Honky Ball in Bodymore Murderville

I had the chance to attend a sportsball game last night in the city of Baltimore. My Red Sox were in town to play the Orioles, so I got a chance to see the Olde Town Team in person. I don’t attend many live sporting events these days. It was a nice change of pace, even if it meant the hassle of getting into the downtown area at rush hour. Baltimore has a reputation for being gangland, but people still do work in the city and that means traffic at the predictable times. The downtown area that caters to tourists, both local and foreign is easy to navigate so it is not too bad.

Many on the alt-right are encouraging normies to boycott sportsball and I get why they say it. It used to be that a normal man could get a few hours away from the preaching of the loons by watching a baseball game or football game. That’s no longer the case in football, as they have filled the broadcasts and the games with proselytizing for the New Religion. The players protesting the anthem may be at the heart of why the NFL is suddenly having a TV ratings problem. It would be nice if that were true, but we’ll never know as the media will cover it up.

Baseball has so far been immune to the efforts of the loons to turn it into an instrument of the New Religion. The reason for that, according to one of the players, is that baseball is the white man’s game. That’s true in many respects. The players are mostly white and Latin. Just 8% of MLB players are Afro’d Americans. The NFL is 70% black and the NBA banned the pale face years ago. Further, baseball is a turn based, rules game that does not favor running and jumping. There are few opportunities for attention getting antics during the games, so it tends to appeal to honkies.

Still, the Cult of Modern Liberalism is trying hard to ruin baseball for the white man. ESPN has destroyed their Sunday night broadcast by having a screeching powerskirt as part of the announcing team. She pretends to have played the game and have the same depth of knowledge as a former player, but does so in a way that reminds every man of his first ex-wife. A TV series has been created featuring a female baseball player making it to the majors. Of course, she’s black, because, well magic. Taken together, it is a warning that the crazies are coming for honky-ball.

Then again, the Cult has been at war with baseball for a long time. When I was a kid, they tried to make us play soccer, instead of baseball. That flopped as bad as the metric system. Soccer became the sport for effeminate white kids, who lacked the athletic ability to do anything else. Then they tried to force boys and girls to play together, but girls, and their parents, liked softball much more and that effort failed. Finally, the last two decades have seen a PR campaign to tell us that baseball is dying and basketball is the future, despite the the facts on the ground.

Even so, baseball has held up pretty well. In the 70’s, when the culture war began, even the most popular clubs struggled to attract fans to games. Today, even bad teams can get 15,000 to a weeknight game. Some clubs do better than others, but overall, baseball remains well attended compared to the past. A lot of it has to do with the excellent ballparks and the family friendly atmosphere at the games. A bigger reason, I suspect, is the ballpark is one of the last places where old weird America still exists.

The players look like us, the crowd looks like us and the customs are the same as they were when we were kids. The game starts with everyone standing for the anthem. There is the seventh inning stretch. The players embrace the customs and unwritten rules that have defined the game for generations. I walked in the park and I remembered my dad taking me to my first game. I could remember my grandfather, as if it were yesterday. That’s not something that happens at football or the human flea circus that is the NBA.

One example last night was the response to a rookie the Orioles just brought up from the minors. The crowd was mostly Oriole fans, naturally, but there were many Red Sox fans too. Everyone cheered loudly, knowing that the kid was getting his first at-bat as a major leaguer. When he hit a home-run in his second at bat, the whole place stood until he came out to tip his cap to the crowd. Even the Sox fans stood as that is the way it is done. The cycle of life has always been a part of the game, so you cheer the rookies and honor the veterans, as they pass out of the game.

If you want to understand what went wrong in America, walk around Baltimore, where you see what it is, what it should be and why it is not what it could be. It is a city where the people that know better are vastly outnumbered by those largely incapable of maintaining modernity. There are pockets of beauty and excellence, but they exist in a sea of degradation. Baltimore is what is happening in South Africa. Civilization has retreated into pockets the tourists see, hoping to hold out until the world comes to its senses.

But, the Olde Town Team carried the day, with the legendary Big Papi hitting a three run blast to seal the game. The Red Sox are headed for the post-season for the first time in a few years, and they have a good shot of winning another title. I get why the alt-right kids reject sportsball, but for old guys like me, who still remember when normal people had hope that this craziness would pass, it is a nice reminder of how things used to be. Perhaps the kids sitting there with their fathers and grandfathers will carry with them the seeds to restore the world long after I’m gone.

71 thoughts on “Honky Ball in Bodymore Murderville

  1. Baseball looks like America. The correlation between the US population and baseball’s active roster population, across the four categories of (non-Hispanic) white, (non-Hispanic) black, Hispanic, and Asian, .97–it is almost perfectly representative of the general population.

    The NFL, in contrast, correlates at .14 and the NBA at only .08.

  2. i agree with all except the soccer comment. I played baseball in the Summer, soccer in the fall and most any sport in the backyard with my friends in the spring.
    Because soccer is big in socialist countries (which is pretty much all but here) its reputation is murdered by association.
    You mention Football and especially Basketball dominated by blacks.. Why so can be argued. What can’t be argued is that you need to be a freak to play at higher levels of that sport for the. most part. This is what baseball and soccer have in common, all sizes and shapes can be the best.
    I love baseball and enjoy soccer. Conservatives who throw that sport under the bus with Marxist governments are unfairly linking the two…

  3. “But, the Olde Town Team carried the day, with the legendary Big Papi hitting a three run blast to seal the game.”

    Let me try and fix that for you Z-man.
    But, the Olde Town Team carried the day, with the legendarily juiced Big Papi hitting a three run blast to steal the game.

  4. I’ll admit that soccer is a boring game if you are a casual observer. Like other sports, if you didn’t grow up playing it you will have little affinity for it. I’ve lost interest in most professional sports, especially football and basketball. As a kid I played football and baseball and i still have a fondness for the game, just not what I tend to see in an NFL game or a baseball game on TV. I still enjoy going to a baseball game occasionally. There’s still something about being at a ballpark vs being in front of a TV. For football it’s the opposite. If I have to watch an NFL game I would much rather watch at home instead of trekking to the local JerryWorld stadium.

    One last point. Soccer players are not pansies. My teenage daughters played club soccer up through high school and they were far more fit than the high school football jocks. And this is Texas.

  5. http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2009/12/baseball-been-berry-berry-good-to-me.html

    I love baseball. Played it throughout my yute. Many good memories. Fresh cut green grass. Reddish brown dirt. Blue skies. The smell of glove leather and sweat and the feel of the baseball and it’s stitches on your fingertips. The team camaraderie and dependence on individual performance. The serendipity of a bunch of guys and coaches getting together and becoming a winning, so-so, or a losing team. You never know what you are gonna get. But when everything clicks, it is like … magic! It is beautiful.

    The sound of the ball cracking off the bat. That perfect peg throw to home plate. Throwing out the runner trying to steal second base. The smell and taste of the dirt after blocking home plate tagging a sliding player trying to score. Making that diving catch in the outfield to keep the scoreless game alive! The strategy … the play by play scenarios that each player has to keep up with and react to without thinking should the ball come their way.

    If you think baseball if boring, you just don’t know the game. You probably never played.

  6. “Socialism failing to work, as it always does, this time in Venezuela. You talk about giving everybody something free and all of a sudden, there’s no food to eat. And who do you think is the richest person in Venezuela? The daughter of Hugo Chavez. Hello! Anyway, 0-and-2.”
    — Vin Scully

    “I think where they’re moving and how they’re moving there is very productive and we’re going to encourage that.”
    — Roger Goodell, re the anti-anthem players

  7. Had to find this quote for you:
    “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ”
    Rogers Hornsby

  8. My late husband, Jeffrey, grew up in Vallejo, CA. His folks would let him catch the bus to Candlestick Park, where he got to watch Willie Mays, among others. He said the best thing was a double-header. And yes, it was a lot more affordable then.

  9. I recall bragging to my farm family at Thanksgiving that I had made the Fencing Team at school.
    My Grandfather deadpanned “Barbed or Woven Wire”.

  10. Visiting family in Utah this summer as I do every two years I attended the local rodeo (Spanish fork).I wasI’d imagine the only non American in there and it was for me the most American of happenings of all my many experiences in America with no leftie craziness in any aspect. As an aside football (soccer) despite the lefties here and foreign players is still an intensely English and working class sport and for many of us much more important than any nonsense our betters go on about.

  11. James LaFond, with a big F, responded:

    “The one thing he may not have known, is that there were only 18,000 people in attendance, 8,000 of them him and his New England friends. The stadium capacity is 45,000 and this was an even more important game for the Orioles than Boston, who has a lock on first place. This afternoon, as my mother listened to The Fan sports radio show they danced around this question without answering it, because they need to keep their jobs and cannot say the truth, that most Baltimore County and Harford County residence will no longer venture into Harm City. A game two weeks ago only had 14,000 and change in attendance.

    The article is insightful in terms of the discussion of western cultural decline.”

  12. DH will never be adopted at the lower levels of baseball. That’s where the best athletes are both pitchers and top of the order hitters. Tim

    • In the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, they use the DH unless both teams are affiliated with National League clubs — which was the case in the PCL championship, won by the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) over the Oklahoma City Dodgers (um, Dodgers.) It is theoretically possible under PCL rules for a NL farm club to decline to have its pitchers bat, but this is almost unheard of; after all, they’re training players to go up to the National League, which continues to shun the DH.

  13. I am supposed to get excited watching a game played by orangutans in their underwear?
    Baseball also involves certain specific skills, such as hitting a small ball while it is moving at high speed, or catching that ball once hit into a distant field. It is a game of dueling skills, not simple brute muscular force.

  14. I watch all the Red Sox games on mlb.com. The Boston SJW sportwriters have noted, as have the tv and radio announcers, that the attendance is shockingly low for an Oriole team in a pennant race at a custom built baseball park. The Crankies and the Red Sox sold the place out for years. Now they are one-third filled. What could it be! It’s a mystery!. Not a hint, no, we won’t go there. Here’s my theory. The only game in major league history to be played without fans started a trend. The fans are giving the natives their safe space, permanently. This may foretell the truth of that whole high trust society thingie.

    • I can tell you, everyone knows why Oriole attendance is down. It is the thing everyone knows, but no one says.

  15. I do find sportball useful in one regard: it helps identify the sheep and dullards. Yeah yeah…this is where I get the rotten fruit thrown at me, but I’m sick of my pocket getting picked to subsidize playtime for other peoples’ kids and assorted roid addled morons.

  16. Anyone still watching NFL football after the league failed to respond to the player protests on September 11, 2016 is a traitor to America. Americans learn to stand for the Anthem as a sign of respect and honor to those people of all races colors and creeds who have made personal sacrifices in service to the country, whether their sacrifices are life, limb, time in the military, serving as a first responder, or being a victim of a terrorist attack targeting Americans. Standing for the Anthem is the ultimate–and only remaining–act of solidarity in this deeply divided country.

    To fail to stand for the Anthem is to piss on the grave of every American who has sacrificed his or her life in service and to piss on the goodwill of those still living. To do so on the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks is sacrilege. Period. In a better world the perpetrators would receive a slow, painful death and burial in a shallow, unmarked grave near a hyena den. At minimum, they should be publicly shamed and ostracized from decent society.

    But as bad as the players actions were, the NFL’s response was even worse. Not only did the league fail to disciple the protesting players, they actively supported the protestors and covered their tracks with mealy-mouthed appeals to the First Amendment rights of the protesting players. It’s one thing for a handful of disgusting dissident players to piss on the honor of those who have sacrificed for the country. It’s an entirely different level of betrayal for the NFL organization to join in the pissing party.

    The truth has been exposed for all to see. The NFL hates America, Americans, and 95% of it’s fan base. It’s time to reciprocate.


  17. I have attended NFL games, some college basketball and baseball on my all too few visits to the States, but I can see why baseball works as it does. In the UK we have what you call soccer which is passionately tribal (and rough: if you have had someone flatten you from behind and land deliberately with their studs on the back of your leg it is far from effeminate whatever you say — I have tangled with players and felt I have run into barbed wire), two codes of Rugby — one working class and decent but only played in the north and the other for people who, well, I would normally avoid as they are often nearer the ‘toffs’ image and cleave to the hooray henry type. Also, Rugby Union is as boring as hell.

    And then there is cricket. Now it is odd that the Brits should invent a game so dependent on the weather (though amateur cricket teams play in all weathers: it is only the County professionals who run for cover when a little rain falls) and games are loooong at County and Test (international) level, taking several days to complete and even then there is ‘the draw’ where neither team has really beaten the other. But, the weather changes over several days, the pitch therefore changes and the atmosphere alters so the ball behaves differently in flight. The art of cricket is playing the changing conditions as much as the opposition.

    But I am not here to praise cricket as such but to say there is a comparison with baseball. Both of them are reflective games. Some of the best writers on both sides of the Atlantic follow these sports because they give time for people to gather their thoughts and even chat to others as the game goes on. What both games have isa slow unfolding of a drama (often, but not alway I would admit) and presents an occasion to weigh everything up rather than rush to judgement.

    As it happens I used to watch lot of televised NFL and some televised baseball over here but, and this is the big but, to really enjoy sports you need information. I managed to get that with gridiron but less so with baseball so, not knowing the players and the expectations, when it was on our TVs it was less of a spectacle. One has to get caught up in ‘this team/player is better than that team/player’ to appreciate the surprises and shocks. It doesn’t all run to form. I have to say though if I lived in the US I would take a lot more baseball games.

  18. I wish we had an Aussie in this forum as I am sure he would be quick to explain that any sport, American or European, which requires helmets and pads is for little girls.

    Aussie rules football is a weird combination of several sports (football, rugby and basketball…because you have to run and bounce the ball). The ball is rugby shaped, and there are four goal posts at each end of an oval shaped field. I had the pleasure to cheer for the Brisbane Lions when I was in Australia some years ago. If you’ve never seen an AFL game, its well worth a watch.

    • To be clear, the greatest spectator sport on earth is women’s curling, followed closely by women’s beach volleyball.

      • I dunno, Z Man… I need indisputable visual evidence of the greatness of women’s beach volleyball. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of visual evidence.

        • Take my word for it. But go ahead and examine the evidence. I don’t think you will be allowed to examine anything other than the visual evidence.

    • I was once told that Aussie rules football allows players to commit mayhem on the filed and not get ‘sent off’ or sin-binned or thrown out or whatever the language is. Maybe that’s changed, but in any event it is a brutal game.

      By the way, efforts to plant another nation’s sport in various places doesn’t always work. There are lots of Aussies in London who would appreciate seeing their Aussie rules game but not enough to make it viable. And yes, bouncing an oval ball on its point and catching it again as the player runs is an amazing sight.

      We did by the way have a push for ice hockey here but once you see the Canadians go hell for leather at each other the British version tends to look so much tamer as the players coming here were mostly past it. I suspect the same would happen in any ‘new’ sport grafted on to a country: the money is in the original country so the talent stays there.

      • The Irish game of Hurling is highly under rated. A Hurley stick makes a hockey stick look quite tame by comparison! – it looks more like a weapon than a sports accessory. I guess if the Irish had been better at colonization than the Brits, they’d be playing Hurley in India and Australia instead of Cricket.

      • What hurt soccer in the US is the people selling the sport to Americans. It became associated with Progressive jerks. It’s a shame as it is a great sport to watch live.

        • What hurts the professional brand in the US is that there is simply no place to insert commercials. In baseball all the constant yammering at the league office level about the increased length of baseball games one factor is never ever mentioned. In the bad old days the teams passed half innings in one minute. Now they are waiting for the umpire get the play ball signal from tv. Football games are worse. My son loves watching the NFL but he won’t watch one game at a time for that reason.

    • I took a professional Australian Rules footballer and a professional rugby player from the UK to a NFL game last season. We had great seats in the executive box (my company’s executive box, I’m nowhere near that wealth) and then got to hang out on the sidelines during the last part of the game as a friend of mine with the press got us passes to the field. Both men remarked repeatedly that they were shocked how big AND fast the American footballers were and how hard they were hitting because they tackled differently than in rugby or Aussie football. And both of these men were large fellows with great athletic abilities. They both noted that with all that padding comes a demand on a player being bigger/stronger enough to carry extra weight and a capacity to turn oneself into a missile. In rugby and Aussie Rules football you cannot tackle the same way without fucking yourself up in the process and ruining your career. They both quickly understood that reality and were quite laudatory on the toughness, strength and skills of the NFL players they observed that day. Also, there is a small but growing number of rugby players working its way into the NFL these days.

  19. I like baseball, but still make old man grumbling noises when a designated hitter comes up to bat. I miss the days when it was stylish to tie an onion on your belt.

    • Wear your onion proud, Lorenzo. We old timers (of all ages) know that the designated hitter is an abomination unto the Lord. Hitler himself pushed for the adoption of the DH, and I’m pretty sure it was Karl Marx’s idea originally.

      • I like the DH. I get no pleasure out of watching pitchers hit, Madison Baumgarner notwithstanding. I’d say I adds strategy. Mst of the “strategy revolving around the pitcher’s spot in the lineup is of the no brainer variety. An extra bat lets you do something!

        • I’m fine with it and I like the fact the NL does not have it. It’s quirky and weird. The modern drive toward a bland, featureless sameness is very unappealing.

  20. You forgot to mention that magic black woman baseball player is also all-star caliber. Because when magic is involved it might as well be plentiful.

  21. Enjoy it while you can; the new religion won’t let us enjoy anything so its just a matter of time before baseball gets wrecked. I guess hockey will be the last stand sport but most likely they’ll suck the last bit of fun out of it too. (Chris Rock had a skit about that; the punchline being that the takeover of hockey is waiting on a heated hockey rink.)

    • To my recollection, as a kid in the 70’s, it seemed as if the push for soccer “then” was right there with the push for metric system. It was a coordinated effort to de-frock the US culture of US-centric sport and weights and measures…. to be more like Europe/everyone else. Of course, it got down right indoctrinistic in the 80’s and 90’s with soccer and kids, especially with the girls. See Title IX. My neighbors put 3 of their girls through college on full-ride soccer scholarships; exactly as our social engineers planned it. One of the three uses her degree as a physical trainer. The other two got jobs that required no degree at all. Yeah diversity!

  22. I, too, resist the call to boycott sportsball. Now granted , I generally watch the whitest of white sports- hockey, baseball and lacrosse. I think baseball might be in trouble,though, Z. It is losing lots of kids to lacrosse (my own three boys are examples) and, while American blacks are not playing, Caribbean blacks are, in large numbers, not to mention the other foreigners. I wonder if the white American sporting public will accept a sport played mostly by foreigners. And, MLB has gotten REALLY expensive! In the 70s we used to sit behind home plate at old Met Stadium- 3 bucks! Not a lot of money even then. I paid 50 dollars for a middling seat at Safeco this summer, and over 100 for a good seat at Target Field. TO SEE THE WRETCHED TWINS! My in person experience will be mostly college lax (y youngest still playing) and college hockey .

    • I’d add that pro hockey has a majority of foreigners, but they are Canadian, who most Americans don’ insider “real” foreigners, and Northern Europeans. As a side note, why does the media end over backward to pronounce some kinds of foreign names correctly ((Barthelona), but mangle Swedish hockey players’ names beyond recognition? Who the hell is ” Jalmerson” ?

      • Regarding media folks pronouncing foreign names, it might be related to the PC status of the nationality. Remember back in the 1980s when our talking heads were swooning over Daniel Ortega? They struggled to pronounce “Nicaragua” like “Neek ah RAH wah” but still made “France” rhyme with “pants”.

        • “They struggled to pronounce “Nicaragua” like “Neek ah RAH wah” but still made “France” rhyme with “pants”.”

          France got off easy. They still haven’t remotely figured out how to say “Deutschland”

        • don’t forget Obozo and his “Pok-E-ston” when he first took office in referring to Pakistan. Tell me this guy is from anywhere in America! Oh he tried so hard to show he was erudite and worldly. Not.

    • I’ve been hearing the lacrosse argument for decades. It remains middle class polo. Like soccer in the US, kids play it, but adults don’t watch it. I used to compare both to dodge ball. Lots of kids play dodge ball, but no one suggests it will replace baseball or football.

      Now, football does have to worry that kids are not playing. In the Mid-Atlantic, hockey is becoming the physical sport for white kids. Single mothers like it because they think it helps their kids become masculine, but they don’t have to worry about brain damage.

      • In my experience, lax is strictly an east coast thing. The few people out in flyover country who even know it exists think it’s played solely by Yalies named T. Coddington van Voorhees IV and Sack Lodge, Jr. Spot on about football – if the remaining whites pull out and it goes all black, it’s done as a major sport, as it will go the way of the XFL (all showboating, playbooks you could write on a napkin, etc.). Some enterprising marketer should eliminate the head-first scrum in rugby and pitch it to soccer moms – now there’s whiteyball worth watching!

        • That certainly WAS case about lacrosse; S Frothington Snottington was the typical lax bro. And it is a huge in the New England prep schools. The sport, though, at the youth , HS and college levels is growing a lot, particularly in places like CO, CA ,TX and the Upper Midwest. The pro league is a niche thing, it is true, the NHL is the NFL compared to Major League lacrosse. The Major league sports landscape in North America is pretty crowded, so who knows if lax can break in. it could be, as Jim Rome used to say about soccer “the sport of the future, and always will be” . We’ll see. mMany small liberal arts colleges are adding lax in order to get more boys in the doors.

          • LAX took off in SoCal in the 2000’s. It went from a club sport to CIF sanctioned in about five years. I was doing some college recruiting in those days and from talking to a few kids got the impression that football was extraordinarily competitive and if you weren’t very big and very fast, you weren’t going to make the varsity squad and letter. So if you were small, fast, and aggressive, LAX was very appealing especially if you were trying to get into a top tier school where a varsity letter or two will make you stand out from all the other kids with 4.2 GPAs (AP classes) and 1300 SATs.

          • Lots of good lax players in CA, and few (one that I know of) varsity programs. My son plays at Beloit College, they are having their annual coasts against the Midwest inter- squad game on Friday. A bunch of Socals are on the Bucaneers

        • I’ve often suspected that Rugby will have an opening. It is fun to play and fun to watch. There’s also a code of conduct to it that is appealing. The Brits say “Football (soccer) is a gentleman’s game played by ruffians, and rugby is a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen.” That’s a combination that will appeal to mothers.

          • I’ve been enjoying Rugby “Sevens”. A fast paced but relatively short game. Action packed. I still need to learn the rules though. Can’t figure out why stuff is happening! Ha.

    • The NFL and NBA need to go. An alternative to watching sports is playing them. Too many people are watching sports and not enough are playing them. After the ’70s, amateur competition died in the United States while it appears to remain alive and well in Europe. There are hardly any middle-aged rec leagues in the US besides softball because everyone is on their duff watching ungrateful yoofs on PEDs showboat for their gay/Jewish commissioners and commentators.

  23. I watched the soccer world cup and some of the Olympic soccer games in an effort to see why 99% of the planet loves this game.
    As much as I tried to keep an open mind, I find the game boring.
    Many (most?) passes are intercepted by the opposition and results in guys aimlessly running up and down the pitch.
    This occupies 99.9% of the game.
    The remaining 0.1% of the game is in fact exciting.
    Watching 90 minutes of aimless running is, well, boring.
    What is really galling is after 90 minutes PLUS penalty time, the game comes down to a shootout.
    Are you kidding me?
    Imagine an NBA championship game decided by foul shots? Or an NFL game decided by how many field goals out of 10 attempts are successful. Or a baseball game decided by a “home run derby.” Ice Hockey has figured out very well how to end a tie game.
    But not soccer.

    Soccer needs to modernize; make the goal posts wider/taller or adjust the off sides rule. Athletes and strategies have improved over the years and soccer needs to adjust for this. Baseball, basketball, football have all changed the rules and/or field/court geometry over the years. Things change.
    But not the rules or pitch of a soccer field.

    I will say the pro soccer players are in fact real athletes with great abilities on par with any professional sports. If this were not true, than a pick-up soccer team comprised of NBA players could, after say , several months of soccer lessons, go to Europe and kick soccer ass. But no, they would get their ass kicked and lose soccer games with 1/2 NBA-like scores (for the winning team; the NBA team would score zero points; e.g, 130 to zero) .

    True, baseball can also be real boring ( 5 minutes between pitches for batter to adjust gloves, hat, pants, crotch, etc.) , no doubt about it. (Hey, old timers, remember Roger Maris adjusting himself? Holy mackerel !)
    And an NFL game, when actually timed, has about 15 minutes of real action in a “3 hour” game.
    And many NBA games appear to be guys just going thru the motions.

    Maybe a boring sport is a defined by one’s culture.

    Cricket anyone?

    • Soccer is popular for one reason alone. All it takes is a ball and an empty lot to play. You can play (almost) as easily in the dirt lots of Ghana as the green fields of Germany. Standing nets and gloves are for the rich folk.

      • Having had kids who played soccer in organized leagues and other more “American” sports in more pick-up fashion, I would add that in soccer even the best players rely on skills that most normal people can develop. Soccer stars are not freaks of nature, standing 6’5″+ and 250 to 310 lbs. with unnatural speed and agility for a human of that size. The best soccer player in the world, Lionel Messi, is a mere 5’6″ and 140 lbs. and he does not have blazing speed. Instead he is tough, gritty and highly skilled in soccer fundamentals , something any kid can aspire to. Further, one can play soccer far beyond “youth” (i.e. 22-24 years of age when almost all American football players quit. Even basketball is a young man’s game, the court is too small to avoid violent and dangerous collisions among even the most adept seniors.)

        When watching soccer played at a high level you watch for the flow of the game and the skills creatively applied to situations. To learn appreciation of the game watch it with someone who enjoys the game and can explain its subtleties.

    • Ilkka Kokkarinen had the best take on Soccer in “The Wingnut Musings”

      Waiting for Goalot
      Sure, soccer is fun for children and amateur adults to play casually together since it doesn’t require complex equipment or fields, and the game scales smoothly to various skill levels and number of players. But as an actual professional sport, just forget it. Every time that I have tried to watch soccer on TV, I have felt deep sadness for the players trapped in this Sartrean hell for the unending frustration they must feel when everything that they try to do is inherently doomed to fail. Humans simply can’t control anything very much with their feet, so most of the passes get intercepted, miss their recipients or just plain old fly off the field, forcing the game to pause. It is an equally sad sight when some player tries to take the ball past two or three defenders or kick it towards the general direction of the opponent’s goal, hoping that by some random fluke it would reach a fellow teammate, but of course even if it does, the player who receives the pass will only be in a position just as hopeless as the first player. When somebody actually scores a goal, which is quite rare, it is obvious that the whole thing was just dumb luck. As a sport, soccer is unsalvageable, and ought to be tossed into the dustbin of history to keep company to stoolball and closh.

  24. There’s a minor league team near where I live, and my summer is always a little brighter when the team is in town. I don’t have sons, but I got a chance to take a friend’s nephew down onto the field for his first autograph from a real ballplayer, just like my Dad did for me back in the Jurassic. Now, this is the low minors – most of these kids are just there so that the big club’s hot prospect can have some other guys to play catch with, and they know it. But they still follow all the rituals and carry themselves like pros in front of the fans, and I’ve never seen one of them being anything less than gracious to a little kid, even when the team lost and that player played horrible. America’s not quite dead yet….

  25. The players look like us, the crowd looks like us and the customs are the same as they were when we were kids. The game starts with everyone standing for the anthem. There is the seventh inning stretch. The players embrace the customs and unwritten rules that have defined the game for generations.

    That’s why I gravitated to watching golf, despite its status as a game for the elites. No anthem, but there is a ritual introduction of each player. People are expected to be silent when a player is hitting, and they are. Imagine that! An activity where people understand that there are standards that have to be met even to be allowed to stand by and watch, and they’re not surly and resentful about it. Players, too, share this code of civility. Like the rookie baseball player, a tip of the hat to acknowledge the crowd is considered proper, not leaping and dancing and waving one’s weiner in a victory demonstration.

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