Soccer is Violent???

A few weeks ago I was channel surfing on my couch and soaking in all the T.V. advertisements without thinking much about it. That is until a cheap commercial promoting U.S. soccer came on the screen. Unfortunately I couldn’t find this commercial online despite about 45 minutes of searching for it, but heres the gist:

The commercial embraced an epic and inspirational tone as it showed a group of soccer players forming a wall in front of the goal for a free kick. The narrator then gave some corny anecdote about how the players have no choice to block the ball with their bodies, and thus praised them as heroes. Then there was a montage of actual times in games that players have been struck in the face while blocking the ball, and it showed an array of players spitting up blood, or mending their bleeding heads. This was all accompanied by heavy music.

Heres the problem I had with the commercial. Soccer is by no means a violent sport. Is it a beautiful sport? Yes. Is it a difficult sport? Yes. However, by no means does any body watch soccer in order to satisfy their craving for human carnage. You don’t see fans lining up outside the stadiums with coolers of beer and MLS shirts preparing to get drunk to watch someone get hurt. No, that is reserved for NASCAR crashes. We get it, a lot of people watch football, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, etc., all for the purpose of seeing violence. However, somewhere along the line, the producers of this advertisement thought it may be a good idea to portray violence in soccer with hopes of selling tickets. To the guy who bought a ticket to a soccer game after seeing that commercial just so you can see players bleeding out their ears: I’m sorry to say you will be greatly disappointed.

However, what is even more disappointing is what this strategy for advertisement says about me and other American viewers. The commercial could have easily portrayed the fluidity, athleticism, and poetic nimbleness found in a soccer game, yet they knew that they may have a better shot at selling tickets to a dog show if they stuck to that plan. Instead, they plucked the crux of American entertainment and somehow found a way to sell it along with soccer- blood. 

Is it that media knows we want blood though? Or are they simply trying to tell us that we want blood by showing it in even the curiousest of places. I will continue to look for this ridiculous advertisement, but for now enjoy this montage of NASCAR crashes. 



And if you clicked on that, then you are a part of the problem. Shame on you…. just kidding! 


4 thoughts on “Soccer is Violent???”

  1. It is hard to deny that we as a country have a taste for violence in the media. I feel that the goal of this commercial you are talking about is to try and portray the sport of soccer as violent in order to appeal to different demographics than they are usually accessing. I feel that it has less to do with violence and more to do with dramaticism, they are trying to spice up the sport by pointing out that it has the potential to be dangerous and intense. In NASCAR, the intensity is very obvious on account of the high speeds and the occasional epic crash, in soccer it is far more elusive. What we have in this commercial is a skewing of real world events in order to have them appeal to an audience that would not normally tune in.

  2. I agree with the previous comment that they are trying to appeal to a new audience. I don’t, however, believe that this is an appropriate add for the sport. It will most likely skew the representation of soccer for people who aren’t avid fans and unfortunately provoke kids to inflict harm while playing it. In the end, the broadcasting company will probably prevail and acquire more viewers simply because some people will think it’s “badass.”

  3. Rather than simply appealing to Americans’ thirst for violence, I think this add was intended to put an emphasis on the intensity of the sport. When people watch more violent sports, such as hockey, the appeal is not just the possible fights that may erupt, but rather the fast paced, hard-hitting, intensity. This intensity is extremely exciting for the audience. Thus, as advertisers attempting to promote a sport to an audience, it would make sense that they would focus on attractive elements of sports like intensity.

  4. I think it is more than just the commercial appealing to the audiences obsession with violence; I think this is something that extends to the actual sport and its players. Soccer is often accused of being the opposite: a non-physical sport that doesn’t require any real brawn because you don’t hit each other. Sure when the players act out their dramatic falls and injuries they are performing most directly for the referees, but could they also be trying to prove something about the nature of the game?

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