From: email@example.com (Garry Archer) Subject: Re: NAS Shootouts, media coverage Date: October 25, 1996 Cool Papa (STUSHARPJT@crf.cuis.edu) wrote: > Draws suck. Draws are no fun. The purpose of a game is to win or lose. You > do not do this with draws. This is no fun. Obviously you have never played The Beautiful Game. 1: Soccer is _always_ fun. 2: Playing soccer gives you a different perspective to winning, tieing and losing than simply watching soccer. When playing: 3: If my team is dominating my opponent, but my opponent is leading the game, say 3-2, with 5 minutes to go, then if my team scores and the game ends 3-3, that is a great feeling. 4: If my team is being dominated by an opponent and we hold them to a tie, that is an incredible feeling. 5: If my team is being dominated by an opponent and my opponent is leading the game, say 3-2, with 5 minutes to go, then if my team scores and the game ends 3-3, that is a brilliant feeling. 6: I have lost the number of times I have said, "That tie felt more like a win." 7: I have lost the number of times I have said, "That tie felt more like a loss." 8: I have lost the number of times I have said and heard, "What a great game played by both teams. In the end, a tie was the right result." 9: Ties make league tables more interesting. > I love countdown clocks, shootouts, and ugly uniforms. Give me goofy mascots > and fans sitting down listening to Land of 1000 Dances over the PA system. Gotta love America. As far as I can tell, the United States is the only soccer playing nation in the world today that _still_ wants to change the laws and traditions of The Beautiful Game to fit their culture. I love to see how soccer is developing in Africa and Asia. They bring their diverse cultures to The Game. I absolutely love the way they dance and dress up and paint their faces and play drums and other instruments. But on the pitch, it's still basically the same Beautiful Game that the world has embraced for decades. The world has only made the odd few refinements here and there (modifications of the offside laws, the back-pass rule, etc.) There were _many_ rule changes in the 19th Century, but the 20th Century has seen The Game settle. Why change so much in such large degrees when The Game has survived so successfully for all these years? I am impressed, however, that there is a large proportion of soccer fans in the United States who love The Game for its tradition and simplicity, and are also resistant to the changes the MLS are attempting to impose. If you like high-scoring games, stick with basketball and (gridiron) football. If you like fast-paced games, stick with (ice) hockey. If you like statistics, stick with baseball. You may enjoy all of these games together, but you must appreciate soccer for what it is. There is more to soccer than all of this. It feels good to feel the ball at your feet and to kick it, chip it, tap it and to control it like it was a magic orb. Then to see it fly into the net after you have estimated all the variables; the weight and momentum of the ball, the angle of your shot, the amount of power you will need, to send it straight, or to curve it, to make it wobble or make it spin, the trajectory you need to make to beat the goalkeeper and his defence. There is no finer feeling in all of sport, to kick that ball with grace and power and see it achieve the goal. When the rules of the game were codified in England in the early quarter of the 19th Century, it was with playing in mind. There were no stadiums for crowds to watch, no televisions to peep with, no commentators to ruin our enjoyment, no statistics to drown us with. It is the playing of this game, not the watching of it, that makes soccer the world's greatest game. Those great people back then would laugh at the shootout. They would ask, "But why?" We would say, well, we must have a winner; society demands it, our fans demand it. Our corporate sponsors and television producers must have winners or the game will not survive, the fans will not buy our products and we will not be able to show the games. They would reply, "Television?"