11/4/04: Side Netting

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by GPK, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

    Oct 14, 1999
    So Sampson wants to take over the U.S. National Team again some day...

    Wait for it...

    Oh, that's rich...
  2. GPK

    GPK BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 5, 1999
    San Diego, CA
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  3. Bill Schmidt

    Bill Schmidt BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 3, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  4. metros11

    metros11 Member

    Sep 11, 1999
    Highlands of NJ
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would highly doubt that soccer can ever overtake football in America. I just don't see that happening, at least not in my lifetime.
  5. I. Tristeza

    I. Tristeza Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    San Antonio, Texas
    Hilarious article. The author is correct about one thing, soccer is, and has been for a long time, the dominant youth sport in America. Stress youth. As for taking over the big 3 professional sports...never. My modest hope is that MLS will one day surpass the NHL as a viable fourth option. I think there is a decent chance that will happen in a decade or two.
  6. cdin

    cdin Member

    Aug 23, 2004
    Waukesha, WI
    Maybe, its because I lived in the south most of my life and I don't pay much attention to high school sports, but I have never heard of this anywhere. Is there really a high school out there that drop football for soccer? I can't see this happening anywhere without schools administration getting lynched.
  7. Papin

    Papin BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 19, 1998
    le côté obscur
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    the South is a different beast entirely, but there are lots of high schools dropping football to cut costs. Soccer is cheaper and safer.
    If only colleges did the same, instead of trying to outspend each other to lure football prospects.
  8. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Fucklechester Rangers
    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard of Yo! Semite
    :rolleyes: College football is a huge money maker for most schools. Its often the sport that keeps dozens of others afloat.
    What, did you think that new practice facility and the new arena were constructed by boosters looking for the best seats to the next fencing meet or women's volleyball tournament?
  9. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Fucklechester Rangers
    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard of Yo! Semite
    I would guess soccer would require a few less costs - the unis ain't exactly as complicated. However, beyond that, I agree; what exactly makes football oh so more expensive?
    And soccer's definitely not safer.
  10. PZ

    PZ Member

    Apr 11, 1999
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sounds to me like that Guardian writer was making stuff up to make his point. I mean, the only source cited in the piece is, " Dan The John Travolta Lookalike American Sports Fan".
  11. nyrmetros

    nyrmetros Member

    Feb 7, 2004
    NYC. My own high school dropped American Bastardized Rugby in order to maintain its mens and womens soccer programs.
  12. Freddy Garcia Lives

    Feb 28, 2003
    Tumwater, WA
    My emailed response to the guardian:

    I find your article interesting, humourous and right on a few points about "soccer" in America. I personally grew up on a soccer pitch and dreams of Pele. I also grew up with a love for baseball. Just one point to make. There are certainly "American" sports with deep and firm roots in other countries. Look at what basketball has done in the Slavic states, Spain, China, and Turkey. Look at the Olympics and national interest in these countries for an idea. In Japan the name Ichiro (famous center fielder [baseball] for the Seattle Mariners) would surely stir more pride and conversation than any or all of the Japanese players in the Premiere. The Caribean, Central America, Korea, and Mexico all are huge baseball fans. American football does not share the popularity abroad (see NFL Europe), but never stands much of a chance with its massive rule book and complicated style. Hockey certainly isn't merely an American sport, and any Canadian, most Russians, and numerous Scandinavians could recall the "Miracle" game and many other big hockey milestones. Simply to state that all "American" sports are "genetically unique fauna of some long-isolated island" shows you poses the same narrow view as those very Americans targeted in your article. Simply because Britian lovely only football, with some interest in rugby (or at least for a few months after the greatest showing of a European nation in the modern era of that sport), and an elite following of cricket, does not mean that the world holds your same views. When shall we all recognise that we all see the world though our own deeply tainted glass, no matter if we be British, American, Chinese, or Iranian. You very simply proved this point in your article.


    (And by the way, the Boston Red Sox have I believe twelve players of international origin on their roster, they must have learned the game somewhere to be deemed "World Champions")
  13. Mr. Knowledge

    Mr. Knowledge New Member

    May 10, 2001
    Football is clearly more costly as a sport for a school to sponsor
    -more for players equipment (helmets, padding, uniforms)
    -more players on avg team (soccer 18-25; football often well over 35)
    -more training equipment (sleds, tackling dummies vs cones and bibs soccer)
    -more coaches salaries (football often has at least 4 coaches at HS level, soccer often has 2 max)
    -training supplies (more players for football , therefore more for tape, ice, gatorade, braces and everything else you can think of)

    this is just high school i'm thinking about. if you factor in athletic scholarships at the college level, div 1 football gets 45 scholarships i think while soccer gets around 8. this is a tremendous expense.

    football is significantly more costly than soccer. some high schools at the HS level recoup this investment with big crowds on friday nights, sponsors and concessions. At the div 1 college level, the big schools football brings in so much money that it pays for other sports in the athletic department but for mid-major and smaller schools football is a big money loser.
  14. anderson

    anderson Member+

    Feb 28, 2002
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Robert E. Lee High School in Houston (HISD) dropped football one or two seasons ago. The paper reported that the students weren't interested in football and soccer is now their homecoming sport. I don't recall a discussion of costs, but Lee, along with much of HISD, is now mostly Hispanic.
  15. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    I agree with what you say except I think Div I football is 95 scholarships. Many of them big kids who eat a lot. And I think you left out medical expenses and insurance. All it takes is one kid somewhere getting paralyzed in a football game and all other the school's insurance rates jump sky high. (Think 60 years of 24 hour medical care.) Football will continue to be a big money maker for certain schools, both secondary and college. But it can also be a big money-oser for the schools that don't pull in the big crowds. I expect it to go both directions--bigger for some schools and dropped by others.
  16. 10 fan

    10 fan New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    United States
  17. BradPaton

    BradPaton New Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    Arlington, VA
    The biggest difference cost-wise stems from the fact that the rosters are between 3-6 times larger: using Virginia as an example since it has both a high profile football and soccer team, the football team shows 110 players + 12 coaches, the soccer team 34 players + 4 coaches. In addition to the greater pay scale for all of the football coaches (over $750,000 in head coach Groh's first year), I would also be willing to bet that those 12 football coaches have more than a few dedicated support staff.

    The uniforms is another significant cost difference. The helmets alone cost over $100 each, shoulder pads another $100, plus $50 for the knee pads and hip pads, add in pants, jerseys, socks, etc. and you're looking at a significant investment that is at least an order of magnitude greater than soccer.

    Multiply that by the number of players, add in all of the practice equipment (sleds, tackling dummies, etc.), the cost of transporting all of these people to games by buses/plane (my college team back in 1987 used 3 vans for travelling), and you've got heavy-duty costs.

    The difference in operating these gigantic stadiums is also huge, comparing UVA 66,000 seat football stadium to the 3,500 seat soccer stadium, though obviously the expanded football stadium makes significantly more money as well if it is full, which gets to my last point.

    According to the NCAA most recent revenue report (2002 for football in the 2003 report on www.ncaa.org), a little over half of the 11 conferences plus a combined listing for independent schools (7 out of the 12) that play Division IA football reported a profit as a whole (they didn't break down individual schools, which obviously can have a great variance if you are a bad school in a strong conference, like Illinois in the Big Ten).

    Of those that reported a profit, the independent grouping made a very small profit, and the other 6 were all BCS conferences. Which means that if you were not a BCS conference, meaning in the MAC, Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt or WAC, you did not earn a profit with your Division IA program.

    In fact, in the 40 reporting periods in the NCAA stats for those 5 schools going back to 1993 (2002-1997 + 1995 and 1993), there were only 8 periods that were profitable, and 6 of those were in the relatively competitive Mountain West.

    Unless you are in the BCS, you don't get the huge television contracts, the gear contracts, the alumni donations, or the bowl revenue that makes those top 6 conferences money-winners. I bet if you take Notre Dame out of the Independent listings, that grouping becomes unprofitable as well, since they have the exclusive NBC contract and an alumni network that ranks with the best of them.

    That being the case, I still think it will be a while until the tables flip, simply because while the economics are clear, the emotional aspect is not there yet.

    The atmosphere at a college soccer game, even in the ACC, isn't close to that at the big football games yet, and that's where that emotional tie is formed. Until college soccer games can provide the kind of spectator experience that is so strong that alumni travel 6 hours to make the big game (UNC/Duke-UVA here), football will remain king.

    I hope it happens in my lifetime, and it very well might: it's not like college football happened overnight either. I think it will require a lot of work by the schools, alumni programs, students and most importantly the players to make it happen though. I've been to plenty of UVA games and for every time I saw some amazing shot by someone like a young Eskandarian, I saw 3 by anonymous thugs basically hacking someone like him in some god-awful scary fashion.

    College soccer is starting to turn out some pretty good players lately, but for now for most players it is something to be endured if necessary, not a chosen course of development, and that probably holds true for the spectators as well.
  18. Eastern Bear

    Eastern Bear Member+

    Feb 27, 1999
    Great Falls, VA
    DC United
    Wow, home team of Peter Gardere, a once loved starting QB for the University of Texas. Hard to believe Lee has dropped football.
  19. flmls

    flmls New Member

    Football is not a huge moneymaker for most schools..It's actually a drain on most programs, unless it's the bigger Div 1a schools. Just an FYI
  20. jmeissen0

    jmeissen0 New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    page 1078
    it's a decent drain on the budget at the university of illinois... the basketball is great... but damn the football
  21. anderson

    anderson Member+

    Feb 28, 2002
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Football is definitely a financial drain at many colleges, but most people who support football point to a number of other benefits that aren't easily measured financially.

    For many schools, having a 1A football program is an important way to increase the school's visibility (e.g., Troy, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, ULaLa, ULaMo - of course, if you're not in the regions where these schools are located, you may still not recognize them, but they at least increase their regional profile by playing bigger-name 1A schools).

    Administrators also argue that football helps with their fundraising efforts with alumni. They also suggest that football contributes to the student quality of life and helps with admissions. I have no idea what data there may be to support these points, but there's certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence.

    Anyway, these non-financial considerations help keep football going strong at many schools where the finances of football don't make sense.
  22. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    The phenomenon merited a column in Sports Illustrated a while back. (About a year ago or so?)

    I would guess it's a tad safer but a lot cheaper.

    10% of football prospects is a lot of prospects. And then there's the players who aren't really prospects in other sports, but hold on irrationally. Not every player is smart enough to make the decisions that the Beasleys (basketball) or Carlos Bocanegra (football) did.


    FWIW (and I'm aware it might not be saying a lot), the best soccer player Iowa ever produced is currently playing running back for the New Orleans Saints.


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