If An American Football Coach Tried To Coach Soccer

This bit from NBC Sports has former SNL’er Jason  Sudekis  plays an American football coach who has been hired to coach the Tottenham Hotspur in England:

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. … It is NOT “The” Tottenham Hotspur. It is simply Tottenham Hotspur or simply Spurs. Not THE Spurs, they play in San Antonio. Spurs. Period.

    Freaking Americans. 😛

  2. penpen says:

    @Christopher Bowen: that’s the joke

  3. ernieyeball says:

    That was funny! Somehow I still find Soccer unwatchable.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Rex Ryan wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the Premier League (he doesn’t speak English).

  5. Lynda says:

    I’m actually quite looking forward to seeing how NBC covers the EPL…..as long as they don’t hire Gus Johnson

  6. Andre Kenji says:


    omehow I still find Soccer unwatchable.


    The problem is not soccer per se, the problem is FIFA. There are several rules in soccer that should be modernized. I would end the offside and increase the distance between the goalposts.

    In the US, the MLS is also a problem, because they act as a league of their own. If MLS wants to be competitive with they should create their own soccer schools for teenagers, like the rest of the world does. The players that MLS drafts from college are players that are many years older than many professional players than in the rest of the world.

  7. ernieyeball says:

    Where do I start?
    The clock runs up instead of down. When 90 minutes is reached the clock keeps running. No one seems to when it will stop.
    Several years ago I watched the USA vs Some African? South American? Team in the first game of some sort of tournament.
    After the initial 90 minutes + extra time the score was 0-0. I’m pretty sure after that there was a long overtime 15+ minute or more. At the end of that there was still no score. They proceeded to Penalty Kick/Free Kick (whatever) back and forth for who knows how many times till they all dropped dead on the pitch. Still no score Game over 0-0 tie.
    Each team got a point or something.
    I’d sooner watch paint dry…or the Cubs.

  8. ernieyeball says:

    …they all dropped dead on the pitch.

    Actually that would have been somewhat interesting…

  9. DC Loser says:

    You people are a riot. Soccer doesn’t need any changes and it’s fine as it is. It’s the short attention span American spectators that are the problem.

  10. al-Ameda says:


    That was funny! Somehow I still find Soccer unwatchable.

    Kind of begs the question: Is a 10-7 or a 17-14 NFL game “watchable”?
    Consider the NBA – is a an 81-74 game “watchable”?
    In terms of “unwatchability” how about Golf and NASCAR?

  11. DC Loser says:

    I don’t see similar comments about offsides and tied games in Hockey. Talk about a snoozer spectator sport – golf. Almost as bad as the snooker tournaments on TV in the UK.

  12. Andre Kenji says:

    @DC Loser:

    I don’t see similar comments about offsides and tied games in Hockey.

    1-) The problem is not the offside per se. The problem is that there are not enough goals. Since 1990, there were two World Cup finals without any goal in the regular time. Sure, we don´t need soccer games with scores like 23-9 or something like that, but more goals would be fine.

    Tied games are not a problem, but tied games without goals surely are. On the other hand, I think that many Americans that complains about soccer would certainly like the game that was played in the 70´s and 80´s, when most games had four, five goals in the regular time.

    Besides that, the charm of soccer is it´s simplicity – you can play with a ball made with socks and tennis shoes as goal posts – and the offside is a complex rule.

    2-) Yes, I think that for soccer the absence of competitive soccer teams in the US is a huge problem. It would be fantastic to see a intercontinental club championship with MLS teams playing against South American teams – it would be a real competitor to UEFA – but it would not be competitive.

  13. DC Loser says:

    Instead of 0-0 ties, FIFA can institute a sudden death overtime system like the NHL uses in playoffs.

  14. Andre Kenji says:

    @DC Loser: Sudden death would not solve the problem of low scores. Soccer needs more goals.

  15. ernieyeball says:

    @DC Loser: It’s the short attention span American spectators that are the problem.

    I beg to differ. April 17th marked the anniversary of one of the best Baseball games I ever watched on TV. The Mets beat the Cardinals 2-1 after 20 innings and almost 7 hours.
    The first run was not scored until the 19th inning. Right about the 14th inning a couple came and sat at the table next to me. “We just came from that game.” It is at least a 2 hour drive. They had been listening on the radio and decided to watch the end of the game over chicken wings and beer. They went home after the 17th inning.
    Since this was at the Wild Wings with the big TVs side by side there were 3 NBA Playoff Games on the screen playing one after the other next to the baseball game.
    Sat through all of those too.
    Short attention span indeed!

    @al-Ameda:What is the question?

    @Andre Kenji:Make the goals bigger!

  16. al-Ameda says:


    @al-Ameda:What is the question?

    As I said previously,

    ” Is a 10-7 or a 17-14 NFL game “watchable”?”

    And the answer is, “usually a 10-7 NFL game is unwatchable.

  17. ernieyeball says:

    @al-Ameda: If it’s the Bears 10 v the Green Bay Peckers 7, I will watch every down!

  18. Grewgills says:

    All of those require alcohol and company to watch.

  19. the Q says:

    My solution for making soccer more palatable to American audiences lies in one simple rule change:


    Just think of scores of 21-17 or 19-13! No more boring scores of 1-0 or scoreless ties. This is the equivalent of the forward pass for football or the one handed jump shot in basketball. Totally revolutionize the game.

    PS. The reason we won the wars in Europe and the Pacific theater during WW2 was because we knew how to throw handgrenades ACCURATELY!!!! I saw one old German newsreel of a grenade being tossed into a German machnegun nest and the soldiers there tried to KICK IT OUT!!!! They were so trained not to touch the sphere with their hands that they forgot they were in battle. You had 3 guys trying to kick the grenade out and then, BOOOOMMMM!!!!