Finals: Topic #3 - Greatest Sport

Discussion in 'Sports Debater's League' started by klunderbunker, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    17,857
    Likes Received:
    3,359
    Sorry for the delay. Got caught up in the tournament a bit this weekend.

    The same scoring system will be in effect as before. As usual, four days per topic so the deadline for this is Wednesday. I won't be revealing the scores until the topics are done.

    Leading off is hatehabsforever.

    Topic:What is the greatest sport in the world? Defend and critique as usual.

    Go.
     
    #1
  2. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    Well here we are at last, the grand finale of the Sports Debater's League. Fourteen rounds of quality debating, which I have to say, I have really enjoyed. A quick word of thanks to the guys who have organized the League, the judges, the competitors (even though most of the guys bailed out early), and of course, to Big Sexy and LSN80 for some tremendous work throughout the course of the League. I wish the both of you guys the best of luck in this final round, and I look forward to debating with you both one more time for the next several days. Now let's get down to business.

    What is the greatest sport in the world? This is another interesting question, and I am thankful for the opportunity to get to bat lead-off in this final round, because the choice here is clear and pretty much beyond debate. The key components of the question are stated quite clearly in the question. The greatest sport in the world . This is not an assessment which can be restricted to a particular area of the world where a particular fan or debater resides, it has to be looked at on a far more global scale. And it is not a question which should be answered based upon the personal preferences of the poster, it has to be looked at more objectively than this, beyond what is one's personal preference, to delve into the preferences of the world on again a more global scale. This will be evidenced to be the case in my argument as my choice is clearly not the most popular sport in Eastern Canada where I live, and it is hardly my personal preference. But when looked at objectively, through unbiased eyes, the answer to the question is clear. The greatest sport in the world is football , or as we refer to it in this part of the world, soccer .

    To be crystal clear, I am talking about the one which is played with the round ball, with no hands, not the one played with the oblong, pointed ball which most of us in Canada and the United States prefer. Soccer, despite my personal feelings about it, is clearly the greatest sport in the world.

    In my personal opinion, soccer is the most boring sport known to man. In terms of my personal preferences, I would rank hockey, football, basketball, baseball, golf, tennis, gymnastics, watching paint dry, and watching grass grow as being far more entertaining, far more exciting, far more to my particular tastes and interests. But that is not the question being posed here. The question is not which sport do I like the best, but rather, which one is greatest on a global scale.

    Soccer is a game which is truly contested on a global stage by a worldwide audience of passionate and sometimes fanatical fans. It is played in over 200 countries. It is played in North America in Canada, the US, and Mexico, although not as passionately here as it is played elsewhere, and not as feverishly as other sports such as the NFL or the NBA are. It is played in South America, with such perennial powerhouses as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and others. Of course, soccer is battled almost religiously in England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and pretty much all of the rest of Europe. Asia embraces the sport, as Pakistan, India, Japan, China, and others compete with great passion in the sport. African nations are typically prevalent in global soccer tournaments, and of course, our friends from Down Under in Australia and New Zealand are enthralled with the sport as well. I cannot think of another sport which really captivates the entire world to the extent that soccer does, involving significant participation, contribution, and competition from all of the continents. With most sports, certain ones are perennial favorites of select pockets of nations in the world, whereas soccer pretty much is ubiquitous to all of them.

    Let's consider the FIFA World Cup. Over 200 countries compete for the opportunity to vie for the World Cup. While only 32 actually end up in the tournament, the entire globe competes for the opportunity to be there. Even with 32 countries, that trumps pretty much any other sport in terms of broad range appeal, but in actuality, at over 200 nations, soccer/football is about as global an event as you can get. How can anyone argue with the sentiment of soccer as being the greatest sport in the world, bearing all of this in mind?

    We debated earlier about the Olympics versus the World Cup, and received a difference in opinion over which one was more significant. For the purposes of this argument, it is academic. The Olympics as a whole have tremendous global and far reaching appeal, and the sport of soccer is one of the more hotly contested sports in the Summer Olympics, again involving such numerous national participation that again, the designation of soccer as the greatest sport of all time is pretty much undisputable.

    Of course, soccer is played in the professional ranks to a huge degree. Even in North America, where soccer is not the phenomenon that it is everywhere else, there is Major League Soccer, consisting of 18 teams, 16 in the United States and 2 in Canada. Far more significant than this, we have the English Football League System. Because I am not a fan of this at all, I will not even feign knowledge or interest in it. But even I, with my total distaste and apathy for this game, realize the passion and widespread interest in this league system. A promotion and relegation pyramidal sort of league, comprising 140 individual leagues, 480 divisions, all vying to end up in the Premier League. Even a soccer non-enthusiast like myself has heard of Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Bolton, Liverpool, Sunderland, Everton, and others. The number of fans who are fanatical, devoted, sometimes obsessed fans of all of the drama of this league and it's participants cannot be discounted. The vast numbers of fans who are drawn into this, are supremely knowledgeable about it, greatly enhances the argument of soccer as the greatest sport in the world.

    Even at the grass roots level, soccer is everywhere. It is played in college. It is played in high schools. It is played in backyards, in streets, in clubs, in kids leagues, it truly is everywhere. This is the case even in hockey crazy Canada, and NFL/NBA/MLB/(NHL) enthused USA.

    With so much soccer being played across the planet, soccer fans are everywhere. They are extremely knowledgeable about the sport, it's rules, it's participants, whatever. They bring passion to it like no other sport does. As much as the NHL fascinates fans of hockey, or NFL does football fans, or NBA does basketball fans, or MLB for baseball enthusiasts, soccer has the greatest numbers of fans, the most passionate fans, to the point at times of being crazy, overzealous, fanatical and dangerous fans. But it is the perception and opinions of these fans that make soccer the greatest sport there is. Other sports inspire these sentiments here and there; soccer does it pretty much everywhere, especially outside the borders of Canada and the US.

    We discussed in an earlier thread of the League, which sport consisted of the most well rounded athletes. At the time, I argued for soccer, and I still believe this to be the case. Soccer players are extremely gifted athletes physically. They have incredible strength, endurance, and cardiovascular conditioning which is second to none. They possess unbelievable skills, moving the ball around the pitch with the dexterity of a surgeon, except they don't get to use their hands. The use of their heads (literally), their feet, and their bodies, minus their arms and hands, require uncompromising skills. They have to have fabulous hand eye coordination, flexibility, agility, and stamina. As physically gifted as players of all other sports are, soccer players trump them in my personal opinion.

    Over and above their physical skills and abilities, they have to have incredible mental skills as well. Soccer is a cerebral, strategic game and to play it with the acumen of these soccer players is nothing to scoff at. But even more than said mental prowess, they have to be superb from a psychological and emotional level as well. Soccer players often play the game under intense scrutiny and pressure. Whether it be national pride in the World Cup or the Summer Olympics, or the fanaticism and obsessiveness of the various professional leagues, soccer players are under the microscope unlike no other athletes. Guys who face such pressures and succeed are national heroes, or wealthy professionals, or both. Those who wither under the spotlight are outcasts and are hated by the masses. Just ask any of the players who have been the targets of violence, or threats, or a national outpouring of hatred, just because they let their team, their teammates, their fans, their nations, down. Just ask that dude from France who head butted that other guy in the World Cup a few years ago. He is still dealing with the repercussions of this to this day.

    At the end of the day, I would watch any of a plethora of other sports before I would watch a game of soccer from start to finish. In fact, the only time I would ever watch an entire game of soccer would likely be if I was lying on the couch and couldn't reach the remote control, assuming the game did not put me to sleep first, especially with the incessant drone of vuvuzuelas in the background. Give me a Bruins/Canadiens game, or a Celtics/Lakers, or Patriots/Jets, or Yankees/Sox any day of the week. Give me a Tiger Woods reascent to dominance at the Masters, or a Federer/Nadal showdown at Wimbledon, or even a national gymnastics meet (both of my kids are avid gymnasts and have gotten me into it in recent times), and I would take any of this in a heartbeat, rather than any sort of soccer game, regardless of it's magnitude or the stage upon which it is played.

    However, let's stay true to the question at hand. Which is the greatest game in the world? And when we set aside our personal biases, our own likes and dislikes, and look at the magnitude at which the game is contested to the most global degree, looking at the numbers of nations involved, the number of fans captivated by it, the passion and fanaticism of said fans, as well as the physical, mental, psychological, and emotional toughness of its warriors, and I think the choice is as clear and prominent as the nose on Triple H's face. All due respect to the "big four" in our section of the planet, but this one really is not even up for debate. The greatest game in the world has always been, continues to be, and likely always will be, the game of soccer .
     
    #2
    Thom likes this.
  3. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,608
    Likes Received:
    2,741
    I as well feel thankful for the opportunity to have been able to debate sports over the past two months. Its been one heckuva experience and Kudos to everyone whose been involved. And to Habs and Big Sexy, who've made for an entertaining and crazy final rounds. Here's to one more.

    Open:

    When I truly take into account what it means to be considered the greatest sport in the world, I take several factors into consideration. Some may make the mistake of assuming most popular automatically equates to being the "greatest" and it's an honest mistake to make. Popularity is certainly a factor, as I doubt anyone would affirm lacrosse, swimming, or gymnastics here. But it's not the only factor, and there are several to consider. After doing so, I believe the choice is very clear. The answer to the question of greatest sport in the world? Basketball.

    Popularity:​

    I said it's not the only factor, but it certainly is a factor. On any given day, all around the world, people are playing basketball. Today, basketball rates as one of the most popular sports worldwide and its popularity is at an all-time high. Basketball tournaments are played out between players of all age groups from 5 and 6 year olds ranging to adults of all levels and ages. Sporting networks around the world, on any given day, will report on professional basketball tournaments around the world and broadcast local and international games. Basketball has continued to grow in popularity also because it is relatively cheap in comparison to other sports to get into and play. It can be played indoors and outdoors, in summer and winter, by men and women of all ages. One thing that seperates it from a sport such as soccer is that its a game that can be played individually as well. One can hone and perfect their game many ways indivdually in the sport of basketball like no other popular sport. It takes to play pitch and catch, or to toss a football around. There are artificial machines for some of these games, but the sport that can be played in its purest form individually is basketball. It's the penultimate non-descriminatory sport.

    Athleticism:

    When thinking about which sports have the most naturally gifted athletes, the sport that comes readily to mind for me is basketball. Much of this is due to the fact that basketball players spend most of their time running up and down the field. In comparing it to baseball, for example, baseball is based more on skill than on real athletic ability. Don't get m wrong, there are great athletes in baseball. However, if put up against the majority of basketball players in pure physical testing, most baseball players wouldn't stand a chance.

    Another inherent quality within basketball is that players have to train year round to run up and down the court. Jumping is a fator in basketball that is not found universally in all athletes in other sports. Not only that, basketball players have to make quick lateral moves and change angles and approach very suddenly. Basketball requires an extreme amount of coordination as well. While soccer players are also in extremely good shape, their training is geared much more towards endurance and simply running up and down the field. The lateral movement of a basketball player is greater then that of a soccer player because soccer doesn't require the aggressive defensive that basketball does. The breaks in basketball are minimal, especially compared to their hockey, football, and baseball counterparts. Ive said it before, and Ill say it here again. Soccer is much more akin to sprinting and long distance running, with hand-eye coordination mixed in. Basketball players are better all around athletes than soccer players.


    Excitement:
    Michael Jordan of the Bulls. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers. Christian Laettner in Duke vs Kentucky. How are these all related? They've all provided moments that wll be ever etched into our memories. Some have done so in being human highlight reels, others have done so in providing game-ending moments that will forever go down in the annals of sports. Moreso then in any other sport, there is little time for a lapse. A ten point lead can be erased quickly, and we've seen it happen time and again. There's more offense in basketball then any other sport, offerring more opportunities for game-defining or jaw dropping moments. How may times have we seen March Madness moments that we'll never forget? The list is longer and deeper between the college and professional ranks then in any other sport.

    Close:

    Basketball is quickly becoming one of the most popular and beloved sports in the world. Part of that is due to the all-inclusive nature of the sport. It truly is something that can be played anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. It's athleticism on the whole is more complete and greater then any other sport. While there are select players in other sports that contain great athletes, no sport provides the greatest level of pure athleticism the sport of basketball. And the excitement factor is second to none because of this. Because of the high octane nature of the sport, one can never snooze on the game, or their team. Neither can the players, and it shows. The sport has simply provided more jaw dropping feats and last-second moments then any other. I'll be affirming these and others along the way as I demonstrate why basketball is truly the greatest sport in the world.
     
    #3
  4. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,608
    Likes Received:
    2,741
    Im glad we agree here. Despite having played it for a year in high school, I can't bring myself to watch a game. Kudos to you for trying to affirm a sport that you find so mind-numbingly boring. Coming from such a position of disadvantage, I couldn't imagine arguing a sport that I dislike so much. Especially since it's the wrong one.

    This is somewhat true here, but there are parts that are entirely false. In the case of India, the world's second most populous nation, the most popular sports are field hockey and cricket. In Japan, which owns the claim of world's second largest economy, the most popular sport is baseball. In fact, baseball is more popular in Japan then it is the United States. In the case of the China, it's a dogfight between Soccer, Basketball, and Table Tennis, of all sports. Think about where you live Habs. Did you know that the first NBA game, as recognized by the NBA themselves, took place in Canada? It's true.

    http://www.nba.com/history/firstgame_feature.html

    And as for the United States? It's not even close. The influx of foreigner players in the NBA, the premiere basketball league in the world, is growing by the year. In the 1980's the NBA began to aggressively promote itself with stars such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan. The 1992 NBA Dream team, on the world's bigest stage, the Olympics, truly phenomonalized the sport. For every David Beckham that has come to the states and become prominent, I can see your Beckham, and raise you two time NBA MVP Steve Nash(Canada), Yao Ming(China), 2007 NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker(France) and the first European to win an MVP, Dirk Nowitzi(Germany). and So while soccer is still recognized as the sport of choice in through much of Western Europe and South America, it's not so much throughout the rest of the world. While my article here will affirm the argument of soccer being the most popular worldwide, it will show how basketball has become more infectuous in Russia, China, and Argentina, all nations where soccer used to be king.

    http://www.sportingo.com/all-sports/a11587_worlds-top-most-popular-team-sports

    Not really. As I showed above, their are significant portions of the world that are enthralled with other sports. Basketball is one of them in many of those nations. Popularity, while not the end all be all, is important. So if basketball popularity is growing, it's cutting into whatever supposed advantage soccer has. And we're just talking popularity. When it comes to athleticism and excitement, soccer pales. More on that later.

    I can easily argue that sentiment. The World Cup involves 32 teams per year. Doing the math from 205 nations, I fail to see how an event can be the greatest sport in the World when its penultimate event, the World Cup, only involves 18% of the world? I becomes a larger stretch to say that its the World's greatest sport when only 77 countries in the 80 year history of the World Cup have ever participated in it. That's only 38% of the World, by my count. Those are undiputable facts against the soccer argument.

    In reading back through that round, both you and I affirmed that the Olympics were the bigger sport to the World, correct? Then my logic here is quite simple. The NBA(National Basketball Associtiation), and FIBA( The Interntional Basketball Federation), allow their players to play in the premiere event, the Olympics. In comparison, the soccer you see at the Summer Olympics every four years is soccer U-23. What that means, simply, is that FIFA(International Federation of Associated Football) doesn't allow it's players to compete. Only three "over 23" year old soccer players are able to play. So by my estimate, 90-95% of the time, you're not even going to see the best players in the world at the Olympics, which we agreed was the premiere event over the World Cup. So with basketball allowing it's players that exposure and soccer prohibiting it, basketball> soccer is the greater sport in this regard, on the biggest stage in the world, correct?

    And for every professional soccer team you named, I can tell you about the rich history of the Boston Celtics, the 17 time NBA champions. Or I could get into the great legacy of the 12 time NCAA champion UCLA Bruins. As I showed above, the first NBA game was played in Canada, not the United States. The NBA maintains a presence in Canada to this day with the Toronto Raptors. And there's FIBA of course, who oversees basketball operations in China, Italy, Argentina, Germany, France, Russia, and others, some of the most populous and affluent nations in the World. As I demonstrated above, many of those nations have sent representatives over to the NBA, some of whom have won MVP and NBA championships. Does the Western Hemisphere do the same? Do we pump players over into the European product? Until I see it, I fail to believe it. We've popularized basketball over in foreign nations, who have sent their best players to play in the NBA. Is it the same two-way street with soccer? Decidedly not.

    Yet the same thing can be said about basketball, to the 9th degree. There's this little thing about to start in a week known as March Madness. Does soccer maintain any type of illustrious and popular tournament for it's collegiate players? We both know the answer here. And it's only growing, as the NCAA has upped the field to 68 teams this year from 65 of the past. Basketball is played indoors and out, summer and winter, men's and women's. Where are the Women's Premiere League's like the WNBA and the Women's College Basketball tournament? Basketball maintains a presence within all genres, including sex and age, that soccer simply does not. When you drive around, what do you see more of, soccer nets or basketball hoops? This is an easy one here. With the facts Ive shown, Id say that's the worldwide presence would be similar that it's basketball.

    Not even as much as. As Ive shown, even for the greatest event(World Cup) in soccer, its nation's involvement is only 18% every four years. So while you may have the passionate fans in less then one-fifth(being generous) of the world, look no further then the Olympics argument, which is all-inclusive in terms of basketball. Between the NBA, WNBA, March Madness, FIBA, and the Olympics,Id say basketball fans are out in full in larger pockets of the world then soccer fans are. When faced with this reality, soccer simply dosn't stand a chance here.


    And I respectfully disagree. Soccer players are well conditioned athletes. Comparable to lon-distance runners, or sprinters at times. But they don't have to do much of the quick lateral moves, change of angles and approach very suddenly that basketball entails. The fact that they don't use their hands and arms works decidedly against them. Quick, agile feet? Yes. But so is the same in basketball. Have you ever seen Michael Jordan elevate? How about Kobe Bryant? What about the way both men elevate? Jumping and the timing of said jumps is a major part of the basketball game that simply isn't involved when it comes to soccer. While soccer players are also in extremely good shape, their training is geared much more towards endurance and simply running up and down the field. The basketball player's lateral movement is far greater then that of a soccer player because soccer doesn't require the aggressive defensive that basketball does. Shoulder checks? Yes. But aggressive, in your face defense for 24 and 35 seconds? Heck no. Having said all this, it's easy to see basketball players are better all around athletes than soccer players.



    I maintain that basketball players are under greater mental scrutiny. Why's that? The shot clock. The have to maintain a awareness of set plays and how much time is left on each and every possession. This type of awareness simply isn't there for the soccer player. Basketball involves anticipation of your teammates, and what your opponent is about to do at the same time. And this is a constant for 20 minute halves or 15 minute periods, 40 and 60 minute games. Then not only does the player have to show that mental awareness on one end of the floor, they have to turn around and do it on the other. Soccer is made up of defined positions, with defined areas of the field. This isn't the case for basketball players. They have to cover 100% of the floor. There aren't sweepers and strikers in basketball. The guards and the centers have to cover the same ground.


    I maintain that this is irrelevant. If anything, it's a stain on the sport, not a testament to its greatness. A sport that fosters this type of fanatical environment loses so much stock in terms of being great simply for that reason. While colleges and cities sell jerseys and cheerlead and foster team play and a safe environment in basketball, soccer encourages riots and physical assasinations of its players who fail. This shows the detrimental, dark side of soccer, again showing why basketball is the greater sport.

    As would I. And I could tell you about their moments. About Christian Laetener's game winner when I was 10 in 1992 for Duke over Kentucky. About Michae Jordan's heroic performance to score 38 points with food poisoning in game 5 of the NBA Finals. Of stories told of Magic Johnson, a rookie point guard, converting to center in the 1980 NBA Finals, a position he had never played before, and scoring 42 points. I could go on, but I think my point is well made here. Where are the stories like this in soccer? Where are the moments that truly make sports great? Moments are a big part of making a sport great.Which has the greater moments and excitement? A soccer match that ends in a 1-1 tie, or an overtime game that ends on a turnaround jump shot? Moments and excitement make sports great, and soccer is lacking in moments, unless we factor in players being murdered for heading the ball accidentally into their own nets. Basketball has produced moments like no other, and most definitely moreso then soccer. As such, it's a greater sport.

    In the end, staying true to the argument at hand, we must set criteria. Ive shown basketball to be close to soccer in popularity in parts of the world, and greater in some. Ive shown how basketball is played on a bigger scale in the Olympics, making it greater. Ive shown how athleticism in basketball trumps the overall athleticism in soccer, and Ive shown how moments truly make a sport. And basketball has produced moments more then any other sport. Soccer isn't even close. When looking at the world's greatest sport, it's not close here either. Basketball is the world's greatest sport.
     
    #4
  5. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    Open​

    Before I answer I would like to discuss the question itself. The question clearly states, “What is the greatest sport in the world?” It isn’t talking about the most popular sport in the world, which would be soccer. It isn’t talking about the fastest growing sport in the world, which would be basketball. This topic is all about the greatest sport and that is without a doubt in my mind, American Football. The reason for this is simple. When talking about what is the greatest sport there are three factors that come into play for me: The game, the players, and the fans. I will use these 3 components in my argument for why American Football is the greatest sport in the world.

    The Game​

    The game of football is a sport of intense competition. To play and succeed at the game you have to be a superior athlete both mentally and physically. Every single down in the course of the game gives an opportunity for something exciting to happen. The game has the most intense competition of any sport in the world. Whether it’s an offensive battle that ends 38-31 or a defensive battle that ends 7-3, the game has a level of excitement and competitiveness that is unmatched. It is an easy game to follow and one that a spectator can enjoy even if they have never witnessed the sport before. This is evident by the fact that the NFL overseas games have drawn huge crowds. Over 103,000 fans saw a game in 2005 in Mexico City. Over 81,000 fans have watched games at Wembley Stadium each year over the last few years. International fans with limited exposure to the sport wouldn’t come out in these huge numbers if the sport wasn’t an easy one to follow and understand. It is a game that is played at all levels from youth all the way up to professional. At the youth and high school levels it teaches great discipline. At the college level it gives many athletes opportunities that they wouldn’t have without football. At the professional level it provides an atmosphere that is unmatched. There is no sport that is more fun to watch then American Football. The sport has provided more memorable moments in the pro and college ranks then any other sport. All of these aspects about the game contribute to it being the greatest sport.

    The Players​

    The players that play American Football are the best athletes in all of sports. In terms of strength, agility, speed, endurance, there is no other athlete that can match them. Some of the greatest athletes of all time have played the game. Names like Jim Brown, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, Jerry Rice, and Barry Sanders have succeeded on all levels of the sport. Names like Charlie Ward and Jeff Samardzija had great college success before moving on to other professional sports. To be an American Football player it takes great skill physically as well as mentally. The strategy involved in the game is more intricate then any other sport. These players also put their bodies through more physically then in any other sport. You cannot have a great sport without tremendous players/athletes and there is none better then in American Football.

    The Fans​

    You can have a great game with tremendous players but if no one cares then the sport cannot be considered the greatest. American Football has some of the best fans in the world. The NFL is the most popular league in the United States and it isn’t all that close. Now I want to be clear once again that the question is about greatest sport in the world and not most popular. I won’t sit here and say that American Football is more popular worldwide the European Football (soccer) because that would be false. However, American Football is widely popular in its markets and I’ll take the fans of the game of American Football over the fans of any other sport. Whether it’s college or professional the fans are loyal and show tremendous support. The average attendance in the NFL is greater then that of any other professional league in the world. In 2008 the NFL averaged 68,240 fans. That’s over 10,000 more fans on average then the second place league which was the Indian Premier League (cricket).

    Close​

    When it comes to the game, the players, and the fans there is no sport in the world greater then American Football. I have emphasized my argument with the three components stated above and will continue to follow these components throughout the course of the debate. To me they are the three components that best describe which sport is the greatest and once again, that sport is American Football.
     
    #5
  6. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    Basketball is indeed a good choice regarding the question at hand here. While I do believe that soccer is the clear and overwhelming choice as the greatest sport in the world (my personal feelings aside), basketball would probably be my second choice. A very distant second, mind you, but second nonetheless. After basketball, the third choice, on a global scale, falls way off. But make no mistake about it, soccer is the obvious answer to this question, when looked at objectively rather than from a position of bias as my e-friend LSN80 has done.


    In answering the question being posed here, popularity is the main parameter to be considered. Otherwise, it becomes a question of personal choice, personal preference, rather than an assessment of which sport is the greatest on a global scale. You have to look at worldwide popularity as being the benchmark in answering the question: who is watching the game, who is following it in a close and sometimes obsessive manner, who is
    Laying it and to what degree. The global phenomenon which is soccer has the greatest popularity across the world in all continents where humans reside. This point is not even debatable. Even if I concede basketball's growing popularity, it is absolutely dwarfed by soccer. And it is this popularity which gives the clear and unwavering nod to soccer as the greatest sport in the world. Any suggestion other than soccer is merely sn expression of personal preference, not an objective look at the facts. Hell, as I said, personally I detest soccer, and even k have to concede this fact as beyond debate.

    On any given day people around the world are playing basketball, this much is true. But on every single day, people across the world are playing soccer too, except in far greater numbers in many more nations. Basketball is "one of the most popular"sports in the world, I concede this, in fact I respectfully suggest it may be second. But soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and the discrepancy between first and second is astronomical.

    Basketball is played at all levels by all ages and both genders. Again, point conceded, but the same applies to soccer, but to a far greater degree. Basketball is growing in popularity. Maybe some day it will catch soccer who knows. But that day is absolutely not today, and it likely won't be tomorrow either. Sure, basketball is cheap to play, all you need is a ball and a pair of sneakers. This differs from soccer how? Give a kid a pair of sneakers or cleats and a ball, maybe a pair of kneepads (totally optional), throw them onto a field, and lo and behold, he is ready to go in the sport of soccer, every bit as inexpensively.

    Basketball can be played indoors and outdoors. So can soccer. Winter or summer, applies equally to soccer and basketball, even though it is ideally intended to be outdoors on a field, rather than in an arena or a gymnasium. Plus, for a lot of the nations where soccer is played, this point is irrelevant, as the weather is not an issue anyway.

    Sure basketball can be played by men or women, adults or kids. Again, none of this distances it from soccer. And soccer too can be played individually. Just like a kid can go on the court and practice his shooting, or dribbling, or skills in general, so to can a kid draw a soccer net on a wall, and practice his shotmaking or passing skills as much as he desires. And he can practice his ball handling skills through individual practice. There is absolutely nothing in this paragraph which even comes close to changing my mind about soccer exceeding basketball, and everything else, as the greatest sport in the world.


    No one is dismissing the athleticism or conditioning of basketball players. And let's not cloud the issue by introducing baseball into the discussion, as no one would suggest that baseball players in general have the physical conditioning or athleticism of basketball or soccer players. I think you grossly underestimate the athleticism of soccer players, and largely overstate that of basketball players. I think we are beginning to see your personal biases, your personal preferences, creep into the discussion.


    Soccer players have to train twelve months a year as well. Jumping skills are
    prevalent in soccer as well, as they jump to head the ball, but over and above this, they possess many other skills and cardio unlike any other athlete. Again, personal bias is at play here. You believe that basketball players are better athletes, but the passion of your belief does not make it true. I do not have such passion for soccer players, I simply am looking at the question objectively, and the simple fact of the matter is, soccer players are better athletes than basketball players are as well.


    This entire paragraph is personal preference and bias. I share your sentiments about all of it. To me, basketball is way more exciting than soccer. But this is not what the question is asking. It isn't asking which sport you like the best, or which one is more exciting to people in our neck of the woods, and the answer to this is clear. My personal feelings aside, it is soccer on a global basis. It may not be soccer in North America. It certainly is not soccer in my house. But from a worldwide perspective, it is definitely soccer, and this is what the question is asking, which one nips the greatest in the world. For every person in our continent who finds basketball more exciting, there are many more elsewhere in the rest of the world who feel exactly the same way, if not more so, about soccer.


    Basketball may be "becoming" one of the most popular, but it is not there yet, not by a long shot. And it has a long way to go to close the gap between itself and soccer. The rest of the paragraph above again is permeated by your personal opinion, your personal likes and dislikes and whims, stating how you feel about sports, rather than how the entire world perceives it. I share your sentiments, but even with this being said, you are incorrect in terms of stating that basketball is a greater sport on a worldwide basis than soccer is. Keep your discussions objective, look at the simple facts of the matter, rather than what you yourself like the best, and the choice is clear. Soccer is truly the greatest sport in the world. Try to dispute it sly you like, but the truth of the matter is clear.
     
    #6
  7. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    Hatehabs- I'm not going to go quote for quote on your original post because you seem to be focusing on one main thing and that is global popularity. The question is not most popular sport, it is greatest sport. Popularity does not automatically equal greatness. Justin Bieber is one of the most popular singers/musicians in the world right now but you'd be hard pressed to find people (other then pre teen girls) that would say he is the greatest. The fans to each respective sport are important, and as such, popularity plays a little bit of a role but a sport doesn't have to be insanely popular around the globe to be considered the greatest. American Football is the most popular sport in where it's marketed and also has some growing international popularity as well. Like I stated in my original post, when talking about the greatest sport in the world it comes down to the game itself, the players, and the fans. Using those three components the answer to the question at hand is without a doubt American Football.

    Basketball is a good choice but certainly not the best. Your factors you take into account are actually similar to mine you just referred to them differently. Instead of game you put excitement, instead of players you put athleticism, and instead of fans you put popularity. There are some differences in the components but they are for the most part similar. Let's get to it.


    Basketball is definitely popular worldwide and when it comes to outside of the US it is more popular then American Football. However, basketball is also marketed more outside of the US then American Football is. The NFL is starting to market a lot more internationally and the international popularity is definitely growing for the sport but it's something that takes time. In the areas it is heavily marketed American Football is easily more popular then basketball at all levels.


    There is no doubt that basketball players are great athletes. but no group of athletes on the whole are as athletic as American Football players. No sport is more physically and mentally demanding then the game of football. American Football players are easily the most well rounded athletes as well. There are more NFL players that have or could have succeeded at other professional sports then in any other league worldwide. Just go to this page and compare the American Football multi sport athletes to that of other sports. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multi-sport_athletes#American_football Once again, while basketball has great athletes and is certainly physically demanding, it does not compare in either category when going against American Football.



    The game of basketball has provided some great moments and is very exciting but this is another area where it cannot compete with American Football. In college you have things like the Cal/Stanford finish, the Flutie Hail Mary, the Vince Young Rose Bowl performance, the App. State upset of Michigan, the Kordell Stewart Hail Mary, etc.. In the NFL you have things like the Joe Namath SB prediction and upset, the Music City Miracle, the Marcus Allen Super Bowl run, the Montana game winning drives, the Elway game winning drives, the Immaculate Reception, the David Tyree catch, etc.. The NFL and football as a whole has been tremendously competitive throughout history which adds to the excitement level. The NBA has almost always been dominated by a select few teams. That's not always a bad thing but for me the more parity there is, the more exciting a sport is. I'll also take college football over college basketball any day. College basketball is really only at peak excitement for one month out of the schedule. College Football brings great excitement throughout the course of its season.

    Overall American Football is greater then basketball in all of the criteria you listed and that shows that American Football is the greatest sport in the world.
     
    #7
  8. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,608
    Likes Received:
    2,741
    Agreed on the bold. I think we both hit on the most important factors that go into determining the greatest sport in the world. We may go about different ways of saying it, with minor tweaks, but I can affirm that our criteria is virtually similar, and I'll debate it as such. While I feel that football is a solid choice, I believe that basketball is the better one.

    Which raises the question as to why the sport hasn't been more marketed heavily, doesn't it? By my figure, the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional football Association. Two years later, in 1922, it was changed to be known as the National Football League, the same very league under which it derives it's name from today. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_football

    As for basketball, its professonal origins can be dated back to 1932, when the first game was played between Toronto and New York. The difference is, basketball is marketed more heavily internationally, and it' not even close. Since FIBA was formed in 1989, 214 nations become members.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Basketball_Federation

    So while the sport of American football may be marketed more heavily in certain markets, that has to raise the question about global appeal. The fact that in the time between 1989-2011 214 nations have joined its association. Currently, the penultimate markets for professional(and college) football are restricted to the United States and Canada alone. So while football has had more time to aggressively pursue an International market, it has yet to do so. Professional basketball has established both a presence overseas with it's own federation that's not mutually exclusive to North America. Further, since 1992, its greatest athletes have begun playing at the Olympic level, which is the largest stage in the world. So while basketball has had less time to broaden it's appeal, its fairy obvious that it has done so with leaps and bounds in comparison to American football.

    It's a great list, without a doubt. But for every great football player thats phenomenal athetically, there are many that are not. Ill take the athletes on the whole in basketball over American football anytime. In the game of football, there is the stop start factor between every play. That same advantage isn't there in basketball. Further, basketball players must turn around and play defense. Footbal has its specialists, and very few can or could play both ways. In the sport of basketball, not only do the players have to play both ways, they must do so at a phrenetic pace not seen in football unless it's the last two minutes of the half. Basketball players simply play on a different level due to the demands of the game. I won't argue that football isn't physically demanding, and that many players aren't tremendous athletes. But football players are specialists, trained to do one or two things well. Basketball players, on the whole, must play all facets of the game, making it the greater sport in this regard as well.

    You know how this one goes, as it's simply a list of "anything you can do, I can do better." Respectfully, I submit that the moments in basketball dwarf those in football. N.C. State beats "Phi Slamma Jamma" Houston in 1983 while Jimmy Valvano storms the court, the Brown v Board of Education game in 1966, Magic. vs Bird in 79, Georgetown/North Carolina in 82 with Jordan's game winner, the Fabulous Five Freshmen of Michigan in 1993, and of course Laettners fadeaway for Duke against Kentuckys in 1993. March Madness alone has produced more moments then college football as a whole has. As for the NBA, Reggie Miller going off for 25 against New York in the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals in '94, Jordan explodes for 55 five games into his comeback in '95, Bill Russell scores 30 points and grabs 40 rebounds in Game 7 of the '62 Finals, Dr. J's baseline swoop in 1980 in the NBA Finals, Jordan going out on top in 1998 with a jumper over Byron Russell, Magic playing center in 80, any Jordan moment in the Finals. There's a list that goes on and on here and we could go back and forth and I doubt we'll agree. I believe the moments in basketball have been more dramatic and intense.


    Yet the AFC was represented by the Steelers and the Patriots for 5 of the 10 games in the Super Bowl in the 2000's. Basketball has had its times when it's been dominated by dynasties, but right now the league is as wide open as it's ever been. Even the back to back champion Lakers aren't viewed as the favorites right now. And there's no more parity then there is in college basketball. The March Madness tournament each and every year ensures that. With college football, it's a one loss and done season for most teams. In college basketball, the tournament ensures that longshots, underdogs, and teams that gel at the right time all have a shot. The same can't be said in college football as only one game truly matters. College basketball is far more exciting and enjoyable over the course of a season, especially with conference play and rivalries that heat up throughout the season and are played out in conference tournaments. The unpredictability factor of college basketball is far more greater then in college football. It makes for a more exciting game, in retrospect. The combination of college and professional basketball's excitement is greater, on the whole.


    I think that you've done an excellent job of establishing what makes football such a great sport, and we've used mutual criteria to argue for our sports of choice. If it was any other sport, I may be with you on football. But not in comparison to basketball. Ive demonstrated that the criteria on a whole between the game, the players, and the fans is greater in basketball then it is in football, making basketball the greater worldwide sport.
     
    #8
  9. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    I'm not going to dispute any of that but to me none of that makes the sport itself greater. David Stern with the way he has marketed the NBA has done a tremendous job helping the game expand internationally. Stern and the NBA put in the effort that was needed to market the sport and expand it globally. Up until recently with Roger Goddell the NFL hasn't really put the necessary effort in to expand the sport globally. Again though, none of this makes the "sport" of basketball greater then the "sport" of football. The International Federtaion of American Football was formed in 1998 and every 4 years the World Cup of American Football takes place. In the last 12 years, 57 nations have become members and in 2005 the organization became a full member of the General Association of International Sports Federations, which organizations like FIBA and FIFA are part of. Currently outside of North America there are 56 American Football leagues in 39 different countries. Japan, Australia, and New Zealand all have 3 or more leagues. With more effort to market it globally the game has grown tremendously on an international scale as of late.



    It is two completely different games in terms of the offense/defense aspect. The majority of NFL players are most definitely athletic enough to play on both sides of the ball and most ff them grew up doing so. There are many college players who switch positions on their way to the NFL and some go from offense to defense or vice versa. I can easily make the argument that many basketball players can't play much defense they just have to do it out of necessity because like I already stated it's two completely different games. I can almost guarantee that American Football players are at a physically higher level then NBA players. The list I posted also showed how American Football players more then any other sport could easily succeed at other sports, adding to their athletic prowess.



    We can go back and forth all day but when you look at the greatest moments and greatest plays in sports history, American Football has more of a presence then basketball. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=listranker/25bestplays This list from ESPN has the top 25 plays and the edge goes to American Football over basketball. In fact 3 of the top 5 plays from both ESPN25 experts and from the fans are from American Football.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=tvmoments/060321 This list has the 20 greatest sports moments ever on television from the ESPN page 2 writers. Once again American Football has the edge here, including two of the top three plays on the list. Great moments happen in all sport and we could have entire thread dedicated to just these moments but it would get us no where. To me though the great plays and moments in American Football certainly trump those in basketball on the whole.




    The Lakers may not be viewed as the favorite but teams like the Celtics and Spurs are. In the last 31 seasons only 8 different franchises have won the NBA title. Of those 8, 5 of them are among the favorites to win the title again this year so the chances of a new winner are very slim. The NFL like any other sports has its dynasties but there is still far more parity then in the NBA. In the same 31 seasons the NFL has produced 13 different champions. There have only been 4 out of 32 NFL franchises that have yet to make a Super Bowl in their history and there have been 7 out of 30 NBA Franchises who have never made it to the finals.

    The college football system is most definitely flawed but those flaws are part of what makes it exciting every single week throughout the season. The same can't be said about college basketball. Outside the month of March the excitement just isn't there on a weekly basis. Going back to 1990 college basketball has had 13 different Champions. College Football has had 14 different AP Champions, so the tournament making more parity doesn't show in terms of Championship wins.




    The greatest sport in the world is American Football. I have dissected your arguments based on our similar criteria and proven that No matter how you cut it, basketball does not measure up to the greatness that is American Football.
     
    #9
  10. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    Make no mistake about it, my selection of soccer in this discussion is absolutely not the incorrect choice. I am simply displaying the objectivity required to answer the question at hand, while not allowing my personal whims and biases to creep in and taint my discussion, something which is clearly evidenced in your posts regarding basketball and Big Sexy's regarding football, which I will deal with later.

    Look, I am not suggesting that soccer is the number one sport in absolutely every single nation on the planet. I am, however, suggesting that it is extremely popular pretty much universally, especially outside of Canada and the United States. I don't really care if field hockey and cricket are more popular in India than soccer is, that's totally irrelevant. You can be damn sure that soccer is more popular there than football or basketball are. And you can be equally certain that field hockey and cricket do not have the global appeal of soccer. Simply put, soccer is a tremendous presence in India, while American football is totally invisible there, as is basketball. Same goes for Japan. Sure, baseball may be more popular there than soccer is, but soccer is still pretty significant there too. Does anyone in Japan follow basketball to the same extent that they follow soccer? Does anyone in Japan even know what the hell the NFL even is, or for those who know, do they care. We all know that the answer there is no, that in relative terms, soccer is prominent in Japan, while basketball is far less prominent and American football is pretty much invisible. Regarding China, you mention soccer, basketball, and table tennis. Obviously, we don't need to incorporate ping pong into the discussion. Even if I concede basketball and soccer to be equal in China, which I absolutely do not, this is just one country where they are equal, as opposed to countless other countries where soccer is so far ahead of basketball that it hardly warrants discussion.

    Thanks for the history lesson regarding Canada by the way. I am well aware of James Naismith. Not relevant at all to this discussion.

    I agree that soccer does not have the same degree of appeal in the United States that it has pretty much everywhere else. But let's not be guilty of the American sentiment that if it is not important in the US, it doesn't matter anywhere. Even if soccer is not as big in our part of the globe, let's not be arrogant and suggest that this is any way detracts from it's overall appeal. The fact that the popularity of soccer in the States is lesser than in many other countries is not really relevant to the discussion at hand.

    I don't really care about the influx of basketball players who are non-Americans into the United States, as opposed to the influx of soccer players into your country. This only pertains to the perception of sports in the United States only, and really matters little in terms of the perception of sports across the planet.

    Basketball has become more infectious in Russia, China, and Argentina. Even if I give you the benefit of the doubt here, it still is indicative of the fact that basketball is in second place and is attempting to catch soccer. I wish them well. Surely to God you are not suggesting that soccer is being challenged in Argentina of all places by basketball. To this I would simply say :lmao:


    I think you are basically making my point for me here. You are conceding that basketball's popularity, while growing, is merely cutting into the advantage that soccer possesses. Soccer has a tremendous advantage, and basketball may be on the upswing, but it has a lot of swinging to do to catch up. It's like a hockey game where the score is 10-2. The team which is trailing scores a goal to make it 10-3. They are cutting into the deficit, but are still lagging well behind. In this analogy, soccer is 10 and basketball is 3. Nibbling into the deficit, but still miles behind.


    These numbers shenanigans are a big pile of irrelevance. The take home message here is that over 200 countries are heavily involved in the game of soccer. At any time the World Cup is contested, 32 countries are directly represented. Other than the Olympics, is there any other avenue for basketball which features involvement from 200+ countries? Or any tournament involving basketball where 32 countries participate? Throw cold water on the World Cup all you want, but the simple fact of the matter is this. There is no global showcase for basketball which even comes close to the prominence and significance of the FIFA World Cup, with the exception of the Olympics, which of course is also significantly represented in the soccer world as well.



    The rich legacy of the Boston Celtics is tremendously significant to me. But that is a biased perspective from a North American fan. Move beyond our borders, and this Celtics legacy is invisible. Both yourself and Big Sexy are clouded by your personal preferences, rather than looking at the simple facts on a worldwide scale. Talk go a sports fan in England, and I am certain the rich legacy of Manchester United means every bit as much if not more. Trust me, the presence held by the Raptors in Toronto is not remotely comparable to, for example, the presence of Barcelona in the country of Spain. I would respectfully suggest that the worldwide scope of FIBA lags well behind that of FIFA.



    March Madness is a crazy event in the United States, and surprisingly so in Canada as well. I doubt Europeans, or Asians, or Australians, or Africans, know or care two hoots about collegiate basketball in the United States.

    When I drive around I see a lot more basketball hoops than soccer nets. Then again, I have only driven around in Canada and the United States. The next time I go for a Sunday drive in Paris, or Rio, or the Netherlands, I'll be sure to check out the number of kids playing soccer as opposed to basketball. Safe to say, I would see a lot more soccer and a whole lot less basketball. This argument of yours sounds nice in print, but really, in all honesty, is meaningless and borderline silly.


    I think that you grossly underestimate the physical rigors of playing soccer at the level required of these premiere athletes, and largely overstate the same for basketball players. You make it sound like soccer players are just haphazardly running around the pitch with no direction or purpose, and that is ludicrous. I care little about the lateral movements of basketball players. There is plenty of this in soccer as well. As a shot heads toward the crease, with offensive players trying to connect with and redirect the ball, while the defenders are leaping to prevent the same, takes plenty of skills, leaping abilities, and athleticism. The fat that they have to exhibit such precision, without the use of their hands, is even more impressive than doing so with the use of the entire body of the player. Sure, fellow North American sports fan, I am far more impressed with the skill set of Mchael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but this is another admitted bias on both of our parts. Find me a soccer fan in Argentina or Germany, and I am quite certain they can inundate up with stories and descriptions of their locals heroes as well, showing skills and
    performing actions which to them are awe inspiring and impressive.


    Basketball players are under greeter scrutiny because of the shot clock? I am not sure this even makes sense. Gretaer scrutiny from the refs, sure, but not from a global audience. Basketball players abilities to shift from offense to defense in a matter of seconds has nothing to do with mental scrutiny. This is a simple case of instincts, of natural abilities. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the scrutiny of a world wide audience, and the inherent pressures which accompany it.


    It is anything but irrelevant, in fact it is extremely relevant. It may be a stain on the sport, but it is a simple reality which is definitely associated with the sport, whether you like it or not. The fanaticism of the overly zealous soccer enthusiasts may not reflect well upon the sport, but it definitely puts the players who compete in the sport under a considerable degree of pressure. Remember back when I was talking about the Summit Series, and Ken Dryden, the goalie in the deciding game for Canada, was saying between the second and third periidsvof the game, when Canada was trailing, that if theyblost, he would be the most hated man in Canada. It put him under an incredible amount of pressure, and Canadian hockey fans are typically passionate but not insane or dangerous. Imagine a soccer goalie who knows that if he allows a cheap goal and his team loses, he'll be vilified and will receive death threats or worse. This certainly amps up the pressure, and requires increased mental toughness to be able to perform at one's utmost ability, bringing the mental demands upon soccer players to a whole other stratosphere, far beyond the type of pressure and scrutiny that a football or basketball player would ever face.



    This is complete and utter bias and arrogance from the perspective of a North American fan standpoint. I cannot comment on such moments from the world of soccer, because I personally do not like it, do not follow it, and have no direct knowledge of it's rich history and heritage. But rest assured that for every Michael Jordan or Christian Laettner, I am sure there is a Pele, or a Beckham, or someone like this who elicits the same reactions and responses regarding soccer, except on a far more global scale.


    Agreed, criteria must be set, but said criteria have to be objective and not swayed by personal biases and preferences. Frankly, you have fallen far short in terms of convincing me that basketball comes even remotely close to the popularity of soccer anywhere in the world outside of Canada and the United States. I remain unconvinced that basketball holds any more prominence in the Olympics than does soccer. And I still am not buying that basketball players display any greater degree of athleticism than do soccer players. You have convinced me that basketball is in second place in terms of global popularity, but I really did not need to be convinced of that, as I was already aware of that fact. Basketball far and away beats football in consideration of greatness on a worldwide scale.

    But the simple fact remains true. Try as you may to defuse the dominance of soccer in terms of being the greatest sport in the world, but your efforts will fall short. Take all of your personal likes and dislikes and lay them to the side,
    and the bottom line still holds true. Soccer is undoubtedly the greatest sport in the world.
     
    #10
    LSN80 likes this.
  11. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    This is exactly the response that I was anticipating from you, Big Sexy. I knew your response was going to be American Football, and I knew exactly why. And I also knew what your argument was going to focus on. The simple fact of the matter is, the global popularity of soccer as opposed to football is absolutely undebatable. American football is exactly that, American, and at most, North American. It holds little to no prominence elsewhere in the world, and this point cannot be contested, and you know it. I was fortunate enough to be able to bat leadoff in this round,which allowed me to select the obvious and undeniable first choice. This leaves you with only one strategy, that being, to underscore the whole popularity side of the question, and comment on other aspects of the question at hand as best you can. The simple fact of the matter is, the issue at hand here is to debate the greatest sport in the world. Not the greatest sport in your part of the world. Not the sport that you yourself like the best. The greatest sport in the world. You simply cannot engage in this discussion without comparing the various sports in question and looking at them through the eyes of the entire world. Who is playing the sport? Who is watching it? Who is obsessed by it? If you examine the question from any other perspective, you are simply expressing your own personal opinion, or the opinion of a select pocket of the world, without really considering it on a completely global scale. I don't fault you for trying to deflect attention away from the question at hand. Quite frankly, it is the only strategy at your disposal, when the answer you are forced to espouse, largely by default, is so clearly the incorrect answer to the question.



    The game of football is indeed a sport of intense competition. I absolutely love it, far more than I could ever admire soccer. The New England Patriots bring me so much more enjoyment than Arsenal ever could, that is is ironic that I am debating the superiority of soccer to you, as opposed to football. Hell, I even find a game involving two substandard teams, such as the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns, would be far more engaging to me than the finals of the English Premier League ever could be. But this simply is not the question at hand.

    I share your sentiment about the excitement level of a typical NFL game, but again in saying this, we are simply sharing our North American bias. Of course we feel more excitement over a tight and well fought NFL game,whether it be high scoring or low scoring. But for every fan in Canada and the United States who feels this way, there are several fans elsewhere in the world who derive the same sense of excitement from a hotly contested soccer game. The high drama that we feel over a 17-14 score in a NFL game is no different than the excitement that a fan of the English Premier League would feel about a 0-0 draw in soccer. Frankly it would be arrogant of us to suggest they are wrong to feel the way they do, even if we do not personally understand it or share their sentiments.

    The suggestion that football players are more adept physically and mentally is simply untrue. Soccer players play the entire game, offensively and defensively. Football players, on the other hand, are almost always exclusive to one aspect of the game or the other. In essence,the typical football player plays only half the game, whereas the typical soccer player is forced to play offense and defense throughout the entire game.

    Over and above this, the various skill sets of the players are typically more restrictive in football than they are in soccer. An offensive lineman, for example, may have bullish strength, incredible stamina, and incredible toughness, however they hardly require tremendous agility, blinding speed, or strategic prowess. A soccer player must have all of this.

    I think you are also incorrect to suggest that football is an easy game to follow and understand. This is true for guys like ourselves who have grown up following the game passionately. But take a sports fan from outside of North America, who hasn't followed the game for as long who is not as invested in it, and I think the game would be confusing and tedious.


    I think you need to be careful in drawing conclusions from isolated football games played out of the NFL comfort zone, such as in Mexico City or Wembley Stadium. These games were popular because of their novelty aspect. The simple fact of the matter is, when the NFL tried to increase their broad range appeal on a more consistent basis, such as with the NFL Europe, it simply failed. And the reason why it fell flat in a little over a decade was simple. People in Europe simply did not care about the game, because they were and still are soccer crazy. In trying to expand American football into a soccer hotbed, it simply did not work. How successful do you think it would be if someone conceived of a NFL South America, or a NFL Far East, or a NFL Australia. No need to answer the question, you already know the answer.


    The suggestion that American football players are the best athletes in all of sports is ludicrous. They are simply nowhere near the athletic prowess of soccer players. They also fall short of basketball players, and even hockey players for that matter. Strength? I may concede that one. Agility? Maybe a couple of football positions, such as wide receiver or quarterback, but certainly not football players in general. Speed? Definitely not. Again, maybe a handful of players at select positions, but not as a whole. Endurance? Absolutely not, as I discussed earlier, football players spend half the game sitting their asses on the bench while the other half of the team is on the field. You can list all of the names of athletic footballs players you like, and again, you are speaking from a position of bias and personal preference.
    If I were a soccer enthusiast, I am certain I too could compile an equally impressive list of players who are excellent athletes in their own regard. This is simply typical American arrogance on your part, discounting the athletic abilities of the sport you do not follow, in lieu of the one that you follow passionately.


    Yet more examples of bias and arrogance. I am quite certain that the millions of soccer fans from every corner of the globe would dispute your paragraph here. Of course you concede the greater global popularity of soccer over football, you would lose all credibility if you even attempted to suggest otherwise. I won't readdress the issue of greatest sport versus most popular sport again, as I have already dealt with this smoke screen earlier.

    Of course American football is more popular in its select niche markets. The problem with this thought process is, their niche markets are fewer and smaller than those of soccer.

    And again, the rest of your paragraph is yet more typical American rhetoric. More unsubstantiated opinion based upon personal likes and dislikes. Skirting the discussion at hand, to merely spout off about your personal whims.




    On a personal level, I do agree with your biased opinion regarding American football, specifically NFL. But it does not adequately address the question at hand in it's entirety. As I said earlier to LSN80, look at the question objectively. Shelve your biases and opinions and look at the facts. Soccer is easily the greatest sport in the world. Quite frankly, it isn't even close, as much as it pains me to admit it.
     
    #11
  12. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    Quite frankly, Big Sexy, I find your dismissive attitude toward my suggestion of soccer as the greatest sport in the world simultaneously ludicrous, insulting, and short sighted. Especially when the selection of soccer is so clearly and obviously the correct answer to the question at hand.

    Global popularity is the most significant aspect of the question being posed. It simply cannot be answered without being heavily weighted in terms of how the sports rank on a global scale. The entire premise of your arguments stems from a position of arrogance and North American bias. Your viewpoint appears to be that if you don't like it, or respect it, or appreciate it,then it is not relevant. Whereas my position is from a position of total objectivity, with no bias in favor of my geographical location or my personal likes or dislikes.

    Surely to God your analogy is not comparing Justin Beiber to the grand sport of soccer. A 16 year old, untalented flash in the pan can hardly be equated to a sport with the history and legacy and longevity of soccer. If we want to draw an analogy, soccer would be like U2. Longevity in the music business, world wide appeal, quality music appealing to a diverse audience of ages and genders. U2 may or may not hold any particular appeal for you, but there is denying their profile on the global stage. You may prefer some American band that is popular in North America but is anonymous across most of the world, but that band could hardly be considered one of the best bands in the world.

    Of course the fans of the sport are important. And I don't think the plethora of fans in all continents across the entire planet should be dismissed by you, just because you feel that the North American fans of an entirely North American sport are more significant or important. This is typical American arrogance and is typical of the type of bias which is devoid from my posts on this topic.

    Of course the NFL is the most popular sport where it is marketed. That is simply because it is marketed to such a limited degree to such a limited aspect of the global stage. In other words, it is solid in it's niche regions, but said niche regions are very limited. When the NFL has attempted to spread it's wings beyond these localized pockets of interest, the results have ranged from lacklustre to downright failure. Hardly indicative of the greatest sport in the world.

    You can consider the question from the standpoints of the game itself, the fans, and the players, but you still have to do so objectively and keep your biases in check. In terms of the game itself, I could exercise my North American bias and favor several sports over soccer, but that would not be accurate in terms of assessing the greatest sport in the world. That honor falls squarely upon soccer. In terms of the fans, again check your biases at the door. The fans of soccer on a world wide basis are simply more passionate, to the point of being overly so, sometimes to the point of dangerous fanaticism. They are more numerous, more diverse demographically, and geographically more widespread. And the players involved in soccer are simply more athletic, more skilled, more mentally tough, and capable of excellence in the face of more scrutiny and pressure.

    Take a moment, Big Sexy, and put your personal preferences aside. Forget about what you personally like best, which fans you personally respect more, or which players you contend are more athletic, and simply look at the fact of the matter from something other than a position of American/North American bias. And I think someone as allegedly knowledgeable of sports as you sometimes appear to be will have to arrive at the same conclusion that I reluctantly but objectively did. The greatest sport in the world is unquestionably soccer, there is simply no denying it.
     
    #12
  13. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,608
    Likes Received:
    2,741
    I think that maintaining a global presence is a part of being the World's greatest sport. Further, one thing that's failing to be taken into account is that women play the same sport at each level. Maintaining a highly competitve, more level playing field across genres certainly does contribute. Basketball is there on both a grander scale in the Olympics for both men and women, with the best in the World eligible to play. Women's basketball was added to the Olympics as a sport in 1976 due to a greater demand, and college basketball in the United States added, a women's NCAA tournament in 1982, and opened it's own Hall of Fame in the United States. While Im not ging to argue women's basketball is immensely popular, it does maintain a presence and has grown in magnitude and populartity. Basketball is a more inclusive sport, giving it a variety that football simply can't offer.

    I acknowledged that the list was impressive. But most of the players who were two sport athletes, at least the prominent ones, played basketball first. While players amongst the lower ranks of sports play on one side of the ball or the other, they are unable to do so at the highest level, except for a select few. Look at the list for the NBA-all defensive team, and it reads like a whose-who of all-star OFFENSIVE players. Kobe Bryant. LeBron James. Dwight Howard. Rajon Rondo. Some of the most gifted players athletically in the league make up the all-defensive teams. I understand that the games are different but when your top offensive players and stars are also amongst your top defensive stars, it's a testament to the overall package of the players, a testament to their overall athleticism. And as I already noted, many of the prominent players who played in the NFL played basketball first, which is indicative that the transition to the NFL is easier to that of the NBA. Is there any other reason then basketball is the more demanding, more complete athletic sport? I can't think of one.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5165424


    http://basketball.about.com/od/history/tp/two-sport-stars.htm

    Some of the great NFL players, as I already stated, were basketball players first. The transition to the NFL is simply easier because of the overall lesser demands athletically. Not physically, but certainly athletically. That was one of our similar criteria, and the edge here goes to basketball again.

    And basketball is very well represented on those lists as well. Those lists are primarily taking into account American sports, with a primary American bias. While I place some stock in them, it's hard to do so when the other 6 continents aren't well represented. In fact, all 25 plays on the top 25 list are solely American.

    When I say parity,thats not what Im referring to. Look at last year, in the NCAA Championship game. Butler got to compete for the NCAA Championship. As a #5 seed. That opportunity isn't there in the college football game whatsoever. There are two pre-determined teams that play fairly short seasons. There are teams that have NO opportunity. One loss? Their done. In basketball, you have the opportunity through a tournament, expanded to 68 this year, that can legitimtately say they have a CHANCE to play for the National Title. And like Butler from the Horizon league showed last year, those chances are very real. It's splitting hairs over the number of champions between sports, but it's not with opportunity. To say college football is flaed is a major understatement. And because of conferences, where rivalries exist, there is that excitement all year long, several times a week in college basketball.


    I respectfully disagree. I feel Ive poked major holes into the criteria we've agreed upon, and in doing so, have shown how the greatest sport in the world is Basketball, not American football.
     
    #13
  14. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    I'm sure you did anticipate I would choose American Football because like with every other topic I have made the correct choice. My response for American Football was typed up before you and LSN posted, I just had to wait to put it up. The question is "what is the greatest sport in the world?" It's not most popular in the world, not most known in the world, not most liked in the world. The definition of sport is this: Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. You see the word "world" in the question and automatically go to soccer with its worldwide popularity. The word world was used so no sport would be left out of the discussion. Sports like cricket and rugby and any other sport played worldwide could all be debated for. American Football judged by the criteria I'm using which is the best for the question at hand is the greatest sport in the world. If you want to turn this into a popularity thing then the only possible answer is soccer and I would never debate that. This question, however, is not about popularity it is about which sport is the greatest.





    One of the criteria I used was the game itself and you yourself are admitting that you find the game of American Football far better then the game of soccer. One of the main reasons soccer is the most popular sport worldwide is because basically every country plays it and has played for a long time. Soccer had been around and been internationalized longer then any other sport and it isn't even close. That, however, does not make it greater. Being in North America we have the luxury of being exposed to almost every popular sport there is. As a kid I was no more exposed to American Football then I was to soccer, actually soccer was the first sport I ever played but once I was given a choice it was easy. I do not enjoy soccer and I will never hide that fact. The most exciting, intense, competitive game that I have been exposed to in my lifetime is American Football and because of that the "game" component of my argument easily goes to American Football.

    Soccer players may have more endurance but other then that it is not untrue at all for me to say they are inferior athletes to American football players. Long distance runners have great endurance as well but you certainly wouldn't argue that they are better athletes then American Football players.

    How exactly do soccer players need bullish strength? Besides, offensive linemen are just one position in the game and you are severely underrating their skill set. Other then blinding speed they possess everything you are referring to. They need tremendous agility to be able to block athletic pass rushers like Julius Peppers and Ndamukong Suh. They also need great intelligence and strategy to learn their position and be able to play it effectively.

    Some of the details may be difficult to understand but the main concept is very easy. You have 4 downs to pick up 10 yards, td is 6 points, field goal is 3 points. Seems easy to me. I'll be the first to admit right now that while I understand the main concept of soccer, kick the ball down the field and try to get it in the net, each goal is one point. I do not understand yellow cards, red cards, what's a penalty, what's offsides, when a free kick is given, yet if I was entertained by the sport those aren't things that would keep me from watching it.


    You can use NFL Europe as an example all you want but it was nothing more then a 6 team developmental league that only played 10 games a season and received little marketing from the NFL. If the NFL didn't care to market it then why would people want to go see the games? Besides that 5 of the 6 teams were based out of Germany so it was hardly trying to expand internationally as a whole. Roger Goodell has done a much better job marketing the NFL internationally and there has been increased popularity because of that. You can't just go to countries that have known almost nothing but soccer and expect them to take to another sport right away. It's something that takes time.

    You are delusional if you think this. The reason football players don't play every position is because with the physicality the sport has it's impossible to play a full 60 minutes of the game throughout a season without highly shortening your career. No sport is more physical then football. American Football players are easily superior to other sports in terms of strength, speed, and agility.

    Arrogance? Please save me that bullshit and get off your high horse. I am passionate about multiple sports. I am a huge fan of football, basketball, baseball, and hockey and have played all 4 sports in my lifetime. As a fan and from someone with experience playing these sports I can tell you from a completely unbiased perspective that the toughest, most physically demanding sport to play is football and the best athletes I have ever seen in person and on television are football players.




    Bias and arrogance? Because I said American Football fans are some of the best in the world and they show great loyalty and support? Which part of that was false? You also conveniently dismissed my FACT that the average attendance of an NFL game is greater then that of any other professional sport league in the world.

    I guess it's good that popularity and greatness aren't the same thing then.



    It seems to me that you are the one not addressing the real question at hand. My biases play no role in my choice whatsoever. I simply read the question, figured out the best criteria possible for answering it, and used that criteria to support my choice.

    And I find your disrespect to my choice and argument to be equally as insulting and short sighted. I didn't go quote for quote on your opening post because a good 85% of it all focused on one thing and that was worldwide popularity. Why quote multiple paragraphs to repeat my same argument over and over again? You obviously read the question completely different then I did. I did not write the question so I cannot be 100% certain what was meant by it but I find my interpretation of the question to make a lot more sense then yours.

    My viewpoint is that from the question and the criteria I believe best answers it, American Football is the greatest sport in the world. If global popularity was the most important aspect and what we were supposed to be focusing on then the word popular would have been used in some form in the question. It was not, so I picked my criteria for answering the question and I am continuing to follow it.

    I'm not comparing the game of soccer to Justin Bieber just merely pointing out that what is most popular is not always what is the greatest.

    When exactly did I dismiss the fans of soccer? I merely stated how great the fans of American Football was. Soccer has some great fans to around the world. They also happen to often be unruly and violent. When fans are dying and killing because of a sport it tends to bring it down a level. I am by no means generalizing all soccer fans just pointing out what some do.

    Other then NFL Europe which was nothing more then an experiment with little marketing and effort behind it the sport has seen nothing but success when trying to expand globally.

    I am not using any biases. If you want to debate the arguments in my criteria with me then let's continue to do so. I have already shown above why when considering the game, the players, and the fans, American Football is the greatest sport in the world.

    I have been completely unbiased from the beginning and I find your continued assumption of the contrary to be completely insulting. I have been nothing but respectful throughout the entire SDL and have backed up every argument from an unbiased perspective. For you to "call me out" on something that is non existent is complete bullshit on your part and I expect better from you. If you want to continue to debate about my actual arguments than go right ahead but I will not respond anymore to your cries of American bias and arrogance because I am showing absolutely none of that. I read the question, picked a criteria to best answer it, and picked the sport of American football. Nothing more and nothing less.
     
    #14
  15. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    I find the word "world" being in the question as nothing more then a way to make sure no stone would be left unturned and any sport was fair game. Global popularity is very minuscule when discussing which sport is the greatest. As far as women go, they are not excluded in terms of playing in youth leagues or trying out for high school football teams. There are also some professional football leagues as well for women. Because of the physicality it's just something that very few women want to play. That still doesn't make the sport any less great.



    Where does it say anywhere in that list of athletes that they played basketball first? Most of those guys played both sports all their lives. Julius Peppers was always more of a football guy and just walked onto the basketball team at North Carolina because he was that great of an athlete. Charlie Ward was a Heisman Trophy winner in college but he chose the NBA because there was more of a guarantee that he succeed. Donovan McNabb was always a football guy first. Guys like Antonio Gates and Greg Paulus just preferred basketball slightly more to football which is why they stuck to mainly those in college but the NFL is definitely harder to transition into then the NBA. Charlie Ward is the perfect example of that. He was a better football player then basketball player but he knew his chances to make the NBA were easier so he went that route. The majority of two sport NFL athletes actually had baseball as their second sport not basketball. Just another pro sport that the great American Football athlete has success in because of their athletic abilities.

    You can talk about guys like Kobe and LeBron being great on both ends of the court but I can bring up names like Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, and Steve Nash who aren't very good defensively. I can bring up names like Ben Wallace, Dennis Rodman, and Dikembe Mutumbo who were great defensively but nothing special on offense. Plus like I already stated these are two completely different sports and the offense/defense aspect can't really be judged the same way.


    And I've already shown that to be completely false. Multi sport athletes play there multiple sports throughout the majority of their lives. It's talent not athletic ability that decides which sport they succeed more at and ultimately play. Antonio Gates was a more talented football player then basketball player which is why he's in the NFL but I'd say he is a better overall athlete then most NBA players. The list of players that were athletic enough to play multiple sports is far greater in football then it is in basketball.



    And so was every other play and moment that you were bringing up when talking about basketball.


    It's two completely different systems. Only two teams get a chance at the National Title in football so there are tons of teams not just small schools that get left out. If Oregon or Auburn would have lost a game this year then TCU from the MWC would have gotten into the title game. The fact that one loss could knock you out of contention is what makes the college football game so exciting throughout the ENTIRE season. Not just one month like with college basketball. And even though mid major teams have a chance in the NCAA tournament, I have shown that when it comes down to it the champion is a major team.



    You attempted to poke major holes but I was able to turn away all of those attempts. Nothing you have shown can dispute the fact that the greatest sport in the world is American Football.
     
    #15
  16. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    If I may inject myself into the discussion between you two, I would definitely agree that basketball is a good choice, as is American football. Neither of them are as good a choice as soccer is, but they are a second place and a distant third respectively.


    Basketball is certainly more popular on a global scale than football is, on this there can be no debate, just like there can be no debate that they both are eclipsed by soccer. Soccer is marketed all across the world because the audience is there. Basketball is marketed more heavily than football is, because again, the market is there to be had. Football does not have the same market availability outside of North America, with the exception of the occasional showcase such as Wembley Stadium or Mexico City. I do not think it is accurate to suggest that the NFL is of a lower standing internationally because it is not marketed there, I think that is a bit of a cop out. If the target market was there, you can be sure that Gooddell would be all over it, trying to spread the wings of the NFL on a more global scale. Simply put, based upon NFL Europe and other measuring sticks, the appeal upon which to promote the NFL outside of North America is simply not there.


    Football has more popularity in the limited niche market in which it is marketed, but said market is very restricted. The NFL is "starting to grow" beyond these markets, but it still has a long way to go to even approach soccer.


    There is no doubt that basketball players are great athletes. So too are football players, but neither of them are as overall athletic and well rounded as are soccer players. I find fault with the notion that no sport is as physically or mentally demanding as football. The whole argument of the capacity to play two sports is irrelevant to this discussion. Sure, a handful of guys have played two sports professionally, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders being two high profile guys to have done so. Most guys, though, even if they have the natural ability to play both, do not do so in the end. So the fact that they have the capacity to do so is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I don't think that the ability too play two sports in and of itself means you are a better overall athlete. It may in fact mean you are a "Jack of all trades but a master of none". Let's focus our attention at the one sport that the athlete chooses to focus on, and compare the athleticism required to play it at the upper echelon of sports, to the athleticism of soccer players. Plus, bearing in mind the inherent biases thay all three of us share regarding North American sports, neither of us is really in a position to draw parallels to soccer on this point. How many soccer players also have the ability to play something else professionally, such as baseball, cricket, rugby, or whatever. I have no idea frankly, and I doubt you guys do either. Making this an academic point.







    This entire section is blocked full of the biases and personal preferences which I have respectfully suggested are clouding your objective assessment of the question at hand. Please let us be crystal clear on one point. I accused you of bias and arrogance regarding your viewpoints, which seems to have offended you. Frankly, this was in no way intended to be a derogatory comment or in no way "calling you out" as you suggested. This entire SDL debate has been waged above the board for all 14 rounds, and I for one am certainly not going to change this now. Maybe arrogance was a little strong of a word. But not intended to be derogatory or insulting. Frankly, I would suggest that all three of us are North American sports fans first and foremost, and all three of us are susceptible to such biases and such arrogance.

    You provide lists of "great moments" for basketball and football, all of which are viewed through the rose colored glasses of the North American sports fan. Honestly, I myself am more intrigued by any of them as opposed to whatever soccer has to offer. As such, I too am guilty of the same arrogance that I accuse you of, and I am not insulting myself when I say this. All I am saying is that it is short sighted, biased, and a little arrogant for all of us to compile lists of this nature and suggest that these great moments have more value, more drama, more intrigue, than anything soccer has to offer across the pond. Because for every Big Sexy, or LSN80, or hatehabsforever in our neck of the woods that is enthralled by such moments, there are just as many, if not more, such moments for the Europeans, Austalians, or whatever other continent you want to look at, which hold every bit of the same meaning. Suggesting that these moments are somehow better than a dramatic goal in the World Cup, or a big save in the finale of the English Premier League, is opinion pure and simple. Not objective assessment of the facts at hand, but rather, our biased viewpoints on what is significant and what is not.

    No offense intended Big Sexy, it has been a clean debate thus far, and I for one do not intend to change this in the dying days of the discussions.
     
    #16
  17. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    Some excellent points are being made in these paragraphs here. No one is really questioning the fact that soccer is by far and away the most significant global phenomenon of the three sports being discussed in this thread. This point is beyond debate, and I really do not plan to discuss it any further until my concluding remarks. The only question really to be discussed is, how significant is this component of the discussion to the discussion at hand in it's entirety.

    The point being made here is that in terms of football and basketball, football has had more time and opportunity to expand it's horizons on a global basis, yet it has failed to do so. The bottom line regarding popularity on a global worldwide scale is simply this. Soccer>>>basketball>>>>>>football. Let's accept this fact and move on to the rest of the discussion.
     
    #17
  18. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    Goodell IS all over it trying to expand the market and he has done a great job in doing so thus far. I already explained why NFL Europe didn't work and it had nothing to do with the sport itself. The latest efforts from the NFL to expand its audience internationally have been great.

    The fact that NFL players succeed at other sports in college and sometimes even get drafted to other professional leagues is very relevant to how great of athletes they are. No athlete is more well rounded then American Football players which is why they are able to have success at so many things. No athlete on the whole is stronger, faster, or more agile then NFL players. Most positions need great speed, strength, and agility. Basketball and soccer players are great athletes in their own right and may have more endurance then American Football players but as overall athletes they just aren't on the level of American Football players.


    The paragraph wasn't full of bias at all. It was full of great moments from the game of football which has helped contribute to the sports greatness.


    LSN brought up some great moments from the sport he chose to show how exciting the sport was. I followed suit by listing some great moments of my own to show the excitement factor in the game of American Football. There's no bias or arrogance anywhere, just simply showing some exciting moments that contribute to the sports greatness. I realize the game of soccer has some tremendous moments too but why would I discuss those moments? I'm debating for the right sport here which is American Football.

    Nor do I.
     
    #18
  19. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    There has been considerable discussion throughout this thread regarding the global appeal of the various sports in question. I think we have reached a consensus that it is pretty much undebatable that soccer has greater global appeal, more widespread international profile, that it easily exceeds both basketball and football with regards to broad range appeal on a global scale. For the purpose of this discussion, I will put this discussion to rest.

    There has also been interesting discussion about the great moments that any given sport must share, moments that inspire awe, drama, heartbreak, or ecstasy, with the thought being that for any sport to be considered the greatest sport in the world, it must have some significant defining moments, moments which move the audience, wherever they may be situated.

    LSN80 mentions such moments for basketball. Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. Magic Johnson. Christian Laettner. Big Sexy does the same for football. Cal/Stanford. The Flutie Hail Mary. The Vince Young Rose Bowl. Music City Miracle. The Immaculate Reception. The Joe Namath guarantee of victory. The David Tyree catch :( LSN even posed the questions. "Where are the stories like this in soccer? Where are the moments that truly make the sport great?"

    Let's look beyond what our myopic North American eyes will allow us to see. How about Diego Maradona in 1986 versus England? At one point in the game, there is the "hand of God" goal, one of the most controversial goals in World Cup history, one which is still looked at harshly today, two and a half decades later. 4 minutes later, the same Diego Maradona scores what is considered to be the "goal of the century, breaking past five defenders to score again in a display of athleticism and desire. Don't moments like these deserve to be recognized as being worthy of such holy f**k moments? How about in the next game of the same year, versus Belgium, when Maradona yet again takes over, scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory? I would suggest that the play of Maradona in the 1986 World Cup is certainly comparable to anything Michael Jordan or Tom Brady could bring to their sports, and when looked at through the eyes of the people most invested in it, such as the Argentinians or anyone else in the world who is paassionate about the World Cup, is every bit as equally significant a moment.

    How about when Pele scored the final goal of the 1958 World Cup for Brazil? Or when David Platt scored the "wonder goal" in 1990. How about the Baggio missed opportunity in 1994, or when Andres Escobar scored into his own net (resulting in his own demise when he was murdered by a crazed fan 10 days later)?

    How do you think the French felt when Zinedine Zidane, playing in his final game ever versus Italy, inexplicably headbutted Marco Materazzi in extra time, resulting in his ejection and an eventual loss for his team on penalty kicks? I am not even a soccer fan, by any stretch of the imagination, yet a quick google search tonight of these incidents, and a plethora of others, too numerous to list here, showed me several instances of "moments of significance", incidents that occurred and instilled emotions in a ravenous fan base which are every bit as real and significant as what Joe Montana or Larry Bird consistently inspires in those of us who prefer the North American sports scene.

    Point being, soccer has a lot more going for it than simply the undeniable global popularity it enjoys. It too has no shortage of special moments which characterize and define the history, the legacy, the aura of the sport. Take these two facts, and throw in the athleticism of the participants, the passion of the fans, and the rich history of the sport, and I continue to maintain, soccer simply has to be seen as the greatest sport in the world.
     
    #19
  20. Big Sexy

    Big Sexy Deadly Rap Cannibal

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    789
    Closing Argument​

    The greatest sport in the world is American Football. If we were talking about the most popular or most well known sports globally then my answer would be different but that's not what the question is asking. Based on the question, I came up with some criteria to come up with my answer and support it. My criteria included the game itself, the players, and the fans. I showed how the game of American Football is the most exciting, intense competition in the world. It can be played at all levels and is easy to follow. I also showed how American Football players are the best, most well rounded athletes in the world. With a combination of great speed, agility, strength, and endurance, and the ability to succeed at multiple other sports, no other athlete can compete with them. I finally showed how American Football fans are some of the best in the world. They show great loyalty and support at all levels and the average attendance for NFL games is higher then the attendance for any other league in the world and it isn't really that close, with an Indian Cricket league being in second place a good 10,000 fans behind. I followed this criteria throughout the entire debate and used it to defend my choice against that of my opposition.

    One of my opponents, Hatehabs, chose soccer. While soccer may be the most popular sport worldwide it certainly isn't the greatest as popularity does not equal greatness. His main arguments happened to discuss soccer's worldwide popularity which I will once again say isn't overly important to this specific topic. When he tried to debate against my choice with similar criteria he failed. Nothing he did showed that Soccer was superior to American Football in terms of the athletes or the game itself. The fans of soccer are tremendous and equally as loyal and supportive as American Football fans but that does not make the sport greater.

    My other opponent, LSN, chose basketball. He used a similar criteria to mine just named slightly different. However, at every turn I proved that American Football was greater in every single aspect. Again I showed how American Football players had superior athletes and how the game of American Football was superior to that of basketball. Basketball, like soccer, has great fans but definitely not better then the fans of American Football.

    Both of my opponents came up with solid choices but in the end neither provided anything that showed their respective choices were greater then mine. Because of this it is easy to see that the greatest sport of all time is American Football.
     
    #20
    LSN80 likes this.
  21. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,066
    Likes Received:
    1,648
    In conclusion, let me start off once again with a quick word of thanks to everyone involved with the inaugural Sports Debaters League. I wasn't sure at first if I was even going to participate, but I am really glad that I did, it was definitely a lot of fun. I hope the fact that so many guys bailed out early does not discourage the powers that be from running a season two at some point. Thanks to KB for running the show, as well as to the anonymous judges, whoever you guys are. Thanks as well to all of the competitors, especially to Big Sexy and LSN80, who lasted until the end with me. Some really good quality debating and from a totally respectful and polite standpoint for the most part. While I hope you guys finish second and third :), it certainly will not be overly disappointing to come up short against either of you, if that is the end result, as you both performed very well throughout the last couple of months.

    All pleasantries aside, let's wrap the final discussion up. For me, this was a pretty easy decision to select the greatest sport in the world, even though it was a little odd to be arguing in favor of a sport of which I am not a particular fan, and arguing against two sports which I personally prefer. The clear and undisputable choice here has to be soccer, there is absolutely no question about it. As much as my fellow debaters tried to muddy the waters and cloud the issue at hand, the simple fact of the matter is, the question was abundantly clear. What is the greatest sport in the world? The question has two key components, neither of which can be ignored, and both of which must be considered together. If we are going to assess the greatest sport in the world, issues such as global significance and worldwide popularity simply cannot be ignored as they are paramount to the question being posed. This is not a question which asks us which sport do we personally prefer, or which sport do people in our geographical region prefer, or which sport is the most interesting, the most exciting, or the most relevant, in our opinions or the opinions of those living in our corner of the planet. Objectvity is the most important aspect of the question here, as opposed to personal preferences and biases. In order to address any secondary questions which arise, they must be addressed bearing the primary part of the question in mind.

    Beyond a shadow of a doubt, soccer is the most popular sport on a global basis. It is played by the most people. It has the most fans, and these fans are amongst the most passionate, the most knowledgeable, the most fanatical, and sometimes even the most obsessive and dangerous in the world. Soccer is the only sport which is prominent in all continents across the world. It is extremely popular in every nation in Europe. It is practically a religion in South America. It has a strong following in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Even in North America, where it has to compete with the "big four" of the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB (all of which are more popular in Canada and the United States than soccer is), soccer is still extremely popular, and its popularity in this part of the world is definitely on the uprise. As the USA continues to advance and progress in the sport, as the latest World Cup would suggest is happening, the popularity around here will continue to increase. Even without this, though, the sport of soccer has a true multi-national, completely worldwide dominant presence in the world of sports. This cannot be argued, and is very significant to this discussion, as every other thing to be discussed here hinges upon this reality.

    Soccer has the World Cup, the truly most globally invasive sporting event in existence. 200+ countries vying for 32 spots, with the eyes of the world upon the action regardless of who competes and who emerges victorious. It also has a strong presence in the Summer Olympic Games, another truly global and comprehensive event. Moving away from amateur athletics, we have the English Football League System, a pyramidal scheme of promotion and relegation, resulting in the very best of the best competing in the English Premier League. Some of the best players in the world, competing for and against the most storied franchises on the planet, with the eyes of the globe upon them, this personifies the English Premier League.

    Even on this side of the pond, we have Major League Soccer (MLS), with its growing popularity, with guys like David Beckham jumping on board to further cultivate the sport in this region.

    Soccer has a tremendous grass roots presence. College, high school, young kids, of all ages, both genders, all skill levels. Whether it be the best amateurs in the world, the top professionals, or the next door neighbour's kid, soccer has a prominent, diverse, and truly global significance unlike any other sport, to a point that basketball or American football could only dream of achieving.

    Soccer players are the most well rounded athletes out there. They bring a unique combination of strength, endurance, cardiovascular capacity, agility, flexibility, stamina, and leaping ability, with a skill level which is sometimes awe inspiring. Both Big Sexy and LSN80 tried in vain to suggest that football or basketball players were better athletes. In doing so, they utilized convoluted and irrelevant arguments such as the ability to play two sports at a high level, but in the end did absolutely nothing to convince me of the superiority of the athletes of the sports they were promoting, as opposed to soccer players. Only soccer players can perform at the highest possible level, as they do, with the athleticism they display, without even the use of their arms and hands. Soccer players are the premier athletes in the world. Just ask sports fans from all around the world and they will tell you in high numbers, soccer players are the best of the best. Just because Big Sexy prefers football and truly believes football players are superior, or just because LSN80 feels the same way about basketball, doesn't make it true.

    Soccer players also have far superior mental skills. They play a more cerebral, strategic game. And they do so under situations of psychological and emotional challenges. Whether it be due to the nationalistic expectations of the World Cup or the Olympics, or the rabid enthusiasm of the passionate fans of the professional game, soccer players operate under situations of intense scrutiny and pressure, to a far greater degree than athletes of any other sport. Only in soccer can you go from national hero to despised villain in the course of one game, or one half, or even one play. The fact that soccer players can function as effectively as they do, despite the pressures (and sometimes resultant dangers) they experience, is a true testament to their mental toughness, over and above their physical superiority.

    Both of my competitors refer at length to the special moments which define a sport and the importance this plays in determination of the greatest sport in the world. LSN80 speaks of Jordan, Magic and others. Big Sexy talks about Namath, Flutie, and company. Both of these guys speak of the excitement factor instilled by the special moments these guys have brought us. But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and the excitement factor is relevant to the audience in question. For every LeBron, Kobe, or Bird, there is a Maradona, a Pele, Beckham. For every Music City Miracle, there is a "Hand of God." For every moment of drama for North American sports enthusiasts as above, there is a moment of excitement for a more global audience originating from soccer. I suggested it was a little biased and arrogant to suggest that the North American moments are more significant than the others,and while the use of such words as arrogance ruffled a few feathers (for which I apologize), the basic truth is still there. Just because you like a particular sort better yourself, just becuase you are more familiar with it, excited by it, and knowledgeable about it, does not necessarily mean it automatically is better than something for which you have less passion or knowledge. To deal with this discussion, put the question to the masses. Ask the entire world which athletes are better, which moments are most dramatic and exciting, and I think the consistent global response will be soccer.

    In his concluding remarks, Big Sexy says such things as how he has shown this and he has proven that. Simple fact of the matter is, he has shown me nothing or proven nothing to me except for the fact that he likes American football better than soccer. Just because he himself feels they display greater athleticism, or engender more excitement, does not automatically mean it is true. Simple fact of the matter is, soccer clearly exceeds American football in all contexts as shown throughout this thread. All due respect to Big Sexy, but I would rate American football a distant third, at best. Even basketball is a greater sport on a worldwide basis than is football, and basketball as well remains well in the shadows of soccer.

    Soccer is by no means my cup of tea. I am by no means a fan of the game myself. Personally I prefer both basketball and football over soccer, but this is irrelevant to the question. This question must be looked at objectively through the eyes of the entire world, rather than through the subjective and biased eyes of one corner of the world. When looking at the global popularity of the game, the magnitude of the games which occur across the globe in front of a worldwide audience, the physical, mental, and psychological acumen and toughness of the players, and the plethora of significant and emotional moments which define the rich history, the legacy, the aura of the game, there can really only be one conclusion which can be drawn. Soccer is the greatest sport in the world. Frankly, it isn't even close.
     
    #21

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"