Why I find soccer boring

Do I have a theory for all of my idiosyncratic preferences?  Well, with soccer it is simple.  There is too much apparent noise in the data.  Too many salleys and thrusts lead to immediate reversals.  Moving the ball down the field generates information about the relative strength of the teams, and in theory that is interesting, but I am poorly equipped for interpreting this information.  (I recall reading, with bewilderment, the claim that the French 1-0 victory over Brazil "wasn’t even close.")  To me all that back and forth looks random.  In this regard soccer is like baseball, hockey, or perhaps even chess and Go.  Only the cognoscenti know what is going on.  In particular, the meaning of the drama is clearer when you grow up with it.

Basketball, my favorite sport, generates ongoing data but those results are marked by numbers, most notably points scored, but also rebounds, turnovers, steals, etc.  It is far easier to approach a basketball game "cold" and figure it out on the fly.  If you tune in during halftime, a few stats will indicate what is going on.  It is the perfect sport for people who, like myself, don’t have much time for sports.

Here is a good essay on whether soccer is boring.  Read this too, it compares soccer and hockey.


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