Did anyone happen to listen to Skip Bayless today on the Jim Rome show? If so, I want to start some post-discussion about this subject: why soccer is thought of as 'boring', 'stupid', etc. in this country. And please don't feed the trolls. Skip Bayless opened the show saying that he watched the GER ITA game, and last week's FRA BRA game. As with most radio guys, he continually bashed soccer with the usual arguments: it's low scoring, its boring, "i dont get it", etc. He specifically mentioned two points: 1) Offsides. He doesn't understand why, if you beat your defender, it can be offsides. People called in to argue what we know as obvious: it is unfair to beat your defender when you already have an advantage (by being offsides). I thought he lost this argument and toward the end, he conceded. 2) Stoppage time. Skip's 2nd argument was that why, in the year 2006, there is such a thing as stoppage time. The problem he sees with it is that it is at the ref's 'discretion'. He does not understand why you would leave something that important up to a ref, when already refs are responsible for so many bad calls and errors. In his perfect world, the clock would just temporarily stop during an injury (like an injury timeout in football), and continue until the end of a game. 90 mins and we call it over. Then, the soccer nation started to call in. A senile Portugal war veteran, an Englishman, and a few other US fans. One thing that I kept noticing was the soccer guys saying "you just dont get it", and Skipp continually repeating "tell me what there is to get". Some of them did a decent job explaining the rules but others had some very weak arguments. The anti-soccer nation followed afterward. Most of their arguments were centered on the stupidity of flopping and diving by soccer players. Skip commented on how when a player gets fouled, he looks as if he tore both his ACLs, ripped his Achillies heel, and broke his neck, carried off on a stretcher, only to come back 2 minutes later in perfect shape. This went back and forth for roughly 3 hours. All bickering aside, I think the radio show really hit the nail on the head about just why soccer isn't popular in the US: its not the game itself, its 1) the refs and 2) the athletes. 1. The ref's decisions weigh too much in soccer. Think about it this way: In a high scoring game such as football and basketball, a bad call by the ref has minimal impact in the game, except for when the call determines the outcome at the end (for example, a bad call in a 100-100 tie leading to a victory in a basketball game). In soccer, where the average number of goals is 2, maybe 3, one bad call inside the box is worth potentially 33-50% of the outcome of the game. This changes everything. 2. Due to #1, the players milk what they can from the refs. I hate, hate how FIFA does not embrace technology. Because the ref's have a lot of muscle, the players do what they can to embellish a foul. If some technology was put into play (replay tv, post-game replay reviews), maybe it would fix this problem. What are your thoughts?