Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Voetbal vs. Football

Wow, what a game tonight with Holland playing Uruguay.  It was intense right up until the last whistle.  I love the way voetbal (Dutch for football aka, soccer) is played in Europe compared to American football.  There is 45 minutes of non-stop action in the first half (there ate not even commercials) a 15 minute halftime, and finally a non-stop 45 minute second half.  The clock never stops no matter what, in fact it actually counts up instead of down.  At the end of the half, they display a sign with the number of extra minutes to be played, but the thing is, you never know when it is really going to be over.  It is up to the ref to call the game when there is not a play in progress.  For example in tonight's second half, there was supposed to be three extra minutes but it ended up being close to four until the called the game.

There is no time to look away from the TV during the action or can very easily miss something.  For example, I looked away from the TV just to order another beer tonight and bam, I missed Uruguay scoring.

American football on the other hand is much slower paced.  There are commercials every 5-10 minutes and the clock runs and runs when players are just standing around.  In fact, you can pretty much officially win a football game with people rushing on to the field when there is still time left on the clock!  I always found this totally ridiculous.  I hate the way that is perfectly acceptable to just intentionally down the ball when it is during the last minute or so of the game.  I read an interesting article in the wall street journal where they was a study done that showed there was really only 11 minutes of actual action during an American football game.  That is just crazy to me when there are four 15 minute quarters.  I always knew it was bad but never realized it was that bad.

Don't get me wrong, I still like American football and love my Steelers, but I really like the way things work in voetbal (soccer) better where the game is played non-stop and it is not commercialized to the point where most of what you are watching is commercials.  Think about it, the regulating game is 1 hour, the only action that happens takes 11 minutes, but in order to watch a whole American football game takes about 3 1/2 hours!  Crazy.

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