@Icovey Then, like me, you must find it quite ironic that at the grade school, high school and even college level soccer is actually a rather popular sport here in America, no? No kid that I knew ever endured the scorn of peers for saying "I'm going out for the soccer team". In fact it was quite the opposite. In my high-school, where there was no football because we were small and cheap, all the jocks and cool kids played soccer. In other schools that had football, soccer was still very popular. If a kid said he was going to college on a soccer scholarship it wasn't earthshattering news.
My point is that there is no dearth of tallent and experience in the young here in America, so it's utterly incredible to me just how much of a cliff of interest there is after college and beyond and thus our permanent lack of placement in this tournement.
As a European I find [American] football dull. Within a minute the game is halted.
You don't need to be a European to hold this view. As an American who's spent a considerable amount of time and money over the last 25 years watching Football, playing Fantasy Football (obsessing, maybe), reading about my favorite team daily, buying the swill beer they pitch at me, etc., I now find myself on a two step program to wean myself off of Football. A sort of self-imposed Football-rehab, if you will. Step one: stop all that crap, step two: enjoy life more.
So, what prompted this epiphany? Well, exactly what you site: stoppage. There is WAY too much of it and the game simply isn't any fun anymore! Business-first owners are killing the game and insufferable, spineless pukes like Roger Goodell are accelerating that demise.
But I'm sure better writers like Mr. Benjamin have covered that subject much more eloquently.
Here in England this World Cup is generally acknowledged as one of the best and most exciting for a long time (even though our team is not doing well) and if you are not enjoying it then that's your loss. As for your stats about declining numbers of goals, you can't compare figures from decades ago when the game was played quite differently. But the small decline in goals scored in the last twenty years actually represents progress. It's because there are no really weak teams in the tournament which means no mismatches and hence no huge scores. A 3-2 scoreline usually means a very good game but 9-0 doesn't, who wants to watch a game where the result is not in any doubt? This year's tournament is so compelling because we really don't have much idea who will win and even these early games are very hard to predict.
More generally, football (soccer) fans don't have a problem with the number of goals scored in a typical game of football. There is nothing that needs fixing here.
Benj, I thought it would be "off-side" to join this fun, preferring to to limit comments to those posted after my three articles dealing with Goal-Line Technology. But your reminder about Hungary 10-El Salvador 1 and previous comments about FIFA's shocking administration of football reminded me that bribery and underhand deals are nothing new surrounding the 'beautiful game' . In the 1954 World Cup, in Switzerland, Hungary beat (then) West Germany 8:3 in the group stages, but lost to them in the finals 3:2 in a farcical match match that led to the disintegration of the best footbal team ever assembeld, led by the inspirational Ferenc Puskas. (Almost everyone knew, except FIFA, that most of the German players were on drugs).
This team was the first ever to beat England at Wembley - 6:3 in 1953. The following year they demolished them in Budapest 7:1 (I was there!!!!) . OK, I may be a little biased, but the tactics this Magyar teeam deployed from about 1950 on changed the face of football, mainly because they had two magnificent wingers (anyone remember Czibor?) who could dribble their way through any defence. All the players had remarkable ball control ,and attackedwith such verve and power that they could only be held by brute force and a much more defensive line up by the opposition. Those tactics are still with us.
Soccer is by far the largest sport in the world...nothing comes close...the author of the article doesn't seem to understand anything about it...billions of people watching and billions of dollars spent on organizing the cup provide the simplest proof of its popularity...if you don't like just don't watch it...Kris