing as today, only we’re not soldiers and you get the occasional random troll. Strong audience improvement.

            Also Andy’s not fat, not sure what you guys are talking about. Based on those pics you posted, he looks really solid, weakish upper body but not fat fucked at all. The only other PLer with similar BW/lift numbers I’ve seen IRL is a 5’5″ dude who looks like Humpty Dumpty (literally, an egg-shaped blob with arms and legs). And he squats some 40-60 pounds less.

          • (literally, an egg-shaped blob with arms and legs)

            This qualification is the best thing I’ve read all day, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the internets

          • Moment of paranoia? You can still tell what you look like from the squat videos you posted.

  7. I think USA has a better chance at becoming the dominant Olympic lifting country than soccer overtaking American football in popularity here. But I also think soccer is better. But I’m also not watching the World Cup. But I also don’t watch the Super Bowl. Baseball is the best ball sport of all ball sports. I only watch the World Baseball Classic as for some reason countries who are bitter rivals of each other have faced off in the last two’s finals (Japan and Korea in 2009, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic 2013…)

    Anyway, a sport I’d like to personally give a try is bandy. Maybe Lyfta knows this sport. It looks like hockey but with needing to actually know how to skate being a prerequisite for playing.

    • ” It looks like hockey but with needing to actually know how to skate being a prerequisite for playing.”

      There’s always field hockey? You’d get to wear short shorts.

      • Field hockey for men is actually really popular in parts of the world not USA. My friend from Pakistan’s father was a pro field hockey player there.

    • congratulations for being literally the only american-born male to watch the World Baseball Classic – but not the Super Bowl. Not watching the World Cup is superfluous.
      Even just the side of that Venn Diagram of people who watch the World Baseball Classic is miniscule.
      I mean, I’m a fairly strong baseball fan and I was not aware that the WBC was still in existence. And even when I’m made somewhat cognizant of it by the media, my two biggest impressions of it are “irrelevant” and “some extra thing that hurts players”

      • The WBC is serious business. Japanese leagues all changed their baseballs to match the ones in use during the WBC.

        But we we have our own “World Series” so it’s cool, right?

        • Come on, don’t pretend that the MLB and the NBA aren’t the best leagues in the world and most players from around the world don’t jump at the chance to come over here. Isn’t Tuffy Rhodes like the greatest Japanese hitter ever?

          • The MLB also happens to be the only league in the world in the “sport” of baseball, so I agree that its finale deserves to be called the World Series.

            Field hockey is also an Olympic sport, very popular in the former/present Commonwealth. So if Celica becomes a FH player, he’ll have the same chance of going to the Olympics as Wo. Or they can hang out at the Pan Am games.

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