Bobby Digital

June 28th, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

I think I'd be totally cool with never hearing that "Why do Americans call their sport football when they don't use their feet or a ball!" joke as long as I live.


June 28th, 2010 at 1:41 PM ^

what's annoying about that is that when American Football originated, the name made a lot more sense because it resembled something closer to rugby than modern football, and there was a lot more kicking involved.  The game evolved so slowly over the years there was never any one point where it made sense to change the name.

turbo cool

June 28th, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

One of the things that I like most, if not the most, is the stress to be creative and the spontaneous nature of play. Other than set plays, there are no predetermined plays. Yeah, there is strategy and tactics, but there is no set play where CB plays the ball to the RB to the DCM to the ACM to the LM to the RF for a goal. That not only sounds dumb but it is also next to impossible to execute as a play.  

Mr. Robot

June 28th, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

A fitting joke today, but historically, football had a lot more to do with kicking the ball. WHent he sport was young and named, it used to be that the field goal was worth all the points, and running the ball was just an attempt to make the field goal easier. If you coud score a touchdown, you were rewarded with an extra point for getting it as close as you possibly could for attempting the field goal.

A little later on, they decided since scoring a touchdown was a lot harder than kicking a field goal, it should be worth more. Scoring changed a little bit after that, but IIRC by the end of the 1930's, the scoring was put in place that is still used to this day. I'm too lazy to check Wikipedia and confirm the time frame right now.


June 28th, 2010 at 1:50 PM ^ Cleese. He did a brilliant eulogy for himself that I'm not sure is available online any longer, but it was great.

His eulogy for compatriot Graham Chapman was incredible, too.


June 28th, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

and the Brits have no problem with the full name of rugby (i.e. "rugby football"), which is American football's closest cousin besides Canadian football (but that's a whole different thread)

that said, i'm a linguist by trade, and i still can't figure out how we got from "association football" to "soccer".  it's a bit like when ZA was added to the Scrabble dictionary a few years back and everyone went "wtf?"


June 29th, 2010 at 9:17 AM ^

association football

[seven syllables? Dude, badmitten can't even get fans with three!]


[...of what?]

socie ("soshie")

[But no, it has a c, not an sh!]

Okay, soc.

[ew.  Can we not end with a hard consonant sound?]


[horray. I wonder what John Cleese will think of it...]


June 28th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

Also true is that rugby, soccer, and football all evolved together at around the same time - between the 1850s and 1880s.

Absolutely ridiculous to say that football players don't think - pre snap reads make a huge impact on how a play is run. Also ridiculous to say downs, distance and scrimmage - all of which were invented in the 1880s - were made for commercial jingles. That's like saying baseball is broken into 9 innings for commercial jingles.

Finally, the word "soccer" was invented by English journalists to distinguish it from "rugby football." I still like Monty Python movies, but this is a stupid rant.

EDIT: This was meant in reply to SwordDancer's post on how football is a word to distinguish games play on foot from games like polo.


June 28th, 2010 at 2:01 PM ^

is, you know, exciting and you can't condense the entire "highlight" package from a match into a 15-second video clip as is usually the case for soccer.

Thank you, Ghana, for knocking the U.S. out of World Cup and allowing us to get back to REAL sports.


June 28th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

The thing is soccer you can't for most games, but any highlight you watch now is only the goals 15 seconds.  True soccer highlights show attempts at goal.  Since they are just as important as a fan to watch.

It would be like a football games highlights showing only the 2 touchdowns in the game, and not showing the other great plays like the 35 yard run that made it first and goal, or the interception that stopped a drive.


June 28th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

I've played soccer my whole life and I love the sport but to even suggest that it has more strategy than football is laughable.  The beauty of the sport is how simple it is.  It's played on a big field with 2 goals.  You have 11 players per team and the team with the most goals wins.  It's basically a giant game of pinball.  The ball goes up the field and then it comes back down.  The coach decides who is playing, what style they will play (4-4-2 vs. 4-3-3, etc.), and who gets substituted into the game.  That's all the strategy that is involved


June 28th, 2010 at 7:24 PM ^

the thing is, American football started as football (only scoring by kicking over the uprights) but then it was deemed too boring so body-crushing blows and scantly clad women were introduced.

"Too boring" was also the reason why afternoon teas was replaced by the American version: the three martini lunch.