To settle once and for all the age old debate of which sport is better, football or soccer, I argued the topic with my Irish friend, Seamus. (While you’d think his name would be pronounced SEA-mus, it’s actually pronounced SHAY-mus. Aren’t Europeans cute?).
With Seamus fighting for soccer and the loveable Johnny Box brawling on behalf of NFL football, we both finished with bloody knuckles and noses, but in the end, only the indisputable champion was left standing. Below is the summary.
Seamus: Why the feck do you call your sport football? You only kick the feckin ball about 1% of the time, to be sure.
Johnny Box (JB): Point conceded. We should definitely switch to what the Aussies call it: Gridiron.
Seamus: Damn feckin’ right I’m right. But Aussies don’t know shite. The natural name is Handegg, to be sure.
JB: Gridiron it is then. But to avoid confusion, let’s continue calling your football, soccer, and my football, NFL football.
Seamus: Fuck you.
Seamus: Soccer is the world’s sport, to be sure. Every country plays it. So if you’re the best at it, you’re literally the best in the world, top o’ the morning to you!
JB: I’m not comfortable with the term, ‘world’s sport.’ I think a more accurate description would be ‘peasant’s sport’ or ‘homeless vagrant’s sport.’ All you need is a soccer ball, a coconut, or a pile of garbage crumpled into a sphere. Once countries are able to afford NFL football equipment, they’ll quickly discover how much more fun it is to play and how much more exciting it is to watch.
Seamus: But it’s too complicated. There’s a list of feckin’ rules that make the Bible look like a grocery list, to be sure to be sure.
JB: I’m afraid you do have a point there. There are a lot of rules in NFL football, so unfortunately you not only need to think while playing, your brain needs to function while watching. Sorry, Dublin.
Seamus: If I wanted my brain to function while watching sport, I wouldn’t feckin’ watch sport. We don’t watch soccer for intellectual stimulation, Mary mother of God. We watch it cause it’s a thing of beauty. And the only rule you really need to think about is the offside rule, which isn’t all that feckin’ complicated, to be sure to be sure.
JB: Don’t forget hand balls. They’re more complicated than you’d think.
JB: Soccer players never stop whining. Ever. They spend the whole match bitching to the referee for a penalty on their opponent and wagging their fingers at him when he makes a call against them. If I was the ref, I’d be snapping those fingers off and shoving ‘em up their asses.
Seamus: You can shove ‘em up your own arse, for the craic!
JB: That’s fine with me. As long as they’re going up someone’s ass, I’m happy. Anyhoo, the worst part is the bitching for hand balls. Whenever the ball touches an opponent’s upper arm or even his shoulder, you see them crying their asses off for a hand ball. Hey Jackasses, do you know what a hand is?! It’s a very different body part than your bicep or shoulder. Even a forearm, even a fucking wrist, is different than a hand. So quit your fucking bitching!
Seamus: It’s more nuanced than that, Mary mother of God! Regardless, I’m sure NFL players feckin’ moan just as much.
JB: Not even close, Seamus. But even if they did, we wouldn’t know about it because the players wear helmets with facemasks. So we almost never get a clear look at their expressions when playing and therefore we’re not exposed to any potential I’m-gonna-have-a-temper-tantrum-if-you-don’t-call-a-penalty-on-the-other-team faces. It’s a scientific fact that the more whiny-bitch faces you’re exposed to in a single game, the more likely you are to go on a random killing spree.
Seamus: Is there anything that doesn’t make you wanna stab random strangers?!
JB: Yes, Seamus, there is. A care bear by the name of Funshine.
JB: But one other point I will concede before we get into the meaningful portion of the debate is that soccer takes the cake when it comes to being a team sport. It doesn’t really matter whether a sport is a team sport or not, but if it did, soccer would get a fraction of a point because you really need to play as a team to win. If you’re not functioning as a single organism with everyone on the same page, you’re not gonna be able to connect a series of passes which build up to a goal, and conversely, you’re not gonna be able to stop your opponent from doing so. Whereas in football, while it is a team sport, for the most part the players are just carrying out their individual assignments. You don’t need to be as in sync with your teammates as you do in soccer. For the most part.
Seamus: That’s the first intelligent point you’ve made, to be sure to be sure.
JB: Too bad it doesn’t count for much.
Seamus: What does count without a feckin’ doubt is that soccer is free-flowing. From the opening kickoff to halftime and then from the second half kickoff to the final whistle, it’s pure, free-flowing goodness, for the craic. There’s just that one stop for halftime. Not all this start-and-stop nonsense you have in the NFL, Mary mother of God!
JB: Bull Fucking Shit. Soccer starts and stops all the time. Whenever the ball goes out of bounds, whenever there’s a penalty, whenever you score a goal (which I’ll grant is pretty infrequently; 0-0 ties are another reason soccer sucks), the action stops and starts. It’s just the clock that doesn’t stop. Which is stupid because no one ever knows when the half or game is gonna end. Everyone’s always like, 'Is it over now?' 'Is it over now?' 'Is it over now?' It’s fucking retarded. We have the technology to stop and start a clock, so fucking do it!
Also, why is starting and stopping a negative? All other major sports start and stop.
Seamus: Because it’s artificial. Because in America, you need to fit in your feckin’ ad breaks, for the craic. And because in America, you have the attention spans of feckin’ gnats, top o’ the morning to you.
JB: Oh, I’m so sorry that we’d rather watch anything with action, even a Steven Seagal movie, than a 0-0 tie.
JB: I can’t believe I need to apologize for wanting some excitement. This is one of the reasons the NFL is so much better. In soccer, you get to watch a really nice goal like once a month. Whereas in any given NFL game, you have a surplus of awesome catches, astonishing runs, and bone-crushing hits. It’s not even close, NFL football is the most exciting sport in the history of mankind, with the possible exception being ancient Roman gladiator battles to the death with wild animals.
Seamus: You’re so American you make me wanna feck a Big Mac, for the craic! You’re completely missing the feckin’ point. What makes soccer so great is the buildup, to be sure to be sure to be sure. A great goal is like a mind-blowing orgasm. The tension builds ever so slowly until it reaches a crescendo and the stadium explodes as your team scores a stunning, dramatic goal. It’s an unbelievable payoff. But I’m sure that if you have ever gotten laid in your feckin’ miserable life, you just drilled away to finish as quickly as possible, top o’ the morning to you.
JB: You say that like it’s a bad thing.
Championships (season endings/playoffs)
JB: If you actually believe that orgasm bullshit, then you’d have a playoff system instead of the anticlimactic system you currently have. I try not to follow soccer because everything about it puts me to sleep (even the orgasms are boring), but I happened to notice that in the English Premier League this year, Manchester City (whose mascot is an “alien from the Blue Moon”) won the championship on April 15th. This was 5 fucking weeks before the season ended. (And everyone knew 10 fucking weeks before that that Man City was gonna win.) On the last weekend of the season, only 2 of 20 teams had something to play for, and neither of them had to do with winning a championship. So basically you’re beating limp meat during what should be the most exciting part of the season. That’s why we have playoffs. The further you get into the season, the more each game counts until you head toward single elimination territory. The best teams play the best teams with the loser going home until only one team remains standing. The Champion.
Simulation & Celebrations
JB: Okay, fucker. Even if you ignore how awful the season endings are in soccer and how awesome they are in the NFL, the real nails in the coffin in this argument are simulation and celebrations.
Seamus: I’m surprised you know what simulation feckin’ means.
JB: Me too. I had to look it up. You fuckers should just call it what it is. ‘Diving like a pussy’ to get a penalty called on your opponent. And then there’s ‘writhing on the ground in fake agony’ to get a yellow card drawn on your opponent. You will never ever see either of those abominations in the NFL.
Seamus: We’re not too proud of it, Mary mother of God!
JB: And celebrations in soccer are horrendous. When someone scores a goal they either slide on their shins, run away from their teammates as fast as they can, or suck their thumbs. And then there’s Ronaldo, arguably the best player in the world, who does a half-spin jump and then dramatically throws both his hands out, palms forward, and then ... and then ... and then nothing. That’s it. He’s got this look on his face like he’s about to levitate, or shoot fire from his wrists, or impregnate every female in the stadium with telekinetic mind-sperm, but he just stands there with his hands out. What the shit, dude?! How about pulling yourself away from the mirror for an afternoon and thinking of a celebration involving anything other than just standing there with your fucking arms outstretched?!!!
Seamus: Oh, c’mon. It’s not like you have anything better in the feckin’ NFL. Just like in soccer, the players get penalized for anything excessive, to be sure to be sure.
JB: Actually, we have an up and down history in the NFL. They took some of the touchdown celebration fun away a while ago, but they’ve brought most of it back. The bottom line is, when a player wants to celebrate, that player’s gonna celebrate whether he gets flagged and fined or not. As a result, we’ve been treated to such gems as the Gronk Pony Ride where a little wide receiver jumped on the back of a gargantuan tight end and rode him around the end zone while smacking him, the Lambeau Leap where Green Bay Packers players jump into the stands to celebrate with their fans, and the Dook Drop by Doug Baldwin where he pretended to pull down his pants, squatted, and then dropped the ball through his legs like an enormous poop … in the fucking Super Bowl! (Mic drop.)
Seamus: Mary mother of God! Enough already. There’s no matching that. I’ll start learning the feckin’ rules. You had just better hurry up and set up a franchise in Dublin, for the craic.
JB: So to sum up, the name ‘football’ should belong solely to soccer. And while soccer is the ultimate team sport with practically no complicated rules, it is clearly the inferior sport due to such factors as diving like a pussy, faking an injury like a pussy, constantly bitching like a pussy—especially for hand balls when the fucking ball never even came close to hitting a hand, the anticlimactic season end, and the completely crap celebrations. Whereas in NFL football, you have a sport that while stop-and-go (which isn’t really a negative, except that commercial breaks suck), is packed with astonishing catches, runs, and hits, intense win-or-go-home playoffs, and kick-ass occasionally scatological celebrations. We can conclude with 100% certainty that NFL football is objectively and unassailably the better sport.
Seamus: Yup. The NFL wins. Mainly because when you break it down, soccer is pretty feckin’ shite, to be sure to be sure to be sure to be sure.
JB: I have to tell you, Seamus, it has been an absolute pleasure arguing with such an intelligent and supremely rational sports fan such as yourself. Your smarts and quick wit remind me of my boy, DM.
Seamus: And I have to tell you, Johnny Box, it has been an honor to have been made up by you so that you could conclude that NFL football is without a doubt the greatest sport ever.
JB: Let’s hug it out bro!
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