I’m posting this article to show that despite the common wisdom on this board there are, in fact, thoughtful and intelligent sports fans who don’t watch club soccer. It was written by David Halberstam: http://espn.go.com/page2/s/halberstam/020802.html Of course, Halberstam is a member of a decidedly older generation, as he is now in his sixties. I think most people on this board would agree that as far as the future of soccer in America goes, what people like him think doesn’t really matter. Also, how could we really expect many people who grew up when he did to really care about a game to which they had little exposure? Now on to why I liked this article. First, Halberstam presents it in a decidedly subjective manner, with few exceptions. When it comes to judgments about the game, they are always presented as HIS opinions, not as the moralizing, dogmatic statements often found from blow-hard television and newspaper pundits. Secondly, he doesn’t actually hate soccer. I am always baffled by people who hate a sport they have almost never seen—their hatred obviously comes from something other than the game itself. Third, he is actually interested and aware of the various international demographic trends of the sport, and can accurately place soccer within a larger, non-sports related context. I think that this is something we all need to do more often in order to understand and hypothesize about the state of soccer in this country. What I didn’t like about the article was his notion that the rules need to be changed in order to favor artistry and attacking play. Now, I wish that we did see more artistry and attacking play throughout the soccer world, but I really am not sure if any rules changes can be made to facilitate this. In fact, most rule changes meant to increase scoring would probably make the game far less interesting (i.e., significantly relaxing offsides, thereby turning most goals into ugly cherry-picks). Anyway, I think it’s a good article. While we disagree with him, we can’t say he’s an idiot and send him angry email.