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Aug 4th 2007

“particle physics will never work in the US scientific community” LOL

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ted miller has written a great article putting MLS doubters in their place. the money quote is about halfway down, where he engages in a fun little hypothetical involving frontline.

Whether Beckham makes his Major League Soccer debut Sunday in Toronto or not, you can count on many so-called pundits trashing the show. Probably without even watching it.

And you can be almost certain of this: Said pundits, graying and paunchy, will know nothing about the game. At some point, they will reflexively call soccer “boring,” even though billions worldwide think differently.

When did being ill-informed about a subject become a laudable qualification, as in: Hey, look at me! I lack expertise! I don’t understand what I’m writing about!

Imagine this scene: Welcome to Frontline. Today Ted Miller will talk about particle physics. Mr. Miller, what do you think about particle physics?

Me: It’s boring. I don’t understand it. Therefore, it will never work in the U.S. scientific community.

So we have ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski, dispatched to cover Beckham’s joining the Galaxy. Writes Wojciechowski: “It’s not that I’m anti-soccer, I’m just anti-dull.”

Or we have the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Brian Burwell: “Is there anyone who believes (soccer) will ever rise above the NHL or even the WNBA, and become a core American sporting pastime?”

Hmm … let’s see. Average MLS attendance (mostly pre-Beckham): 14,913. Average WNBA attendance this summer: 7,643. Heck, the smallest crowd at an MLS game this season was 7,100.

Oh, and that average MLS attendance, which certainly will perk up when Becks finally starts bending it, is better than six NHL teams.

Fact is, the unfairly maligned MLS is the 12th-most attended top-flight soccer league in the world, according to the BBC, which also pointed out that the 2006 World Cup final attracted more television viewers [presumably in the US? –ed] than any game of the 2005 World Series. [source]

he makes a great point about people who are ill-informed on a topic, and who feel society needs to hear their opinion on it (like an acquaintance of mine in high school who critiqued my favorite band, saying, “all their songs sound the same.” hey, maybe if you listened to them a little, you’d start to hear a difference!).

anyway, the excellent points in this column apply to more sports than just soccer (someone’s comments about the arctic circle come to mind) but for now, let’s focus on soccer.

One Response to ““particle physics will never work in the US scientific community” LOL”

  1. briant

    wouldnt have guessed that mls attendance is that high compared to the wnba and nhl. anyone who can watch baseball and then call soccer boring lacks credibility. fever pitch has some great lines on what makes soccer a great sport. great read.