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letters | following the bouncing ball

Stacked up against NFL, soccer stands pretty tall

Re “We’ve been watching a whole lot of nothing” (Sports, July 2): One gathers that Dan Shaughnessy does not like soccer. Perhaps he prefers American football, where the average NFL game lasts for more than three hours and the ball is actually in legal play for just about 11 minutes.

However, for those watching American football on TV, that colossal amount of dead time is put to good use by regaling viewers with entertaining ads for beer and diverting shots of scantily clad cheerleaders. I happen to like watching American football as well as soccer, but there is no denying that ours is a brutal game, extraordinarily restricted by complex rules, and one that requires players to dress like medieval knights.

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Soccer, in contrast, is a very simple game that can provide 90 minutes of continuous action and is easily played in pickup games by kids with no equipment other than a ball.

Whether Shaughnessy likes it or not, soccer is played and watched by billions. If he takes a look at any high school sports field, he will see the growth of soccer in the United States. I suggest that he get used to it.

John Daw

Wakefield

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