We may not be a soccer/futbol country, but this World Cup has united the United States.
Amazing. Two Saturdays into the World Cup and the only letters last week were from hockey fans knocking soccer. One poor fellow felt the World Cup was being forced down his throat.
Perhaps they're hearing footsteps, because hockey's status as the so-called fourth major team sport in the U.S. is in serious trouble. The number of soccer participants in this country has been estimated at between 13 million and 18 million; hockey is at just more than a half-million registered players.
Don't feel too bad, fellas. In Canada, the number of registered soccer players shot passed the number of registered hockey players several years ago.
It's always disappointing to read negative letters to the editor regarding a game that is followed and played with great passion in every country around the world, especially during the World Cup. How many negative letters has The Times posted about baseball, hockey, basketball or football? I could comment on how boring it is to watch a baseball game (yawn), or American football that has just about 12 minutes of action and takes 31/2 hours to play a 60-minute game with commercial after commercial. Why not keep negative thoughts inside and let those of us enjoy our sport, just as you enjoy yours?
Viewing the uninterrupted World Cup has been a pleasure, but soccer will never be big time in the United States. Big time meaning the billions of dollars the advertisers pay, for example, for NFL games, which devote most of the three-hour telecasts to advertising.
The question is, what network is willing to give us big-time soccer on a small-time budget when there is little time to sell beer and digestion pills?
You want a reason to watch the World Cup? Tune in for the playing of the national anthem at the beginning. You'll hear it played the way it should be played — with strength and pace, stirring something inside that makes you be proud to be an American. Oh, yes, and with 20,000 Americans singing their lungs out you'll be tempted to join in. Feel free to!
Watching the U.S. vs. Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Cup was awesome; it was almost like the Spurs going up against LeBron … except that in basketball, everyone knows when the freakin' game is over.
Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does." I think he was referring to stoppage time.
Jack Von Bulow
In soccer, a "cap" is defined as player playing in a game for his national team. Luis Suarez redefined it as the part of his tooth that he lost biting his opponent's shoulder.
I think the punishment given to Suarez was fair, but I think FIFA should have gone a little further. I would make him leave his Uruguay team and play for Team Transylvania.
FIFA: Faking Injuries For Attention.
Not a keeper
As a longtime Dodgers fan and partial season-ticket holder I felt lucky to have attended Clayton Kershaw's first no-hitter. Afterward, when I thought about keeping a souvenir from the game, I reached for my folded 81/2-by-11 laser-printed game ticket, thought about it for a moment, and tossed it into the trash. Thank you, Lon Rosen and the Dodgers, for providing me with such a wonderful game ticket that I could add to my baseball collection. I guess that it was necessary for management to avoid the added expense associated with creating "real" tickets.
Thankfully, politics are usually kept off the sports page. Yet, anyone who watched the Dodger-Padre game Sunday would think we live in a country as militaristic as ancient Sparta. Not only were San Diego players wearing army camouflage, but Vin Scully was imploring his audience to support our military. Much of the world already sees the U.S. as "imperialistic." This doesn't help.
I don't want to say I miss the Dodgers on TV, but I'd even take an Eric Collins-Steve Lyons game.
The Big A
Albert Pujols' career numbers are truly impressive. Hall of Fame? No question. Just ask him. If I were a Cardinals fan, I couldn't be happier. But I'm not a Cardinals fan. I'm an Angels fan. And how could ANY of us be happy with a performance that has been a total disaster?
Will Albert improve with age? Will he suddenly become the clutch hitter we all expected? Will he earn his $240-million deal?
We have no choice but to stay tuned ... and pray.
The real deal
Let me get this straight: Bob Murray of the Ducks wins the award for top general manager one day and the next day the Kings extend Marian Gaborik's contract? Wasn't Gaborik the incredibly excellent trade deadline acquisition of the Kings while Murray picked up a player still recovering from a broken leg? Hockey truth really is stranger than fiction.
Regarding the June 25 story on pitchers' injuries, it's almost child abuse, training kids so hard hoping for college scholarships. Worse is the delusion that a child has a chance of becoming a professional athlete. Only .5% —one in 200 — of high school baseball players go on to play pro ball; only about 5% even go on to play in the NCAA, never mind scholarships. Other sports have similar numbers. And, of course, the L.A. Times doesn't help by covering high school sports.
The Lakers' new first-round draft choice, Julius Randle, is in very good company if you look at history. One other very famous Laker was also the seventh college player chosen in the first round of the NBA draft, also attended the storied college program that is Kentucky basketball and has gone on to incredible heights with the Lakers, the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. It all started 47 years ago with the San Diego Rockets' first-round draft choice from Kentucky, the seventh pick in the 1967 NBA draft — a scrappy 6-4 swingman named Pat Riley.
La Cañada Flintridge
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