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Sporty thoughts

posted by xscot mcknight

Just in case you don’t follow soccer, and I’m happy to say that I’ve never played the game nor do I understand how people can stand around and watch 1-o games … well, just in case, the fierce North Park Vikings are the first team in history to beat the Wheaton Crusaders three times in a row at Wheaton. And the Vikings won the Conference. North Park considers whatever it does a success if it beats Wheaton. If you want to see genuine zaniness, watch the front row of a NPU-Wheaton basketball game when the game is played at NPU.
On soccer, here’s two thoughts. First, to make the game more interesting, make a bigger goal. More goals, more fun. Second, permit offsides. Imagine what football would be if you couldn’t throw a pass to a receiver who got beyond the defenders. Football, by the way, is way more exciting than soccer. And let me add a third thing I’d do for soccer to make it more interesting: make a smaller field — I find those long kicks a lot of silliness. If you are in trouble and fear getting scored upon, you shouldn’t be able to kick the ball out of the reach of other players. Cheesy, I say. Tough it out.
Kris and I are now official women’s basketball junkies. I played basketball as a kid and even laced ‘em up in college a few times, but the game is getting out of hand. It is too physical, too much shoving, too much jumping and dunking, not enough shooting from the perimeter, too many tall guys and not enough short guys. It discourages the guards among us. Kris and I like basketball that focuses on passing and shooting from passes and ball movement. So, we are now fans of the NCAA Women’s version of the game. The teams to watch for us this year will be Tennessee, with Candace Parker from Naperville, and Notre Dame, with Lindsay Schrader, from Bartlett (my sister-in-law, Pat Arnet, was a coach for her team).



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John Frye

posted November 8, 2005 at 9:54 am


I’m with you, Scot. Soccer is so dang boring–all that running and kicking for a 0-1 game. Get real. And hockey out to be outlawed. Who can follow it?? I’d rather watch grass grow (I mean legitimate grass). I hear you were quite the player under Coach Raymond. Did you have a good perimeter shot?



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Scot McKnight

posted November 8, 2005 at 9:59 am


John,
Had they had a 3-pt line… just the thought of it excites me.



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Chris

posted November 8, 2005 at 11:29 am


I am a converted soccer fan (with 5 children you must be). But really, I have come to enjoy the sport. The excitement is the journey or the quest for a goal. I like soccer because it leaves you wanting more. Also, being from the Mennonite tradition, soccer seems a little more peaceful than the NFL.



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marko

posted November 8, 2005 at 11:43 am


little correction, though: north park DID NOT beat the Wheaton College Crusaders three times in a row. They may have beaten the Wheaton College Thunder three times in a row (Wheaton hasn’t been ‘the crusaders” for a decade or more).



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Ken White

posted November 8, 2005 at 4:16 pm


Scot,
Well you’re a little modest about your basketball abilities. Having played with you in IM basketball at TEDS I can say you shoot the lights out, and not coincidentally, that’s the kind of game you’d like to see others play!
My boys both played soccer and the younger is starting basketball. It’s clearly offsides that keeps the score down–but it can be an exciting game, especially when your kids are playing.



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Simon

posted November 8, 2005 at 4:51 pm


*offended* The rest of the world calls it football, not soccer!
At least when we play in the ‘World cup’ we actually play with teams from other countries, unlike the various ‘world series’ in the US!!
In baseball and American Football the USA wins the World series every year! Well done! – oh I forget, only the US takes part!
And football ‘dang boring’!! *gets really rattled. Face goes red with righteous fury*. My oh my. I pray for your souls! ;)
Simon (from the UK – that small island across the Atlantic – you know, where English and ‘soccer’ comes from)
p.s. American football is for wimps, Ruby is for MEN ;)



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Scot McKnight

posted November 8, 2005 at 4:55 pm


Simon,
A little testy for an Englishman, but I’ll say this: I love rugger! Went to games every time I could down in Attenborough, and saw the Wallabies play the Leicester side.
But you’ve got to understand that American baseball is an international team, with many players from Latin America and some from the Far East. We saw a baseball game one day in Nottingham. Great fun.



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Bald Man

posted November 8, 2005 at 5:01 pm


OK – You almost lost a reader, but I suppose I can let this slide. No one’s perfect after all. ;)
As a soccer player, I’ll say this:
1. More goals don’t necessarily equate to more fun. A complaint that can be levied on basketball is that no individual basket has much meaning; it’s just one of a hundred that will be scored in a game. (1 of 70 in college.) In soccer nearly every goal has significance. You can’t honestly tell me you get excited about EVERY basket, can you?
Excitement comes when we are able to appreciate the head-to-head competitions and the displays of skill, physical ability, and teamwork. Each of these interact with each other and are expressed differently in various sports. Baseball, for example, is a guaranteed sedative for me; but that is because I haven’t learned to appreciate the at bat, which is the bulk of a game. To me: it’s toss with the occasional lucky hit. But to the fan….
2. Your forward pass analogy breaks down, because you can’t pass the football into open space and let the receiver catch up to it. If the ball hits the ground, incompletion. A better analogy would be the basketball fast break. Then again, it is rare (and a huge blunder) for a receiver to be downfield beyond the saftey before the ball is thrown, the situation barred by soccer’s offside rule.
Because of the dynamics involved in a soccer game, I suspect goals would decrease even further if offside were eliminated, but this is just an opinion.
3. From experience and observation I can tell you that smaller fields make things worse, not better. Sure, the acres of space are sometimes used by the defense to clear a ball far, far away; but that space is more critical to the attacker who is looking for passing and dribbling lanes.
Enough soccer apologetics. Thanks for the blog; it’s a regular read for me.



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Simon

posted November 8, 2005 at 5:06 pm


Scott,
A little testy!! He he. Obviously the tone of my voice was in the best ‘butler like’ Queens English. Measured and reserved! Tea? ;)
I’m glad you like Ruby! Nothing like getting caught in a scrum to blow away the cobwebs. I shall look out for baseball in England, however over here it is called rounders and it is mainly played by girls!
Lovingly your blogsite BTW. Really encouraging.
Simon



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David Reeves

posted November 8, 2005 at 8:25 pm


Go Lady Vols!!!!



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Kris

posted November 8, 2005 at 8:31 pm


YES! I love those Lady Vols! Go Candice Parker!



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Ron Fay

posted November 9, 2005 at 12:09 pm


*cough* UConn Lady Huskies fan here. After all, I did grow up in Connecticut (you can tell since I can actually spell the name of the state).
I admit that I really enjoy NCAA basketball, whether men’s or women’s. Still, the game of the year is whenever UConn plays Tennessee. In my opinion, it is better than Duke-UNC or any of those other rivalries in the men’s game.



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Kerry Doyal

posted November 10, 2005 at 8:37 pm


Lady Vols rule! They are the Summit.



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Pat Arnet

posted November 13, 2005 at 8:51 pm


Hey Scot–enjoying your blog site and the note about bball. Watch out for Lindsay Schrader! She’s going to be a great one!!!



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