She ordered Kobe beef like Shaquille O’Neal, second I stepped in, the whole room gets still….Written by: Slim
I would like to introduce a guest columnist for the day…Ladies and Gentleman, the man, the myth, the legend, my boy D.B.
The United STATS of America
I would like to premise this article by mentioning the fact that I consider myself a soccer fan, not an avid fútbol fan, but a soccer fan. With this being said I can guarantee soccer never catches on in the United States of America. How am I so sure of this you ask? Well, this entire bold statement is based on one word: statistics. Now, I am a little bias as I keep track of the bottom line on ESPN more than what is actually on, but realistically, soccer has less statistics than AC Green has one night stands. How many possible statistics can you name in soccer? My guess? Probably less than Ben Roethlisberger sexual assaults. So, I thought about it and here it goes: goals, assists, fouls (who cares), yellow cards (who cares), red cards (better be good), clean sheets (keepers), uh, shots on goal, uh, minutes played (really?). Out of all those categories, I would bet that the American public would be interested in two (goals and assists). The rest are as intriguing as Danica Patrick joining Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR team (thanks again Danica for taking up an additional 20 minutes on SportsCenter. No really, I seriously care that you finished 43rd in the Midwest Wheatfield 500). Sorry, back to the topic at hand. When people discuss sports, most of the time they want to be awed by unreal, unhuman statistics. For instance, “Did you see LeBron drop 55 last night?” or “Can you believe Manning was 25 for 27 with 389 and 4 TDs?” Now, enter a conversation about soccer. “Did you see how many dribbles Landon Donovan had last night? In-f***ing-credible!”
The three major sports in the US are unarguably basketball, football, and baseball. Associated with these sports are more stat acronyms than one could possibly handle. PPG, RPG, YAC, ERA, WHIP, PER (John Hollinger fake NBA Stat), TCJSHD (Time Chris Johnson Shakes His Dreads). Unless you are an avid, knowledgeable soccer fan, the sport of soccer provides us with little analysis of player performance. The beauty of sports is the elementary thought process. You can catch a stat from the night before and think “Man, that guy went off.” In soccer, unless somebody puts 3 in the back of the net, you’re in as much of a position to comment on how the Right Back played as Paris Hilton is to comment on the Health Care Bill. As the popularity of sports information evolves, so do statistics. Every day, people are devising new ways to look at performance. The aforementioned PER (Player Efficient Rating), created by John Hollinger to assess NBA players by taking into account numerous other statistics, is now a headliner on ESPN. Do you understand this? This is a statistic based on statistics. And it’s mentioned in the analysis of basketball players on a daily basis. Soccer statistics don’t evolve. They are cut and dry. The most complex stat soccer brings to the table: Total Points. Two points for a goal and one for an assist. As complex as Demarcus Cousins’college major huh? (Undeclared, BTW).
So while it’s known as “the most beautiful game on earth,” soccer is far from a statistician’s wet dream. And until John Hollinger starts analyzing soccer, it will continue to have less of an audience than the epic Fox sitcom “Hole In the Wall.” But don’t act like you didn’t catch an episode or two of that…