To that Florida bean-hunter, Bob Mossman, I say, in the words of the late great W. C. Fields, "You, sir, are a Tartupple!" You are downgrading the one sport that can give U.S. sports fans a position on the international totem pole.
The loudest sports explosion of all time occurred when our 8-to-5 daily working athletes met England's greatest professional selection in the World Cup tournament of 1950 in Riode Janeiro, Brazil—and whipped them! It was like Mossman and I and his bean-hunting buddies getting together a football team and knocking off the Chicago Bears in title play. English headlines read ENGLAND DOOMED. And the world knew what they were saying, except for U.S. sports editors, who gave it token space in the back pages.
On the purely pro level, soccer is played in more countries than any other game. It has more participants, the highest-salaried stars and requires the utmost in conditioning and subjugation to united teamwork. Soccer also outdraws any other competitive game.
There are no gimmick scores. One goal is one goal, no matter where scored from or by whom...or in whose goal! No phony timeouts are interjected to slow down a hot team and rob the fans of excitement unlimited. You have to stop them on the field with your skill and effort—no rule can do it for you. And once the game starts, you are master of your fate and have to respond resourcefully to the situation at hand at the moment it occurs—and without your hands, man! That nonstop action helps make soccer the world's most exciting game.
Soccer is for people who like a fast-moving, team-spirited sport. As for Mr. Mossman's reference to soccer not being popular here, how come a soccer league is being prepared for 1967 or 1968, and why did 12,000 New Yorkers attend the U.S. Cup of Champions finals between Brazilians and Greeks? For sex appeal?
New York City
I agree with Mossman. Soccer has no typical American appeal. The ways of the game are cold, and it lacks the strategy that every armchair general wants to be a part of.
East Lansing, Mich.