Did you listen to whatshisface on the Third Shift when he talked about this? Could be coincidence…
Anyway, soccer is a different animal from other sports. You can’t just keep playing endlessly, because by its nature it’s low-scoring enough that you’d probably end up playing so long you just wear out the players and then they’d get crushed in the next game. Either that or both teams just frantically pound the ball upfield and take potshots from all angles hoping to catch a lucky bounce–which (1) can’t be entertaining except in a Keystone Kops fashion and (2) would be much worse than PKs because the victory wouldn’t have been earned.
BTW, many minor-league hockey…leagues, use shootouts after a certain amount of penalty time, and it’s been that way forever.
And, college football indeed does use a “shootout”; there is no sudden death, rather, each team gets a chance starting from (I believe) their opponents’ 20-yard-line to score in four downs, and it goes back and forth until they’ve played a complete set with the tie broken. So your contention that the sports you like are somehow superior because they don’t have a shootout is based on faulty logic–one of the sports you like does use a shootout.
It’s a common sentiment among those who wouldn’t necessarily know better, that penalty kicks are a lottery. That’s close, but not quite true. One penalty kick can be a lottery–we’ll get to the intricacies of that later if you like–but a series of five is most definitely not, not at the high level of play featured in the World Cup. There have been two games in the last two days decided with penalty kick shootouts. Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching the Germany-Argentina game, a game where you could cut the tension with a knife the whole time, with a German-born friend. In that game, the penalty kick round established Germany as a clear winner–not by being “lucky” enough to score and have the other team not score, but by a combination of four well-placed kicks and their goaltender making three amazing saves. Those saves were not by luck. He didn’t just guess which side and jump that way (although some goalies do at times)–he read the shooter’s eyes and the rotation of the shooter’s hips and legs so that he could figure out, in the blink of an eye, where the ball was going to go. In fact, he stuck a card with notes about each Argentina shooter’s tendencies–a mini scouting-report–into his sock before he took the field, and he went over his notes before each shot. I’m sure he either watched lots of tape from Argentina’s qualifiers and other World Cup games, or he had a scout do it for him–just like Tony Gwynn compiling information on the opposing pitcher’s habits so that he would know what pitch he would face in each different count.
It’s like when you see a quarterback seemingly throw an interception right at the DB–the picture on your TV screen makes it look like the DB was lucky that the QB threw a pass that happened to meander over to him, but in fact what often happens is that the DB has learned how to read that quarterback’s eyes and body movements to the point where he knows exactly where the ball is going to go, then he runs over there and picks it. Same deal. Same deal in Portugal’s win over England today–the Portuguese goalie learned how to read each shooter and he made masterful saves to basically carry the entire nation on his back.
That’s 20 minutes, tops. A basketball court is like a postage stamp compared to a soccer field. I played basketball in high school and I can tell you that playing four five-minute basketball overtime periods is not even close to being like four thirty-minute soccer overtimes.
No they don’t. They get pulled out for other pitchers every few innings, and then they usually get several games’ worth of rest because there are a handful of other good pitchers in the bullpen. You can’t just pick people out willy-nilly in soccer as they get tired.
Do you watch hockey? I do. I love it. Some goals are scored through amazing ingenuity, or a beautiful wrist-shot from just the right angle, or a one-timer pass perfectly timed to throw the defense off and catch the goalie looking the wrong way. But a lot of goals are scored through three guys crashing the net, poking and slapping at the puck as it bounces off of the goalie, and finally after he turns away four shots one happens to glance in. That’s exciting, but the score itself is about half a second of action. You mean to tell me that you get more enjoyment out of half a second of the tenth shot in a row catching the right bounce, than an hourlong strategic battle between the two teams?
When you watch football, do you sit around bored until the three seconds taken up by a touchdown-scoring play, or are you excited by the proverbial chess match? Do you love watching an offense and a defense being subtly tweaked over 80 yards, with a quarterback using strategic placement to deliver yardage, and a linebacker reading the running back and positioning himself to grab him as he goes by? Or do you fall asleep in between touchdowns?
When you watch baseball, do you experience intense boredom between home runs? Do you snooze and snore until someone hits a ball out of the park, or do you marvel in the battle going on between the pitcher and the batter?
Maybe you don’t really appreciate sports at all, you just watch them for the mere seconds of scoring excitement. That’s your prerogative, but stay away from my beautiful game.