OTC: Is Soccer America’s New Love Or A Bitter Ex?

Landon Donovan - USA v Algeria: Landon Donovan the pride of America as the USA clinch top spot with last gasp winner

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36 Responses to OTC: Is Soccer America’s New Love Or A Bitter Ex?

  1. Anonymous says:

    So Nick Wright gets to respond to KK’s on-air predictions about the upcoming chiefs’ camp. Does KK get the same opportunity?

    My PPM will be recording 810’s coverage, and my PPM speaks for thousands. No need to tune to 610.


    GH: Both 810 and 610 have been very cooperative when I have contacted either station in regard to a clarification or to elicit a response about what someone else said or wrote. But this ain’t third grade where I need or try to make sure everybody gets treated fairly. Those who take issue with a column or would like space to add their perspective all know how to reach me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jay Mohr is to Jim Rome what Kelly Urich is to KCC.

    Comparing MLS play to World Cup play is like comparing David Cook to Mick Jagger. MLS is Burger King, the World Cup is Peter Luger’s.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kevin can’t promise “bar none” training camp coverage if I turn on the radio (like I did today during one of the most exciting sports days of the year) and hear the paid segment on grilling meat.

  4. Anonymous says:

    GH: Some believe patriotism in America died with the Vietnam. It has merely been waiting for Landon Donavon.

    Not that ANYONE cares…but here’s my thoughts on soccer and the US team. Soccer was my main sport growing up, club soccer through high school. I played baseball, basketball, football in middle school and tennis all along…but soccer is what I spent the most time with and the ONLY sport in which I enjoyed the weekend-consuming tournaments. Hell, I spent a week every summer for 4 or 5 years at the hell-mouth that was Creighton soccer camp, enjoying 6am wake-up calls to do sit ups on the asphalt parking lot. Jeesh! Anyway, my point is I really loved playing the sport. Everyone always talks about some mysterious nuance that knowledgeable fans notice…that if noticed by the whole…would make the game enjoyable to anybody. The truth is that nuance really doesn’t exist. Sure, there is technical skill on display that can only be appreciated if you played, or how a play forms from the back and develops or even how hard it really is to score a goal when all they eyes are on you…but there’s not much more. For all the training and “sets” teams practice, goals are usually scored on deflections, off a misplayed ball by the other team, or on simple runs and crossed balls.
    The reason soccer is never going to play here like it does in Europe is because we already have our soccer…it’s called football, baseball and to a lesser extent, basketball. It’s about pride in your team and your country and every country will always choose what their best at, where they’ve had the most success, the game they invented…to build THEIR tradition.
    Why do people go to football games in the US? Football may be the worst sport ever invented to actually watch on the field unless you’re sitting club level 50-yard line. You don’t know if a RB got far enough for the first until you watch it on the big screen. A 15 yard gain looks like a 3 yard gain if you’re in the wrong place.
    You go because everyone else goes. Because it’s fun to celebrate with people who think like you. And everyone else goes because that’s what they liked growing up…and so on and so forth. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t want the US to have Europe-like crowds at jam-packed, unruly and downright dangerous venues. Everyone should check out the latest Real Sports and see what black players go through playing in Europe. Many teams have well-established Neo-Nazi sections IN THEIR STADIUMS. One sign on the show read something like “Auschwitz is your homeland, the oven is your home.” Obviously, futbol in Europe is more about nationalism and politics than any sport here. That is seldom the case here, save for maybe Ole Miss football games.
    But while soccer is never, ever, ever going to be top dog here…we’re getting very competitive in younger age groups and I bet we win a World Cup in the next 25 years.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow that was Jojo-esque…but I forgot to even mention the U.S. team. Landon Donovan is the pretty face that is going to get the hype, but Clint Dempsey is the reason the U.S. is in this thing. He’s scored, had goals disallowed, banged balls of the crossbars and all-around kicked ass this whole tournament just like he did four years ago when he was the only player that showed up for us. LD disappeared that entire game and wouldn’t have had a gimme goal had Dempsey not got a good touch that bounced off the goalie and into Donovan’s lap. Dempsey is the guy to watch going forward.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I spent as much time watching soccer as I did reading Stevo’s post … zilch. I devoted the same amount of time to the NBA playoffs. But that’s just me. I get it that others are wrapped in it. Fine … I’ve listened to more music this week during the commute.

  7. Anonymous says:

    WTF HALL? Patriotism died with the vietnam
    and watching a soccer game in a bar in lincoln
    nebraska makes you a patriot? WTF?
    So If i attend a u.s. soccer game I should
    receive a purple heart?
    Did you forget about those who served in
    Desert Storm? Iraq…Afghanistan?
    Oh…forget them…watch a soccer game…
    cheer for the u.s….listen to old man jack
    harry (did he ever wear a uniform) be proud to
    be an american when the u.s. beats third
    world countries in “football” and you’re
    a patriot.
    Wrong again…patriotism did not die
    after the vietnam war…thousands of brave
    souls and patriots gave their lives for this
    nation..paid the ultimate sacrifice for this
    country….but you say we have no patriots…
    come on greg…wake up.
    Patriotism is alive in america…and its
    not a requirement to cheer for your team
    to be one.
    Playing “football” is not a patriotic nor
    a heroic nor a courageous act.
    Stop insulting people who find this sport
    boring…drawn out and useless on tv.
    And stop making comments that patriotism
    is dead…it’s not.
    Maybe stop writing sports crap and go out
    and see what patriotism is about…its
    not drinking bud lite and cheering from
    a bar in a little town for the u.s. team..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Stevo…nicely put. I had a similar convo with my wife last nite. I will add that we as Americans want finality. And when a game/match can end in a tie, we don’t like it. Soccer is growing, but no faster than it was in the 70’s when we were told that it was going to take over baseball, football, etc. I’d put my money on lacrosse passing up soccer before soccer ever passes up football in the USA.

  9. Anonymous says:

    STEVO…thanks for the compliment. Next time
    cut your rant in half! (lol) jojo

  10. Anonymous says:

    Aint no 4th & Goal in soccer.
    Soccer in America was the beginning of the helicopter parents…trotting their kiddies out
    at 3yrs old to run thru cones.
    Soccer Good……Dodgeball Bad.
    It really is a low budget sport..ergo the World’s popularity. All you need is a field a ball and head of concrete to play.

  11. Anonymous says:

    World Cup soccer in America is what the Great Midwest nearly became had the Big 12 broken-up — a fly-over sport. It is filler between basketball and football seasons.

    And on the 810/610 issue, GH, as long as you are admitting that you are trying to give 610 a leg-up in this ratings “skirmish,” we readers are good.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Bob Loblaw
    Ten hours of tennis and no winner? Sounds more like a fight with your spouse.

    Good on GH!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I forced myself to watch the much-hyped USA-England game, and that was 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back. I tried. I really did. But damn, that was brutally boring.

    Needless to say, I chose not to burn a vacation day to watch more soccer.

    Here are the facts as I understand them:

    USA advanced despite winning only one of three matches.
    The possibility existed before the game that USA could have advanced by winning ZERO of its three games.
    USA scored exactly one more goal than their competition in 3 games.
    People talk about the disallowed goal vs. Slovenia, but England’s goalie crapping the bed sort of counterbalances that.

    Whatever. We had a chance to not talk about soccer for four years and we blew it.

    And if someone compares this to the Miracle on Ice again I will backhand him.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Greg, were you being glib and acting intentionally when you referred to soccer’s “well-hidden nuisances” or did you mean to refer to soccer’s well-hidden NUANCES? Either way would be correct, but one of them is pretty damn funny. I just want to know if you meant the joke.


    GH: Glib.

  15. Anonymous says:

    the usa-england match was watched by 18 million americans, which was better than most recent world series and nba finals games. with the usa round of 16 game being played this weekend, i’d bet on that audience surpassing any single world series game for the past ten years.

    as far as soccer catching on because poor countries can’t afford much else, the english premier league clubs, fuelled by huge television contracts, average $100 million per club in player payroll. real madrid and barcelona both gross over $400 million annually. not exactly chump change, and i am pretty sure higher revenues than any american sports team.

    the complaints of low scoring in soccer are always interesting. the same guys who complain about three scores in an average soccer game in 110 minutes of viewing have no problem watching an nfl game that averages five td’s in 195 minutes. but, gee, in football you get to watch dozens of commercial timeouts. that’s so much better than continuous play.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Soccer has been trying to catch America’s fascination for decades. It would have done so by now if it had something to sell. It is what it is…it’ll be over soon and football will be BACK. Then we won’t have to hear about soccer again for a great while.

    Soccer is the sports world’s windmill.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Greg Gagne

  18. Anonymous says:

    Just because you don’t like soccer doesn’t mean it’s a stupid sport. A lot of people around here don’t watch the NBA but I do and those guys are maybe the best conditioned athletes in sports. I personally find the idea of sitting around for 8 hours on Sunday watching a meaningless Browns-Chiefs game about as interesting as a dance recital…and I’ve sat through a few of those as well.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Stevo, good points earlier.

    My main soccer gripe is my same gripe for hockey…goals seem to be more about sheer luck and fluky-ness than anything else.

    The U.S. and Algeria absolutely blew great scoring chances all game long. The U.S. looked doomed…and then it was like the stars aligned miraculously and suddenly and Donovan kicks one in. Because of that one fortuitous moment, the U.S. is great. Had it not happened, we’d be talking the demise of soccer in America.

    I saw Italy DOMINATE New Zealand…they had about 25 shots on goal to 4 for New Zealand…yet finished in a 1-1 tie.

    Lionel Messi of Argentina is a SICK magician with the ball. If anyone gets a chance, WATCH HIM. Yet, as great as he is, he has ZERO goals despite kicking 20 shots on goal and 2 hitting the cross-bar.

    Soccer just seems so unfair and random most of the time.

    I think Stevo is DEAD ON….it’s popular world-wide much like the NFL is here because it’s an event that people can latch onto and cheer with their town or countries pride.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Collective Noses
    Stevo…Smartman….nice takes.

  21. Anonymous says:


    Nick Wright may be more of the real deal than past 610 hosts. I like that he talks a little trash. He’s confident in his show and he has a right to be…it’s pretty good. Wright has a sense of humor that is SORELY missing on 810 (St. John excluded), and he clearly has much more radio smarts than I originally thought when I heard him on his morning show. I hope he really IS serious about dethroning The Unfunny Golf and Grilling Show up the dial.

    That would mean only good things for KC sports radio listeners.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Just heard this email on Rome:

    “Hey Jim. Tell those tennis players at Wimbledon to just call it a draw and go home. Signed, the World Cup.”


  23. Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen the number of viewers at more like 13 million for the USA-England match, but I’ll accept the 18 million. Hell, I’ll readily admit I was one of those viewers.

    And it was incredibly boring to watch.

    Soccer apologists come back with the “flopping/lack of scoring/lack of action happens in basketball/baseball/football too” argument. It’s like a damn Mad Lib.

    Many people don’t “get” soccer because, for most of the game, nothing measurable happens. The ball bounces around aimlessly, then it’s kicked the other way, then the other way, then someone runs a little bit, then it comes back…

    Point being, the sport can be utterly devoid of tension for HUGE stretches of time. Even when a baseball or football game gets slow, most of the time there is something to watch–there is a defined set of actions that bring about a defined set of results.

    And any sport that rewards ties so heartily (the USA WON THEIR GROUP by winning once and tying twice) is not one I can get behind. There’s no fair way to end a match? That’s the sport’s problem, not mine.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Soccer could be made watchable with a few modifications:

    1. Add goals to the sides of the “50 yd line;” 2 pts for a score in the end goals and 1 pt for a side goal score.

    2. Add lions and tigers mounted to poles (a-la Gladiator) at strategic locations on the field. If the animal rights whacknuts complain, and anybody in a decision making capacity cares about it if they do, replace the lions and tigers with hidden fences and fit the athletes with shock collars.

    Soccer would exceed American football within a year in TV ratings.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Nick Wright forgot to mention that when I want to hear an interview with new KU football coach Jim Harbaugh, I tune in to 610 sports.

  26. Anonymous says:

    ^^^Good one!

  27. Anonymous says:

    jjskck, 13 million was the reported espn audience. univision had another 5 million viewers.

  28. Anonymous says:

    oops, should have said 13 millions was the reported abc audience, not espn.

  29. Anonymous says:

    SNOOZE BUTTON………………………………

  30. Anonymous says:

    i’M sure every poor person in algeria
    (or the few with tv’s) watched with great
    anticipation the big match.
    Oh…how exciting…ghana won! Yipee…
    Even our friends on the other side of the
    pond advanced……..yehaaaaaa.
    hey…now the germans are beating up on the
    english again…didnt that occur back in
    the 40’s?
    Can’t wait for badminton to start up again.

  31. Anonymous says:

    your choice of entertainment
    1. what world cup soccer
    2. watching paint dry
    3. watching the moon at night
    4. watching the food network

    all of the above suck.`

  32. Anonymous says:

    you need to watch some Top Chef Jojo. Then you can fancily cook all the opossum and squirrels you people eat in Missouri!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Nick unbiased? The guy spends plenty of time on his show during football season informing the listeners what football player he’s hung out with and what his house looks like.

    That’s not insight, that’s just being a massive jock sniffer, I’m embarrassed for him everytime he tells one of those stories.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to be bias in my coverage. The grilling segments, racin boys and cookies suck.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I would like to hear some of the grilling segments…but not on sports talk!

  36. Anonymous says:

    let me get this straight. jojo’s life is so mundane that he spends hours on this forum writing multiple 500 word replies to virtually every blog post. but to him soccer is boring? classic.

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