My thanks to the Sun Journal for the new Page 2 feature in sports – two fine writers discoursing on the blessedly non-serious matter of athletics. Sportswriting has evolved to the point where sarcasm reigns, to which I am personally devoted as an effective means of communication.

Both Randy Whitehouse and Kalle Oakes direct their invective at Major League Soccer. I don’t watch MLS, but I do know that 10 years ago, I thought it wouldn’t last, having witnessed previous attempts at a professional soccer leagues in the U.S.

Now, according to several Web sites, smaller “soccer-specific stadiums” are being built, and several clubs are flirting with profitability. Not rousing success, to be sure, but MLS survives in the most competitive professional sports environment on the planet.

Closer to home, I’ve watched enough high school and Bates College soccer to draw some comparisons to the other fall sport:

• In soccer, they run around, often at top speed, for 60 to 90 minutes with minimal substitutions. In football, they get long breaks on the sideline.

• In soccer, penalties usually mean a brief halt. In football, they interrupt the “flow” way too often, but do provide yet another breather.

• In soccer, they wear no protection against the inevitable collisions and tumbles. In football, well, you know

Soccer won’t approach made-in-America sports in fan appeal, but you can’t dismiss the fact that it is the world’s most popular spectator sport.

Dave Griffiths, Mechanic Falls


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