Friday, March 25, 2011

Step into the "What If" Machine....

I would like to see him spit at Ray Lewis
Ray Lewis - American soccer player?

Sometimes reality needs to be suspended for a wee while, that's what I am asking you to do now.

The National Football League (NFL) is home to the most popular sport in America, it draws the largest television audience for any American sport and garnishes worldwide attention for the teams and players. The pending discussions or negotiations between the the NFL and the NFL player's association have left the league with the possibility of a lockout for the 2011 season. That being said some of the world's best athletes will have nowhere to showcase their amazing talents come this late summer. In steps Chad Ochocinco......

Chad Ocochinco aka Chad Johnson who is currently a wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals has an open tryout with the Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Kansas City know as Sporting Kansas City. Apparently Mr. Johnson has played the beautiful game before but obviously his sporting path was shifted during his youth to the more lucrative and acceptable American sport for men, Mr. Johnson is a world class athlete and does excel in his own field but not having a ball at your feet every day will drastically diminish the skills needed for real football. Mr. Johnson has been known in the NFL as a bit of a joker and media hound, some of his post touchdown celebrations have caused financial penalty to him and his team, this current offering from such a talented man may come off as a media hyped joke, I do hope the regular Kansas City squad players are not tempted to tickle his ankles during practice.

The point of this wee dribble is to suspend reality for a moment and step into the "What if" machine with me. Just imagine if we were able to travel back in time and somehow make soccer Americas most popular and dominant sport. Imagine being able to pick the U.S. National Team from the same crop of athletes that now or have ever played in the NFL, NBA (National Basketball Association) or MLB (Major League Baseball) The options alone are mind blowing the list of world class athletes from these 3 leagues is frightening and awesome at the same time, imagine if you would that the following list of Americans had not picked up a baseball or basketball or even thrown or caught the oval football, just take a minute to let the class sink in.

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pete Maravich, Julius Irving, Dwight Howard and many more.

Derek Jeter,  Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken, Jr.,  Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb, Tedd Williams, Reggie Jackson, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson and many more.

American Football
Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Dan Marino, Michael Vick, Reggie Bush, Troy Polomalu, Tom Brady, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Ray Lewis, Steve Young, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and many more.

Alright everyone step outside the "What if" machine and back to reality, the point is that these players have never kicked a football and most have never had any interest in the game. American athletes are drilled to win from childhood, none of the big 3 leagues have anything that resembles a "Draw" so winning at all costs is as American as corporate greed and apple pie. I was just a teenager in South Florida when I heard the term "Second place is the first loser"  I had never heard of such a thing especially playing a game where a hard fought draw could be appreciated, take the 1 point and go home.

If the day ever comes that Americans fully adopt soccer and offer their best athletes to the game then the world better be ready for this
United States of America - World Cup Champions.

As much as I admire the efforts of Americas best player - Landon Donovan, amongst the list of other American athletes he might not even get on the pitch. Donovan himself has even admitted to the fact that the U.S. Men's national team is not made up of the country's best athletes and look at the heights they have achieved in such a short time with so called  "secondary talents."

Back to Mr. Johnson aka Ochocinco, his current choice of employment may be just another publicity stunt, but one that makes the mind say "I wonder what would happen if."....

Here is the link to the article.
Chad Ochocinco begins soccer tryout for Sporting Kansas City - NFL -   

Move over Landon, here comes Ochocinco



  1. Would take them a little time for them to gel together but that would be some team and I would like to see that spitter getting the crap knocked out of him by Ray Lewis.

  2. Lurker - Aye that little bastard would not dare spit in the face of Mr. Lewis. This post was based on the idea of the Yanks playing football(Soccer) from childhood and the possibility that the MLS was as big as the NFL, then take it from there.

  3. Be sure to have a big bowl of your "Ochocinco's" for breakfast, folks... Would MLS really put up with that crap?

  4. Daisy - the comment from the manager of the Kansas City team was as such - we are glad of the extra attention for once.
    The MLS is in a win win - the possibility of no NFL and the added and much needed media attention.
    As far as Mr Ocho - who cares he is a media whore, it's the league I care about...

  5. Ray Lewis would get a red card really quick.

    The problem is that here in the US you have so many sports that you can easily play as a youth. Where as in the rest of the world it is either soccer or cricket.

    Yes we have a shit ton of great atheletes here. And the irony is that most of the ones that you listed were good in two sports in high school and college. Had Michael Jordan stayed with baseball instead of basketball, he would have been just as a good.

  6. Hey, maybe now I'll have something to talk about at breakfast with my husband! :) Here from BPOTW!

  7. Oilfield - Don't think of Ray Lewis as an NFL badass, think of him being trained as a soccer player from day 1.
    I lived in Scotland for many years and never played cricket!!!
    football, rugby, tennis, track, golf, etc..
    we do have more than 2 sports but our most gifted athletes that play football have done so since their fathers put a ball at their feet - around age 2 or so...

  8. And for a while we were getting good.

    Look at how well we played at the Confederations Cup in South Africa the year before the World Cup. We beat (and I mean spanked) Spain in the Semi-final. And against Brazil we had a 2-0 lead going into half time. Yes we played like crap in the second half and lost 3-2 but still to play Brazil like that and beat Spain the way we did made me think we were well on our way to going some where. And then they let me down in the World cup. Although the tie with England in group stage made me really happy. All my English friends couldn't say shit to me that summer.

  9. Kristy - Hubby a soccer fan? U.S. has 2 international friendlies this week
    one versus Paraguay and the other against Argentina.
    Watch them together just go easy with the questions during the game...

  10. And like I said it is hard to get soccer to be number one with all of the other sports. Although in 50 years the US will rule the soccer world because of all the illegal immigrants coming here from Mexico, Central and South America. It may happen in my lifetime.

  11. Oilfield - true bother the U.S. did beat the Spanish and did what many teams of the world don't - that is put a wee scare into a Brazilian team. The problem with the U.S. is the depth of the roster, imagine losing Landon or Dempsey before a crucial match!!!! other countries have rows of replaceable talent to fill in we over here do not- yet.

  12. That is very true. We lack depth. Like I said with all of the immigrants coming to the US it is only a matter of time before it comes around.

    And I put my kids in a soccer league last fall. They loved it and both of them each scored goals. Maybe there is hope.

  13. Oilfield - Immigration legal or Illegal will change the face of this nations sports habits. Here in Florida if you were to visit a park the majority of the space is taken up with immigrants (Like myself) playing soccer, I have noticed the baseball fields empty and the soccer nets packed.
    And as we all know America and her corporations aim for where the money and spending habits are and they are aiming for soccer. Lets start a campaign to rename soccer FOOTBALL and the NFL American Football!!
    what - too soon? ok I will wait until the US wins the WC

  14. They won't ever change the name of Football to something else.

  15. Do they usually wear helmets?

  16. I think for the American public to get a real interest in the game of fitba, it begins not with the MLS, it probably begins at college. Certainly I see plenty of kids playing here and there is even the term soccer mom, but college is all about Football and Basketball and other sports like lacrosse.

    People take a real pride in their College sports teams. Long after they have left education they still follow the results of their college. The University of Utah football stadium has a capacity of just over 45000, which isn't too far off Glasgow Rangers average attendence. BYU basketball stadium holds 22000 which is probably about 3000 more than the Jazz - Utah's sole NBA representative.

    If the Colleges were to take more interest in soccer and had their own special event to get the fans behind it like March Madness maybe the MLS teams would have more talented athletes to choose from.

  17. Scotsman - good point and of course the tournament would have to be a major $$$$ maker for the networks to provide such valuable airtime. The point of the post was just to imagine "what if" the best athletes in America had started kicking balls at age 3. Having been In the states long enough I know how Americans like to win, if the US national team was as dominant as other nations then I assume the game would take a more heartfelt position with the citizens rather that a game for foreigners or girls.

  18. Pat - NFL? they wear tons of pads and yes a helmet

  19. I really think plenty of kids play soccer, the problem is later when the Football, Basketball and Baseball start to become more of a focus of pride first for the schools, and secondly the colleges. Thats when fitba loses the players it could otherwise have, and with it further success at national level.

  20. I'm sorry sausage but I can't see fitba ever rivalling the big sports in the US, the 3 main reasons being 1) Salaries 2) The history and prestige of the American sports 3) Isn't it classed as more of a womens game over there? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the game flourish in the states but even after the 94 world cup fitba collapsed on it's arse there. However if 'soccer' ever does take off there, then aye look out Brazil and Spain!! Maybe we could swap a couple of fitba players for NFL athlethes coz I remember big John Clark and Mixu Paatelainen playing for DUFC in the 80s, they looked like a pair of defensive linemen!!!

  21. Ryan - How and why the US got the 94 cup still amazes me today can you say hush$$$$$
    Soccer is a grassroots game here and played by almost every school, they have similar club level teams as we played in Scotland the problem lies with the generational love of the big 3 - NFL, NBA and MLB. Now with the welcoming mix of hispanic culture now is flooding many parts of the US what will come with the Mexicans and other Central and South American cultures - football. Once the networks realise that a vast population of immigrants are not watching baseball I do hope they turn to make a profit off football (Our type)
    The culture is shifting over here, trust me I see it every day. Someday soccer will be as big as at least 2 of the big 3 sports here but it will take a generation, anyway the whole point of the post was to "suspend reason" just for a minute.
    ps. If they ever get their act together and do win the WC before Scotland I will never live it down.
    Cheers, Sausage...

  22. Do you know what I wish? I wish that the NFL would go on strike and in its place, people start watching RUGBY. The NFL and the Player's Association had better pray that Americans never become hip to rugby, because if they do, they'll never care about football again. Now, THAT'S a game! Fast moving. None of the annoying time-outs. I simply do not understand why it isn't more popular. Don't. Get. Me. Started.

  23. And, by the way, soccer won't grow in popularity because there are no natural breaks in the game that will allow the networks to BREAK FOR ADVERTISING. The networks can't make a buck off of it so they won't support it. Ever.

    I have spoken.

  24. It is a big college sport, you just don't hear about it. I watch womens college soccer all the time during the fall. Ok I watch it to see their legs and thighs but that is besides the point. You have to look for it, it is there you just have to find it.

  25. You lost me at 'football' and I tried to take it all in, for a while, but...

    The chap in the last photo peaked my interest though, he has the most astonishing calf muscles.

  26. And Unbearable is right.

    But we are making progress. During the last world cup, all of the games were shown here. ALL OF THEM. I was happy as hell about it to. And tons of people skipped out on work to watch the US games as well. It is not that the sport will not ever take off as it already has. It just has SO much competition that it wont get to number one.

    IF the rest of the world had the same amount of sports, I am sure the same would be true with them as well.

  27. UB - the advertising was a major hurdle in the past for soccer, not being able to have tv time outs and collect that big tv paycheck did hurt. Now what they do is announce "This half of the game is brought to you by_______)
    I played rugby in Scotland as a boy and decided one day while at the bottom of a scrum in January to stick with football.

  28. Oilfield - legs and thighs!!! you need to check out women's beach volleyball aka legs, thighs and butts.....

    The last WC was the best coverage we have had here. Progress is being made, I bet my bottom dollar that with a bit more success on the pitch the networks would rally around the national team.
    We do need to get rid of the old "Sport Jackets" like Jim Rome and Skip Bayless who all have tv airtime and proclaim there dislike for the game, fuck them and their bullshit old school ways America is changing and soccer is coming.

  29. Eryl - American football star - Chad Johnson or Chad Ochocinco, who is trying to make the crossover from American football to real football.

  30. Thanks for linking up to FYBF! I have no idea what you're on about though because sport and I do not mix. The only thing I know about American Football concerns Janet Jackson's nipples.

  31. Last comment on this topic - After watching the US play Argentina then watching Scotland play Brazil, I will make a prediction....
    The U.S. will win the world cup before Scotland...
    Scotland played a typical game versus Brazil with 1 striker and very conservative and boring. The yanks were totally outclassed by the Argies in the first half but in the second half they did what Scotland should have done and that is take the damn game by the throat and forget the so called "Respect" of the greater football nation and shove the ball right down their throat. The yanks were able to get a hard fought 1 all draw while we were forced to chase yellow shirts about for 90 minutes. Bullshit......

  32. great post. following you