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Subject: Please explain some US sports for me! rss

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Ok, we just discussed the name for soccer (US "football"), but now I have some more questions:

1) Please explain what is so great in the following sports:

a) NASCAR
b) Soccer (US football)
c) Baseball

I understand hockey and basketball, since they are fast and fun, entertaining. I understand the forumla F1 series, any rally events and suchs, track and field, you name it, I'm a fan, but the above three sports, plus few more weird ones.

In NASCAR, what do they actually do? Drive in circles? 250 laps? And where is the driver skills? Holding the wheel? Sorry, this one I do not understand.

When I was in US, one local soccer star gave me a tickets after I sold him some books. He was supposed to be big star and he was surprised I haven't heard of him I wasn't even heard the league he played in - NFL. Now I now the league at least.
So I went to watch the game and oh boy it was long and uneventful. 5 seconds of play and 2 minutes of break, 10 seconds of play and 2 minutes of play. Oh, there were nothing to look at, but people were having fun??? How, watching them talk besides the field? And the endless commercials and games and such...too little sport and adrenaline to get the popularity of the sport in US...only is US.

In baseball, where is the thrill? Another one of those waiting games. I got some tickets from some University of Kentucky baseball team, who were supposed to be a great team. The game is LOOOONG. They draw out the game, so they could sell more commercials? Or what? What I saw: one strike, paus....paus....paus....paus...paus..paus....strike. Paus...paus...paus...paus...and so on. Very little action.
In movies the game is always so fast and strategy full, but in real life I was disappointed. I really wanted to like the game.

BUT I LOVE NBA! Fast and a lot of show, but I LOVE European basketball more, since it has more team play and more beautiful moments besides individual dunks Basketball is a great one!
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US football is called simply "football", not soccer! NFL is "National Football League". "Soccer" is what we call what you call "football".

Clear as a bell, right? Why do we call a game with big guys in padding throwing and catching a ball with their hands "football"? It's a mystery for the ages. The foot only touches the ball on special occasions within the game...

I can't speak to why people like 'em; I'm not a sports fan at all.
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Real Football (ie, soccer) is cool and fun. The American version is a misnomer, as they use their feet not all, mostly floating above the play surface and spending most of the time trying to decide what to do next.

NASCAR is just really a series of left turns. According to Jeff Dunham's puppet Bubba Jay, it is a great thing to watch hammered (ie, drunk).

Baseball is just a way to pass 3 hours when you have nothing to do but watch a bunch of guys smack each other in the balls with a wooden stick, then run around.
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The word "Soccer" is a contraction of "Association Football".

Baseball is rounders with complicated scoring.
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Osiris Ra wrote:
Real Football (ie, soccer) is cool and fun. The American version is a misnomer, as they use their feet not all, mostly floating above the play surface and spending most of the time trying to decide what to do next.

NASCAR is just really a series of left turns. According to Jeff Dunham's puppet Bubba Jay, it is a great thing to watch hammered (ie, drunk).

Baseball is just a way to pass 3 hours when you have nothing to do but watch a bunch of guys smack each other in the balls with a wooden stick, then run around.


In the UK Baseball id called Rounders and tends to be a girls game.
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*sigh*

fine.

- Nascar - until you have seen 43 800 horsepower cars all on the razor's edge of control, all trying to get to p1 over the course of a 4 hour race you haven't lived. Watching it on TV doesn't even begin to give you the experience. You miss rubber dust hitting you in the face, and the smell of racing fuel... As far as skill - again 43 cars trying to get to the front sometimes in as little as a half mile. It is magic when you see it in person but I concede that on TV it is not nearly as evident.

- NFL - I enjoy the long passes and great catches and big hits

- Baseball - I appreciate the skill of the players - same game played by little league kids, at such a high level of skill it is really amazing. Having said that, I think baseball is another sport where experiencing it in-person is much more enjoyable than on TV.


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binraix wrote:
In NASCAR, what do they actually do? Drive in circles? 250 laps? And where is the driver skills? Holding the wheel? Sorry, this one I do not understand.
Well, my Estonian friend, if there is no skill involved, you must tell me why almost 100% of open-wheel racers from Europe who attempt to race Nascar fail out within 1 year! Dario Franchitti, Jacques Villenueve, Max Papis, Patrick Carpentier. All have bombed out.
binraix wrote:
In baseball, where is the thrill? Another one of those waiting games.
Compared to soccer, baseball is a score-fest! Not to mention baseball has the advantage of a very mano-a-mano pitcher-batter 2-men-enter-one-man-leaves sort of combat appeal to it. And that's not even considering the statistical aspect, which remains long after the games have been played. Think about it: Cricket is often referred to as "the second most popular sport in the world" and baseball is a lot like cricket.
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Personally, I can't stand to watch basketball as the game breaks when it comes to fouls/free throws. You have a fast moving game and then it stops. It seems that when a team is behind at the end they will strategically foul the other team and hope they miss the free throws. Ok, I have a problem with this. Penalties are supposed to be bad, not an acceptable part of the strategy for the game. The even worse thing is if your team hasn't committed enough fouls to turn all fouls into 'shooting' fouls you have to rack some more up. So your penalized for not committing penalties. Personally, instead of free throws, do like hockey, send them to the penalty box and we'll have 5 on 4 basketball for 30 seconds to a minute (Or 5 on 3 or 4 on 4, etc.) If there isn't 30 seconds left then give free throws AND make the person sit out. Make penalties count.

Now, US football. Your right, alot of talking until a little action followed by a lot of talking then a little action. The interesting part for me is the formations used by the offense and defense. How the plays are designed. ESPN has a show called NFL match-ups that would break down plays and show why they worked and why they didn't. The schemes are what makes it interesting to me.

I agree there are more breaks in the action in US football than soccer, hockey or basketball, but, really, Soccer and hockey are only really interesting once someone is in an area to score. Basketball, frankly, is only worth watching in the last few minutes when it isn't a penalty fest. In US football, points are relatively difficult to come by, ANY play can score for either team when you consider turn overs, and it rewards planning, schemes and execution. What you would describe as beautiful moments. Plus, I went to a college at the University of Florida where Football is a very popular sport.

I don't get NASCAR either. . .

I agree with you on baseball. Not a fan.
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Osiris Ra wrote:
Real Football (ie, soccer) is cool and fun. The American version is a misnomer, as they use their feet not all, mostly floating above the play surface and spending most of the time trying to decide what to do next.

NASCAR is just really a series of left turns. According to Jeff Dunham's puppet Bubba Jay, it is a great thing to watch hammered (ie, drunk).


Y'know, except for the road courses where they turn right.

Quote:

Baseball is just a way to pass 3 hours when you have nothing to do but watch a bunch of guys smack each other in the balls with a wooden stick, then run around.


If you don't like sports, you don't like sports. That is fine but ignorantly dismissing the skill of these athletes is infuriating to me.

Golf is generally boring on TV but good gods, I'd like to see YOU hit a golf ball like that. Similarly baseball, man you'd wet your pants at a 100 mph fastball thrown at you.
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Laudwic wrote:
Personally, I can't stand to watch basketball as the game breaks when it comes to fouls/free throws. You have a fast moving game and then it stops. It seems that when a team is behind at the end they will strategically foul the other team and hope they miss the free throws. Ok, I have a problem with this. Penalties are supposed to be bad, not an acceptable part of the strategy for the game. The even worse thing is if your team hasn't committed enough fouls to turn all fouls into 'shooting' fouls you have to rack some more up. So your penalized for committing penalties. Personally, instead of free throws, do like hockey, send them to the penalty box and we'll have 5 on 4 basketball for 30 seconds to a minute (Or 5 on 3 or 4 on 4, etc.) If there isn't 30 seconds left then give free throws AND make the person sit out. Make penalties count.

Now, US football. Your right, alot of talking until a little action followed by a lot of talking then a little action. The interesting part for me is the formations used by the offense and defense. How the plays are designed. ESPN has a show called NFL match-ups that would break down plays and show why they worked and why they didn't. The schemes are what makes it interesting to me.

I agree there are more breaks in the action in US football than soccer, hockey or basketball, but, really, Soccer and hockey are only really interesting once someone is in an area to score. Basketball, frankly, is only worth watching in the last few minutes when it isn't a penalty fest. In US football, points are relatively difficult to come by, ANY play can score for either team when you consider turn overs, and it rewards planning, schemes and execution. What you would describe as beautiful moments. Plus, I went to a college at the University of Florida where Football is a very popular sport.

I don't get NASCAR either. . .

I agree with you on baseball. Not a fan.


ONly game of Baseball I have ever whatched was becaseu of the man behing the bloke with the armour who had purchased an extra seat for all of his food, It was a few minutes of fun whatching his juggaling act.
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Given the number of people drooling over Boardgame statistical analysis, I'm mildly surprised there aren't MORE baseball fans here. If you watch an American baseball game on TV, you get 15% game, 80% numbers. (5% beer commercials)

Do you want to know how many players have mothers born on a farm in Indiana? They can tell you, and give you the birthdates, along with the GPS coordinates of the farm.
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I'll give this a try.

a.)NASCAR- I'm really not sure, there is some skill to the driving, but never got into it myself.

b.) American Football (not soccer) - There are some similarities to Rugby and Australian football. The foot is used sparingly, for punting and kicking field goals. The fun is: 1.the big hits 2.the long pass 3.the quick moves of the athletic running back 4.the amazing one handed, leaping catch, over a defender, in to the end zone to score the game winning touchdown on the last play of the game! And the strategy of the coach trying to guess correctly what play the opponent is planning. (It is a very mental game, despite the hitting.)

c.) Baseball- Also very mental, as a manager, pitting the right pitcher against the batter. Home runs are always fun, seeing a diving 6-4-3 double play, or a outfielder robbing a home run at the wall. If you ever see a dominating pitcher pitch a no hitter, it's a thing of art. Plus I find it the most fun to play or watching it at the ballpark: a great way to spend an afternoon with your friends eating hot dogs and drinking a cold brew. Also, its a tradition. Dads and sons have been playing catch for generations.

None of this probably helped because I used a lot of sport specific terms, so I would say- Give 'em a chance.(Except NASCAR) Watch it a few times, I do that for the Olympics and World Cup and am quite entertained by sports I usually have no intrest in.
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vandemonium wrote:
Baseball is just a way to pass 3 hours when you have nothing to do but watch a bunch of guys smack each other in the balls with a wooden stick, then run around.


If you don't like sports, you don't like sports. That is fine but ignorantly dismissing the skill of these athletes is infuriating to me.

Golf is generally boring on TV but good gods, I'd like to see YOU hit a golf ball like that. Similarly baseball, man you'd wet your pants at a 100 mph fastball thrown at you.[/q]
Sarcasm is hard to connote via the written word, but I do not see anything in my words that can be taken seriously. Never meant to imply baseball players aren't skilled (just juiced up).
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vandemonium wrote:
*sigh*

fine.

- Nascar - until you have seen 43 800 horsepower cars all on the razor's edge of control, all trying to get to p1 over the course of a 4 hour race you haven't lived. Watching it on TV doesn't even begin to give you the experience. You miss rubber dust hitting you in the face, and the smell of racing fuel... As far as skill - again 43 cars trying to get to the front sometimes in as little as a half mile. It is magic when you see it in person but I concede that on TV it is not nearly as evident.

- NFL - I enjoy the long passes and great catches and big hits

- Baseball - I appreciate the skill of the players - same game played by little league kids, at such a high level of skill it is really amazing. Having said that, I think baseball is another sport where experiencing it in-person is much more enjoyable than on TV.




Bingo - you nailed it. thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
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binraix wrote:
1) Please explain what is so great in the following sports:

a) NASCAR


I'm more of a F1 fan, but I might watch a few minutes of a NASCAR race now and then. Things are more evenly matched so there are many people with a chance to win each week. Lots of passing and lead changes (and crashes).

Quote:
b) Soccer (US football)


I think some call it gridiron (never soccer) if you really need an alternate name. Each play is a set piece battle, with each side trying to outthink the other. Players have very specific roles but must mesh together. A team can look invincible one week, but the next team can figure out a way to counter their strength. Great strategy.

Quote:
c) Baseball


It is a slow paced "pastoral" game, but at least it is faster than cricket. Great for stats geeks since the actions are discreet, rather than continuous. Each player must play different roles on offense and defense and putting a team together to balance that is an art. It is something that you develop a taste for early on or have to put some effort into appreciating. I believe its rise to popularity owes much to being the best sport to listen to on radio.
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Osiris Ra wrote:
vandemonium wrote:
Baseball is just a way to pass 3 hours when you have nothing to do but watch a bunch of guys smack each other in the balls with a wooden stick, then run around.


If you don't like sports, you don't like sports. That is fine but ignorantly dismissing the skill of these athletes is infuriating to me.

Golf is generally boring on TV but good gods, I'd like to see YOU hit a golf ball like that. Similarly baseball, man you'd wet your pants at a 100 mph fastball thrown at you.
Sarcasm is hard to connote via the written word, but I do not see anything in my words that can be taken seriously. Never meant to imply baseball players aren't skilled (just juiced up).



*shrug* whatever dude. I just get tired of 'things only I like for $1000 Alec'
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NASCAR is a little drawn out on some tracks. Yes they do just drive around in cicles for hours.

But You have to remember they drive around at extreme speeds inches from each other in sometimes tight packs. One driver having a split second lapse of focus could make a very big mess. Unlike F-1 they do bump each other to either make a point or muscle their way through a pack.

The other thing is they are not just keeping their foot on the gas the whole time. On many tracks they have to brake and shift through the corners thats something they have to do hundreds of times a race. The shifting is not done on the steering wheel like F-1 they have to reach over and down to get to the shifter, leaving one hand on the wheel.

The tracks look nice and smooth and easy to drive on. But that's not the case. They often have bumps and vallys. Many tracks do not have the same angle, radius, or type of corner on every corner. So the driver has to be aware of what's comming up.

The pit crews and how successful the pit stop is can make the difference between winning and loosing. Also a lot of responsibility goes to the crew for making sure the smallest of details are finely tuned in order to make the vehicle the most time efficient.

A NASCAR driver is very dependent on the entire season not just a race. They are racing for points. If they lead the most laps they get points, finish in a certain position they get certain points etc. So a driver might not need to win a race he just needs to consistently finish in the top 10. This can lead to some boring tracks.

Races are a bit long and drawn out. This is partly done to really test the ability of the pit crew and pit chief, not just the driver. The decisions the chief makes concerning pits and what will be done during them can win or lose a race.

Most of the race is the drivers trying to finish laps, stay out of trouble, keep their car damage free, and improve or keep their position. In general if a race is going to be 3-4 hours long, tune in about 2-3 hours in and just catch the last laps. Thats where the most actual racing happens.
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Gridiron football and baseball (and cricket too, for that matter) work in pulses. Having grown up with both sports, I enjoy the rhythm of action-delay-action-delay. Tension and release. Watch a playoff game, and see the anxiety in the air between plays. It's a beautiful thing.

The more you get into the sports, the more you see what's going on during those breaks. In football: How is the offense lining up? Do they have the traditional pro or I set, or have they emptied their backfield. How is the defense lining up? Are they sending men to blitz, or are they hanging back to clog up the box? The quarterback is calling an audible now; what did he see? What are they changing?

It's tougher in baseball, because you have to really know the intricacies of the sport. But once you know the importance of the count to an at-bat, and the fact that the pitcher and batter are going to approach a pitch differently if the count is 2-1 versus 1-2, then you'll see where it gets interesting. Does the pitcher need to throw a strike? Does he have a good fastball? Does he dare throw a curve in this count? What's the batter expecting? Can he pull a fastball? Is he sitting on a pitch?

As you might know, Japan is very fond of baseball. My pet theory is that there's a similarity between the staredown of a pitcher and a batter, and the staredown of two sumo wrestlers (another sport with tension and release). There's a period of intimidation and double-guessing in both sports, and I think that's why Japan took to baseball so quickly.

As for oval-track racing, it is quite fun. With an oval, the track is still a factor, but not as much as in a road race, so the focus is driver versus driver. Yes, you're only making left turns, but there's still a line to follow, and the question now becomes how to deal with the other 40 cars. Pit and fuel strategies are enormously important, and the performance of your pit crew is paramount (NASCAR pit crews are only a few people, as opposed to F1, which allows an enormous crew).

Unlike F1, cars going two-wide or even three-wide is very common. And of course, the closed-wheel nature of a stock car makes for a physical, intimidating driving style ("If you ain't rubbin', you ain't racin'"). So there's a lot to watch for, in addition to the spectacle of all the horsepower circling the track.

Personally, I'm not a huge NASCAR fan, but the appeal is quite obvious. I'm a huge baseball and football fan though, even though I usually root for crappy teams.

EDIT: Stupid grammar.
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vandemonium wrote:
That is fine but ignorantly dismissing the skill of these athletes is infuriating to me.
Which is my favorite sport, really.
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NASCAR - regardless of the racing format, auto racing is a brutal test of endurance. I'm not a huge fan of stock car racing (especially since the cars stopped being "stock" cars many, many years ago), but an oval track allows racing to be held in a smaller area than the typical road course, and allows attendees to follow every second of the action, rather than watching most of the action on videoboards.

American Football - you have your other thread for that.

Baseball - Well, let me leave the description to my friend, Mr. Robert DeNiro:



Violence aside, his analysis of the game is spot-on.
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Now, to compare the sports of baseball and football, I present the late George Carlin:

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people like what they know. I dont like soccer even though I grew up playing it. I like all the american sports, but MUCH prefer baseball and football to hockey and basketball. Anything with cards Im out on.

Its my opinion that if you introducded all sports to someone that had never seen a ball before, they would pick basketball. It is by far the most continuous motion. soccer NEVER stops but its light on action.

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...NFL...



...yeah, there's strategy 'n stuff too, but really, the violence is the cool part! Too bad in today's NFL, most of these hits would be illegal now, drawing fines or penalties or both... soblue
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desertfox2004 wrote:
...NFL...



...yeah, there's strategy 'n stuff too, but really, the violence is the cool part! Too bad in today's NFL, most of these hits would be illegal now, drawing fines or penalties or both... soblue


::insert obligatory comment about how NFL is now for prima donnas and real men play Rugby::


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Oh geez, we're not going to get into that macho "X sport is better than Y sport because it's TOUGHER" thing, are we?

I mean, saying rugby is better than gridiron football because it's tougher is like saying auto racing is better than horse racing because it's faster. Both are factually true, but they kind of miss the point.
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