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Old 03-19-2009, 04:06 PM   #1
sppunk
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Default Soccer is ruining America

Amen.

Soccer Is Ruining America
And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

By STEPHEN H. WEBB
Soccer is running America into the ground, and there is very little anyone can do about it. Social critics have long observed that we live in a therapeutic society that treats young people as if they can do no wrong. Every kid is a winner, and nobody is ever left behind, no matter how many times they watch the ball going the other way. Whether the dumbing down of America or soccer came first is hard to say, but soccer is clearly an important means by which American energy, drive and competitiveness are being undermined to the point of no return.

What other game, to put it bluntly, is so boring to watch? (Bowling and golf come to mind, but the sound of crashing pins and the sight of the well-attired strolling on perfectly kept greens are at least inherently pleasurable activities.) The linear, two-dimensional action of soccer is like the rocking of a boat but without any storm and while the boat has not even left the dock. Think of two posses pursuing their prey in opposite directions without any bullets in their guns. Soccer is the fluoridation of the American sporting scene.

For those who think I jest, let me put forth four points, which is more points than most fans will see in a week of games—and more points than most soccer players have scored since their pee-wee days.

1) Any sport that limits you to using your feet, with the occasional bang of the head, has something very wrong with it. Indeed, soccer is a liberal's dream of tragedy: It creates an egalitarian playing field by rigorously enforcing a uniform disability. Anthropologists commonly define man according to his use of hands. We have the thumb, an opposable digit that God gave us to distinguish us from animals that walk on all fours. The thumb lets us do things like throw baseballs and fold our hands in prayer. We can even talk with our hands. Have you ever seen a deaf person trying to talk with his feet? When you are really angry and acting like an animal, you kick out with your feet. Only fools punch a wall with their hands. The Iraqi who threw his shoes at President Bush was following his primordial instincts. Showing someone your feet, or sticking your shoes in someone's face, is the ultimate sign of disrespect. Do kids ever say, "Trick or Treat, smell my hands"? Did Jesus wash his disciples' hands at the Last Supper? No, hands are divine (they are one of the body parts most frequently attributed to God), while feet are in need of redemption. In all the portraits of God's wrath, never once is he pictured as wanting to step on us or kick us; he does not stoop that low.

2) Sporting should be about breaking kids down before you start building them up. Take baseball, for example. When I was a kid, baseball was the most popular sport precisely because it was so demanding. Even its language was intimidating, with bases, bats, strikes and outs. Striding up to the plate gave each of us a chance to act like we were starring in a Western movie, and tapping the bat to the plate gave us our first experience with inventing self-indulgent personal rituals. The boy chosen to be the pitcher was inevitably the first kid on the team to reach puberty, and he threw a hard ball right at you.

Thus, you had to face the fear of disfigurement as well as the statistical probability of striking out. The spectacle of your failure was so public that it was like having all of your friends invited to your home to watch your dad forcing you to eat your vegetables. We also spent a lot of time in the outfield chanting, "Hey batter batter!" as if we were Buddhist monks on steroids. Our chanting was compensatory behavior, a way of making the time go by, which is surely why at soccer games today it is the parents who do all of the yelling.

3) Everyone knows that soccer is a foreign invasion, but few people know exactly what is wrong with that. More than having to do with its origin, soccer is a European sport because it is all about death and despair. Americans would never invent a sport where the better you get the less you score. Even the way most games end, in sudden death, suggests something of an old-fashioned duel. How could anyone enjoy a game where so much energy results in so little advantage, and which typically ends with a penalty kick out, as if it is the audience that needs to be put out of its misery? Shootouts are such an anticlimax to the game and are so unpredictable that the teams might as well flip a coin to see who wins—indeed, they might as well flip the coin before the game, and not play at all.

4) And then there is the question of sex. I know my daughter will kick me when she reads this, but soccer is a game for girls. Girls are too smart to waste an entire day playing baseball, and they do not have the bloodlust for football. Soccer penalizes shoving and burns countless calories, and the margins of victory are almost always too narrow to afford any gloating. As a display of nearly death-defying stamina, soccer mimics the paradigmatic feminine experience of childbirth more than the masculine business of destroying your opponent with insurmountable power.

Let me conclude on a note of despair appropriate to my topic. There is no way to run away from soccer, if only because it is a sport all about running. It is as relentless as it is easy, and it is as tiring to play as it is tedious to watch. The real tragedy is that soccer is a foreign invasion, but it is not a plot to overthrow America. For those inclined toward paranoia, it would be easy to blame soccer's success on the political left, which, after all, worked for years to bring European decadence and despair to America. The left tried to make existentialism, Marxism, poststructuralism, and deconstructionism fashionable in order to weaken the clarity, pragmatism and drive of American culture. What the left could not accomplish through these intellectual fads, one might suspect, they are trying to accomplish through sport.

Yet this suspicion would be mistaken. Soccer is of foreign origin, that is certainly true, but its promotion and implementation are thoroughly domestic. Soccer is a self-inflicted wound. Americans have nobody to blame but themselves. Conservative suburban families, the backbone of America, have turned to soccer in droves. Baseball is too intimidating, football too brutal, and basketball takes too much time to develop the required skills. American parents in the past several decades are overworked and exhausted, but their children are overweight and neglected. Soccer is the perfect antidote to television and video games. It forces kids to run and run, and everyone can play their role, no matter how minor or irrelevant to the game. Soccer and television are the peanut butter and jelly of parenting.

I should know. I am an overworked teacher, with books to read and books to write, and before I put in a video for the kids to watch while I work in the evenings, they need to have spent some of their energy. Otherwise, they want to play with me! Last year all three of my kids were on three different soccer teams at the same time. My daughter is on a traveling team, and she is quite good. I had to sign a form that said, among other things, I would not do anything embarrassing to her or the team during the game. I told the coach I could not sign it. She was perplexed and worried. "Why not," she asked? "Are you one of those parents who yells at their kids? "Not at all," I replied, "I read books on the sidelines during the game, and this embarrasses my daughter to no end." That is my one way of protesting the rise of this pitiful sport. Nonetheless, I must say that my kids and I come home from a soccer game a very happy family.

Mr. Webb is a professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College. His recent books ******* "American Providence" and "Taking Religion to School."

Soccer Is Ruining America - WSJ.com

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:07 PM   #2
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soccer is anything but boring. wtf?

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:08 PM   #3
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besides american football its the most enjoyable sport to watch

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:17 PM   #4
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It's about time you people started playing a real sport.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #5
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that's a really, really dumb article, sppunk.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
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and what's with the thing about shootouts? i think i was involved in about 2 in four years of high school and maybe 5 out of countless games i played for clubs.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Eulogy View Post
that's a really, really dumb article, sppunk.
haha that means you're dumb too sppunk

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:22 PM   #8
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i mean i think football's shite but don't you like baseball?

might as well like cricket

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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i wondered where the fuck this guy was coming from and then i saw it at the end there. Wabash College.

i remember getting promo. mail from them back in high school. it's an all-male institution and at the time their attention-grabbing headline/motto type thing was

"Do You Have What It Takes To Be a WABASH Man?"



i distinctly remember lolling

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
Eulogy
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Originally Posted by sppunk View Post

Mr. Webb is a professor of religion and philosophy at Wabash College. His recent books ******* "American Providence" and "Taking Religion to School."

WSJ.com
what more do you need, really

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:34 PM   #11
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Eulogy - I didn't write this fucking article. I'm just posting because it'll draw in sports fans and we haven't had nearly enough sports topics on this board in the past few months.

We need guz, Jared, Ace and the gang back.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:36 PM   #12
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Awesome article, Chris

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sppunk View Post
Eulogy - I didn't write this fucking article. I'm just posting because it'll draw in sports fans and we haven't had nearly enough sports topics on this board in the past few months.

We need guz, Jared, Ace and the gang back.
uh, did i imply that you did?

i said "that's a really, really dumb article, sppunk." am i not allowed to comment on it since you weren't the one who wrote it? wtf?

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:50 PM   #14
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anyway to say soccer isn't demanding is a pretty fundamental misunderstanding

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:52 PM   #15
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It's demanding you run around with the rest of the retards who aren't good enough to play other sports

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:54 PM   #16
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It's demanding you run around with the rest of the retards who aren't good enough to play other sports
the sad thing is that i think you actually believe this.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:54 PM   #17
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see, you admit it. it's demanding that you run around. can't say as much for baseball

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:11 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sppunk View Post
Amen.

Soccer Is Ruining America
And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

By STEPHEN H. WEBB
Soccer is running America into the ground, and there is very little anyone can do about it. Social critics have long observed that we live in a therapeutic society that treats young people as if they can do no wrong. Every kid is a winner, and nobody is ever left behind, no matter how many times they watch the ball going the other way. Whether the dumbing down of America or soccer came first is hard to say, but soccer is clearly an important means by which American energy, drive and competitiveness are being undermined to the point of no return.
Ok fine interesting thesis or whatever. Too bad he never really expands or proves it in the article. He just mentions it again a few more times.



Quote:
What other game, to put it bluntly, is so boring to watch?
If you don't know it / care about it, baseball (homie's all-american bastion of whateverism here) is just as boring to watch. If this guy learned soccer (and this article makes it clear that he has not), he wouldn't be bored watching it.



Quote:
(Bowling and golf come to mind, but the sound of crashing pins...
...is not enough to stop boredom, may even induce a headache if it's on tv during a sunday morning when the risk of hangover is high...



Quote:
...and the sight of the well-attired strolling on perfectly kept greens are at least inherently pleasurable activities.)
Ok, so this guy thinks golfers are well dressed and he likes looking at perfectly manicured golf greens:

1. - laughably horrible fashion sense, probably dresses like the dorky dad on vacation stereotype

2. - one of those humans who's so insecure about his place in the universe that he gets off on a perversely simplified representation of nature which is built upon the illusion of man's control over it. Look where that mindset's gotten us over the last few hundred years.



Quote:
The linear, two-dimensional action of soccer is like the rocking of a boat but without any storm and while the boat has not even left the dock.
There is a lot to be learned from watching a boat rock at a dock. It's zen like watching baseball can be zen. These two things are arguably on the same side.


Quote:
Soccer is the fluoridation of the American sporting scene.
Oh man he's got a tinfoil hat, too.


Quote:
For those who think I jest, let me put forth four points, which is more points than most fans will see in a week of games—and more points than most soccer players have scored since their pee-wee days.
Oh he wants to get in a dick measuring contest. How many women out there would pick his flaccid pale dead flagpole of a defeated, suppressed protestant prick over that of a swarthy mysterious animal of a Southeastern European soccer player? Ladies and Gentlemen, we may be getting to the bottom of this article.



Quote:
1) Any sport that limits you to using your feet, with the occasional bang of the head, has something very wrong with it. Indeed, soccer is a liberal's dream of tragedy: It creates an egalitarian playing field by rigorously enforcing a uniform disability.
Every sport has rules. They make each game what it is. It's the whole point. Ice hockey has to be played on ice. Basketball players must handle the ball in extremely certain ways. American football players are precisely and thoroughly restricted in how and when they can touch each other. Egalitarian tragedies, all of them!




Quote:
Anthropologists commonly define man according to his use of hands. We have the thumb, an opposable digit that God gave us to distinguish us from animals that walk on all fours. The thumb lets us do things like throw baseballs and fold our hands in prayer.
(Oh my God.)


Quote:
We can even talk with our hands. Have you ever seen a deaf person trying to talk with his feet? When you are really angry and acting like an animal, you kick out with your feet. Only fools punch a wall with their hands.
Right, like people overcome by their base instincts suddenly turn into soccer players, hands tied behind their back. I doubt there's much of a difference between the amounts of punches thrown and the amounts of kicks thrown in a riot or a fistfight or whatever. Just because soccer takes away something that has a lot to do with the nature of humanity (but not nearly everything), does not mean soccer is about returning to base animal instincts.


Quote:
Do kids ever say, "Trick or Treat, smell my hands"?
No, but try to shake someone's lefty in Morocco. See what happens.


Quote:
... No, hands are divine (they are one of the body parts most frequently attributed to God),
Dude does not know the women I know.



Quote:
2) Sporting should be about breaking kids down before you start building them up. Take baseball, for example. When I was a kid, baseball was the most popular sport precisely because it was so demanding. Even its language was intimidating, with bases, bats, strikes and outs. Striding up to the plate gave each of us a chance to act like we were starring in a Western movie, and tapping the bat to the plate gave us our first experience with inventing self-indulgent personal rituals. The boy chosen to be the pitcher was inevitably the first kid on the team to reach puberty, and he threw a hard ball right at you. Thus, you had to face the fear of disfigurement as well as the statistical probability of striking out. The spectacle of your failure was so public that it was like having all of your friends invited to your home to watch your dad forcing you to eat your vegetables. We also spent a lot of time in the outfield chanting, "Hey batter batter!" as if we were Buddhist monks on steroids. Our chanting was compensatory behavior, a way of making the time go by, which is surely why at soccer games today it is the parents who do all of the yelling.
Each of these things has a parallel in most, if not every sport, including soccer. There are moments of focus on single players that give them their Western movie-esque fantasies. There are languages, nuances, and techniques to challenge the mind. There are positions on the team that represent the more dominant person (the puberty-ridden pitcher). To say baseball has these things and some other sport does not is bullshit. These things are one of the main points of and foundations of sport. It wouldn't be a sport if it didn't have these things, and sorry, bub, but golf and bowling are far more lacking in these categories than soccer. And yeah, it's harder to yell while you're playing soccer. And basketball. And ice hockey. Etc. Because you're too busy playing the game, not standing around picking yr jockstrap and getting so bored that you come up with chants. Not a dig on baseball, but also not a leg to stand on against soccer in this regard.



Quote:
3) Everyone knows that soccer is a foreign invasion, but few people know exactly what is wrong with that.
Again, wow. Just wow. Does this man understand anything about why his beloved America is so great?



Quote:
More than having to do with its origin, soccer is a European sport because it is all about death and despair. Americans would never invent a sport where the better you get the less you score. Even the way most games end, in sudden death, suggests something of an old-fashioned duel. How could anyone enjoy a game where so much energy results in so little advantage, and which typically ends with a penalty kick out, as if it is the audience that needs to be put out of its misery? Shootouts are such an anticlimax to the game and are so unpredictable that the teams might as well flip a coin to see who wins—indeed, they might as well flip the coin before the game, and not play at all.
This paragraph is just so full of wind and confusion that I don't even know where to start. Utter meaningless babble. How a game-ending shootout can be less climactic than a game-ending out on a pop fly is fully beyond me.




Quote:
4) And then there is the question of sex.
Oh this should be good.


Quote:
I know my daughter will kick me when she reads this, but soccer is a game for girls. Girls are too smart to waste an entire day playing baseball, and they do not have the bloodlust for football. Soccer penalizes shoving and burns countless calories, and the margins of victory are almost always too narrow to afford any gloating.
It's not that "wasting" a whole day playing baseball is a matter of "smart" or not. What an obvious dig thinly-veiled-as-a-compliment tossed the ladies' way in an attempt to distract them from the real insulting bullshit emanating from this paragraph. Disgusting, dude.

Also, that goals are few and far between in soccer does not make a 3 point total soccer game ten times less valuable than a 30 point football game or 50 times less valuable than a 150 point basketball game. It just means that each goal has a lot more value wrapped up in it, whether that's communicated directly in the semantics of the point system or not. Do this guy wish he were a professor in Economics? I don't.




Quote:
As a display of nearly death-defying stamina, soccer mimics the paradigmatic feminine experience of childbirth more than the masculine business of destroying your opponent with insurmountable power.
Well there that was.

What a semantic and philisophical minefield. It's painfully clear that this guy knows less than nothing about a woman giving childbrith. I'm also pretty sure he's lacking knowledge about what it means to be a man. Insurmountable power is the stuff of atomic bomb attacks and genocide, but it lies defeated or is totally absent in the stories of the conflicts and victories traded between real men.




Quote:
Let me conclude on a note of despair appropriate to my topic. There is no way to run away from soccer, if only because it is a sport all about running. It is as relentless as it is easy,
Has he ever tried to play soccer? Not easy at all. I have an easier time playing baseball.




Quote:
and it is as tiring to play as it is tedious to watch.
Ah this same argument again. He's repeated it so much, I'd almost say I was becoming bored with it, if I wasn't about to lay this one on the guy: A boring mind sees boring things.





Quote:
The real tragedy is that soccer is a foreign invasion, but it is not a plot to overthrow America. For those inclined toward paranoia, it would be easy to blame soccer's success on the political left, which, after all, worked for years to bring European decadence and despair to America. The left tried to make existentialism, Marxism, poststructuralism, and deconstructionism fashionable in order to weaken the clarity, pragmatism and drive of American culture. What the left could not accomplish through these intellectual fads, one might suspect, they are trying to accomplish through sport.
Wait, so xenophobia is not why we should be mad at soccer? It's kind of what's been driving the rest of this article so far. Boring foreign animals, etc. I'm confused.




Quote:
Yet this suspicion would be mistaken. Soccer is of foreign origin, that is certainly true, but its promotion and implementation are thoroughly domestic. Soccer is a self-inflicted wound. Americans have nobody to blame but themselves. Conservative suburban families, the backbone of America, have turned to soccer in droves. Baseball is too intimidating, football too brutal, and basketball takes too much time to develop the required skills.
Hey here are some strains of his original thesis again, but he's just mentioning it, not expanding on it, and he's hardly if at all backed it up during the article. This guy's a college professor?




Quote:
American parents in the past several decades are overworked and exhausted, but their children are overweight and neglected. Soccer is the perfect antidote to television and video games. It forces kids to run and run, and everyone can play their role, no matter how minor or irrelevant to the game.
Again, where on the soccer field is there more or less irrelevancy-to-the-game than in any other sport? I would be interested to hear what he has to say about the perceived brutality of football or the perceived complexity and intimidating characteristics of baseball and basketball, but he just keeps dancing around those things and goes back to the same lame and incorrect "soccer is boring and it's just a bunch of running around all the time zzzzz" argument. Again: this guy's a college professor?




Quote:
Soccer and television are the peanut butter and jelly of parenting.

I should know. I am an overworked teacher, with books to read and books to write, and before I put in a video for the kids to watch while I work in the evenings, they need to have spent some of their energy. Otherwise, they want to play with me! Last year all three of my kids were on three different soccer teams at the same time. My daughter is on a traveling team, and she is quite good. I had to sign a form that said, among other things, I would not do anything embarrassing to her or the team during the game. I told the coach I could not sign it. She was perplexed and worried. "Why not," she asked? "Are you one of those parents who yells at their kids? "Not at all," I replied, "I read books on the sidelines during the game, and this embarrasses my daughter to no end." That is my one way of protesting the rise of this pitiful sport. Nonetheless, I must say that my kids and I come home from a soccer game a very happy family.
Aha, there it is. Dad's a xenophobic bastard that is using his xenophobia and his job as excuses to stay distant from his children instead of manning up and diving in. He's ashamed of himself, as he should be, because he's being a shitty father when it comes to his kids' attention and activities. Is that what it takes to be a WABASH Man?

Last edited by Mariner : 03-19-2009 at 05:20 PM.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:15 PM   #19
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Mariner really likes soccer huh

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:18 PM   #20
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Soccer is a lot of fun to play. I do not get to watch a lot of it but of the few I have seen it is a lot more exciting than watching basketball, even slow games.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:21 PM   #21
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Mariner really likes soccer huh

Actually it's not that high on my list of favorite mainstream sports to watch, but that's admittedly because I haven't watched that much of it. It's higher on my list of favorite sports to play (I've done plenty of both), but the main thing is this guy's article was just too full of douchebaggery to resist.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:23 PM   #22
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don't be so coy mariner. if you like soccer so much why don't you marry it.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:23 PM   #23
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my maturity is really regressing the more I post

wow

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:26 PM   #24
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Debaser aren't you a swarthy southern european?








 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:38 PM   #25
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Football is the glorious majesty of an alien environment, any idiot can hit a lucky shot, or run into space. Football is all about control and movement, and it lasts for more than 2 seconds of action.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:43 PM   #26
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i'm glad the comparisson of baseballs bore factor has been made.

also, soccer was invited in south america, this stupid idiot doesn't know shit.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:41 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Eulogy View Post
what more do you need, really
First thing I looked at.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:20 PM   #28
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hockey is the sport soccer wishes it was

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:35 PM   #29
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might as well like cricket
please refrain from sullying the good name of the true gentleman's game by dragging it through the muck that is this discussion about the most pedestrian of sports.

 
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:01 PM   #30
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it's awesome you guys have found the root of all your problems!

 
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