Why is soccer so violent?
July 4, 2004 8:12 PM   Subscribe

From Escobar in the '94 World Cup to Uday and now Liberia, soccer tends towards the ultra-violent. Why?
posted by Kwantsar to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
It's simply "most popular sport in the country" + "playing that sport against other countries" It's very easy to get fiercely nationalist in that situation.

Luckily we in the US never play our popular sports against other countries.
posted by smackfu at 8:59 PM on July 4, 2004

I have a feeling soccer is merely a recent immediate conduit funneling an age old tendency.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:41 PM on July 4, 2004

Such as to say, war allows for killing, and killing is thrilling.
posted by the fire you left me at 9:45 PM on July 4, 2004

like The Clash ......."it 's the only sport that really matters""

You have to challenge other countries before your sport really counts.

( Written after spending too long today justifying why a 1-0 European Final score was better than some farcical NFL score was.
chances vs contrived scores; oh yes 6 is a good number for ONE goal.)
posted by stuartmm at 1:59 AM on July 5, 2004

"soccer tends towards the ultra-violent."

Your premise is false. If the world's game was basketball, you'd see the same crowd reactions. Remember, in most countries, the most passionate fans, the ones that actually go to the stadia, are working class. That social group has been mostly priced out of American major leagues.
posted by salmacis at 3:18 AM on July 5, 2004

While England sucks at most things we have a proud tradition of football hooliganism. It's interesting to note that interviews with hooligans have shown they have very little interest in football matches and rarely attend games within the stadium. It's basically used as an excuse for different groups of violent psychopaths to go to war.
posted by dodgygeezer at 3:35 AM on July 5, 2004

'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death.
I'm very disappointed with that attitude.
I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.'
- Bill Shankly
posted by mr.marx at 9:11 AM on July 5, 2004

You have to challenge other countries before your sport really counts.

And you're upset because 6 is an arbitrary assignment for a goal? How about arbitrary assertions about when "your sport really counts?"

Perhaps soccer/football inspires rage in the bleachers because there's so little scoring for so much activity -- so few outlets in each game for emotional release, and consequently so much buildup. Like fumes in an unvented building: one spark, bam.

Just a theory.
posted by argybarg at 1:03 PM on July 5, 2004

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