John Cleese Rants on “Soccer” vs. “Football”

John Cleese from the documentary The Art of Soccer (Football) from A to Z:

32 Comments on "John Cleese Rants on “Soccer” vs. “Football”"

  1. Americans R Over achievers | Jul 2, 2010 at 12:24 am |

    Could this guy be anymore pompous?

    1. We call it “soccer” because we already had a “football” before anyone thought of playing soccer in the U.S.
    2. We call it football because unlike in the preceding American Sport “baseball” you were not sending the ball the other way by whacking it with a large stick, in order to run bases, but rather transporting the ball the other way, through a wall of defensive linemen, yes by hand, but also, on foot. That's my reasoning anyway. The truth is that we call it football, because it's derived from another English sport, Rugby, which originally was one of the several versions of FOOTBALL, played in English public schools. The sport arrived here with the immigrants, and was slowly changed to prevent excessive injuries, but the name stuck.
    3.Soccer doesn't catch on here, not because we're stupid, actually we're quite smart, what with our cars, planes, and internet makers. It's actually because our time is quite valuable. One thing we love is results, another thing, action. The greatest pitchman in the world couldn't convince an American to spend 90 minutes, watching over payed sissies, try to whine, act, and flop their way to a 0-0 draw. No, we rather watch our over payed beasts run each other over, like monster trucks running over so many, shitty, British automobiles.
    4.Please, do excuse us for wanting to make money during the timeouts we allow our athletes, and between quarters. Also, I don't remember ever seeing excessive commercials, whilst watching a regular season football game. But, then again, I assume that a man who doesn't like gridiron football, wouldn't subject himself to too many games, so I'm guessing that he's basing his opinion on the Superbowl. His lack of knowledge on our little sport, leads me to discard his comments about creativity in football. I don't know too much about soccer, but I do know that they run plays too.

    The truth is that what the word football means, depends on where one says it. And, yet I don't here him dogging the Aussies, Irish, or Kiwis, for still preferring to call Rugby, by the name of football. Maybe if he could pull his head out of his ass, or if maybe the fog would dissipate over London, he would see how very similar these games are, and instead enjoy the differences.

    • dumbsaint | Jul 2, 2010 at 8:45 pm |

      It's John Cleese you humourless fool.

    • Sorry, you lost me at “pompous”…

    • Chrisofcronin | Jul 3, 2010 at 10:28 am |

      haha, this “Americans R Over achiervers” fella is greatly misinformed. Americans value their time? Is that why countless thousands sit blankly in front of their televisions and watch a 5 hour baseball game? c'mon now man…or even better, watching the hillbilly 500 carry on all god damn afternoon!!?? seriously man, just shut your mouth and stop typing…you're making your countrymen look bad, or worse, i should say.

    • Congratulations on your successful irony bypass operation, Ameritard; no wonder people drive planes into your skyscrapers…

      • Congratulations on not understanding what irony is eurotard; and yeah, this guy is exactly why 3000 people died /sarcasm.

    • TuPutaMadre | Jul 4, 2010 at 3:42 am |

      John Cleese is the shit. shut the fuck up.

    • haha..wait..did u jus call soccer players sissies? at least they dont go on the feild padded and armoured like a bunch of Roman soldiers…(and please dont say “thats cuz football's like war” or some lame shit like that)

  2. Hadrian999 | Jul 2, 2010 at 4:15 am |

    the brits are just mad that we don't care about the sport and got just as far as they did in the world cup

    • U Merchant | Jul 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm |

      English not Brits, there were no Scots, Irish or Welsh there. Learn some geography you septic tank

      • Hadrian999 | Jul 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm |

        someone is still sensitive about being a conquered people, to be honest if i were one of those groups
        i'd still be mad that i was one of the few who didnt manage to throw off the yolk of the empire, cheers.

        • Whoopinkoff | Jul 11, 2010 at 8:08 am |

          Funny man Cleese has crossed over from being an entertainer to being an activist. The joke is that he and others continue to hide behind the idea that he's a comic genius 'having a go' at America and doesn't really mean it. Unfortunately, he just can't keep the bile down and his true colors show. The lines have been drawn and Cleese is camped out with the tree-huggers, illegal immigrants, beat poets and marxists. He can now kiss 6/10 of his audience good-bye. While hes puckered up, he can kiss my very large and hairy sit-on-the-couch-for-an-AMERICAN- football-game A$s. Cheers.

          • Here's a Thought | Jul 12, 2010 at 2:21 am |

            You know, I'm fairly certain that poking fun at the names of sports doesn't make one a tree hugging marxist. Then again, I could be wrong.

  3. Cerebralcaustic | Jul 2, 2010 at 7:24 am |

    From a Yahoo News story today:

    “To trace the origin of “soccer” we must go all the way back to 1863, and a meeting of gentlemen at a London pub, who congregated with the purpose of standardizing the rules of “football,” which was in its infant years as an organized sport but was growing rapidly in popularity.

    “Those assembled became the founding members of the Football Association (which still oversees the game in England to this day). And they decided to call their code Association Football, to differentiate it from Rugby Football.

    “A quirk of British culture is the permanent need to familiarize names by shortening them. “My friend Brian Johnston was Johnners,” said Toye. “They took the third, fourth and fifth letters of Association and called it SOCcer. So there you are.”

    “So forget that English condescension and carry on calling it soccer, safe in the knowledge that you’re more in tune with the roots of the sport than those mocking Brits.”

  4. Conniedobbs | Jul 2, 2010 at 8:31 am |

    They're both retarded games, who gives a shit?

  5. I love this guy. Ever since the Monty Python days of the early 70's, Americans have just never got it.

  6. He's a bit harsh on your venerable game of handegg isn't he?

  7. Know your history. The word Soccer came from ENGLAND, NOT the USA. In the 1800's Rugby Football was the popular sport in England. When Football (soccer) was becoming popular, they wanted to not be confused with Rugby Football. They adopted the name Association Football. As an abbreviation, they adopted the term Soccer from the word asSOCiation. When an English man and the world's greatest player (Pele) brought football to the USA, they kept the name Soccer because American Football was the popular sport in the USA that was invented from Rugby Football. So why trash talk each other's sports? Let's just play and enjoy the time with our friends, families and opponents.

  8. ha, standard americans, can't take a joke against them…….

  9. “…something completely different” Haa!

  10. Hadrian999 | Jul 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm |

    i'd probably watch a soccer match every now and then if i had a reasonable expectation that someone would actually win the thing.

  11. american football is also known as 'hand egg'

  12. DAZ-THE-ENGLISHMAN | Jul 4, 2010 at 11:17 am |

    Ah american “football”,stop,start,stop,start,stop,start,stop,start,,,advert,stop,start,stop,start,stop,start,,,advert…
    booooorrriiiinnnnnnnnnggggggg.What about the baseball “WORLD” series,now there's a joke title if ever i've heard the way,which country won that this year?was it america…wowwwww…yanks are so far up there own arses(spelt correctly!!),they don't realise they are the most hated,yet laughed at nation on earth…also,England is a country,,Britian isn't,,but having seen americans tackle geography questions,,it's no surprise you yank's come across as chicken munchin inbred's.

  13. Namelesswon | Jul 7, 2010 at 9:22 am |


  14. Cdbaysinger | Jul 8, 2010 at 1:57 am |

    @JohnCleese According to the OED football is any ball game played on foot, as opposed to on horse back.

  15. Christopherdemilio | Jul 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |

    That was dumb. Never thought I'd say that about Mr. Clease. Oh well.

  16. Saturn-9 | Jul 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm |

    lol… Nice.

  17. Here's a Thought | Jul 12, 2010 at 7:21 am |

    You know, I’m fairly certain that poking fun at the names of sports doesn’t make one a tree hugging marxist. Then again, I could be wrong.

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