Football and soccer are two sports that are enjoyed in America and across the world. Many people around the world refer to soccer as “football” and football played in the United States as “American Football”. There are those who will argue that when comparing and contrasting the two sports neither are able to outweigh the other in strength and agility. On the other hand, some say that the two sports are the same because players in both sports enjoy being physical towards each other and bringing out their inner “beasts”.
While fans in America enjoy football, the world enjoys soccer. Although many consider the two sports to be the same they differ in several ways. Football is often referred to as America’s favorite sport (http://www. gridiron3. com/Public/Introduction. asp), s and soccer is known as the world’s favorite sport. Let’s consider playing fields and ball configuration. Do they change the character of the game? Are both sports played on the same field? Both fields are rectangular in shape but differ in size, area, and markings. A football field measures 100 yards long by 55 yards wide.
It is marked every ten yards and has hash marks for single yards. A soccer field measures 100-130 yards long by 50-100 yards wide. It is marked with a kick out circle, a midfield line, and two penalty areas. Football is played with a ball that has an ellipsoid shape . The soccer ball is shaped like a sphere. When comparing and contrasting the outcomes to be achieved by both sports it can be assessed that the two sports have common features and contrasting elements also. The goal of both sports is to acquire as many points as possible by scoring the most goals to win the game.
In football, ball movement is accomplished by kicking, carrying, or passing the ball down the field and across one of two areas on opposite sides of the field called goal lines. A score of six points is made for accomplishing this task (touchdown) with one extra point made if the ball is kicked across the goalpost resulting in a possible seven points. A team can also score three points if a touchdown is not made by kicking the ball over the goalpost. In soccer, there are two nets located on opposite sides of the field where teams (players) score points by kicking the ball into the net which results in a score of one point.
Both sports consist of the same number of players, but ball movement, player contact, playing time, and playmakers are different. Can this difference distinguish a football fan from a soccer fan? Let’s take a look at the elements of each game. Both teams are composed of two opposing squads of eleven players. Soccer teams form a single unit; whereas, football teams consist of players that form an offensive unit, a defensive unit, and a special teams unit. Ball movement is football is performed by kicking or carrying and passing the ball by hand.
In soccer ball movement is performed by using the head or torso and by kicking the ball. Contact is contact, but which sport’s contact is considered “soft”? Football is known as a collision contact sport and soccer a limited contact sport. Tackle in football are fouls in soccer. Henry Biaha, a Boston College football player, characterized the two sports in this way, “Soccer is a gentleman’s game played by beasts” and “Football is a beastly game played by beast”. (Sports Fitness Magazine, October 21, 2013. ). The players in football are characterized to be strong, tough, and overbearing.
Soccer players are distinguished as agile, quick, and disciplined. Playing time in football consists of four fifteen minute quarters with sometimes frequent pauses of about forty seconds between each play. There is contact in soccer in limited amounts, but contact in football is encouraged. Both teams have a main playmaker. In soccer, this player is called the “midfielder” and in football the “quarterback”. Soccer players wear little protective equipment. They wear jerseys, shorts, shin guards, and cleats. Football players wear uniforms, helmets, and shoulder pads.
Finally, let’s consider the reality of what makes football a different sport than soccer. Is it a “manlier” sport? Does the toughness of the game make it a better sport? When considering the true differences between the two sports it is easily shown why football and soccer shouldn’t be characterized as the same sports even though they share similarities. Football is indeed a much tougher sport. While both sports require strategic plays, football is continually changing and is a sport that can never be mastered; however, a player can master the sport of soccer.
Football has only one season; whereas, soccer has two seasons. Football requires more strength and more power. Soccer is open to the female genre; football is still basically a “man’s sport”. The career length of a football player is about three and one-half years, but a soccer player’s career may last as long as ten years. When it comes to salaries, football player’s salaries are much higher than those of a soccer player because of the differences in the amount of risks taken in each sport.
Football is considered to be a risker sport because of the high stakes injuries encountered by the players. Soccer does not entail the same risks. Football and soccer are both sports that bring out the “beasts” in players and fans. Fans of both sports tend to be overly dramatic and “too much into the game”. Whether a football player or a soccer player, a football fan or a soccer fan, the reality is football is clearly a different sport than soccer. They may display some familiar characteristics, but when comparing and contrasting the two, they are quite different.
Although the two sports exhibit many similarities, soccer is incomparable to the level of power and strength needed to be a football player. On the other hand, soccer players are said to be “more strategic players, but there are those who feel that football requires more strategy than soccer. In essence, football and soccer are two very different sports played in similar settings with similar players, but different skills. America’s football is unique, and the world’s soccer is just an understudy to the game!