TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Football vs. Futbol

With the World Cup still going strong and the NFL just weeks away from getting started it seemed like a fun idea to compare the two sports that share the same name…sort of.  From the global “futbol” to the American “football” these sports are two of the most popular in their own right.  As somewhat of a disclaimer I will add that this Tale of the Tape is being written by an American, though I am a big soccer fan. That being said, let’s start the debate.

Football
Futbol
(Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Source: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
(Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Source: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Fans
Football fans can be plenty rowdy and dedicated but results can vary depending on the team and city. Some towns will sell out the stadium and support their team regardless of whether they are competing for a Super Bowl or a high draft pick but there are also plenty of teams who can only half-fill a stadium when they aren’t having winning seasons.
Winner One of the great things about soccer fans is the camaraderie amongst the patrons. It’s really cool hearing the fans all singing and chanting the same fight songs. With so many soccer clubs having a long history behind them it’s easy to see where all the great support and tradition comes from.
Player Toughness
Winner There is no doubt that football players are some of the toughest athletes out there. They play with broken bones and whatever other injuries they’re able to stay on the field with. The game itself is extremely rough and barbaric but that doesn’t stop the players from giving maximum effort while showing little regard for themselves.
Soccer players may be tough but they do a good job of acting like they aren’t. This is a problem that most people will say they have with watching soccer games. When a player is on the ground writhing in pain after barely being touched, then gets up like nothing is wrong when they realize that no penalty was called, it causes some confusion but also takes a little credibility away from the toughness of not only the players, but the sport as a whole.
Game Excitement
Winner Football is one of the most exciting games out there. The main beef I hear from people who are from other countries is the constant stop-and-go of football games can make it seem a bit disjointed but when you have an understanding of how the works and how fluid it can be, even when its broken up play by play, it’s hard to find something that can match the fun and excitement of a football game.
When a soccer game gets exciting it can be one of the more fun sports to watch. Unfortunately, while soccer is game where the clock never stops and the action is almost always moving, the exciting moments can be few and far between.
Global Appeal
American football is known throughout the world and gets a big audience for the Super Bowl but it has yet to be picked up as a sport that can be played globally. In recent years we’ve seen the NFL start holding games overseas in England but as far as popularity is concerned, the majority of it comes from the United States.
Winner One would be hard pressed to find a nation around the world that doesn’t have people playing soccer. There are professional leagues in countless countries and when it comes time for the World Cup there are over 200 nations that have qualifying teams. Soccer could very well be the most popular sport in all the world.
Title Game
Winner The Super Bowl. What more is there to say? It may be the championship game for American football but you’d be hard pressed to travel somewhere that they haven’t heard of the Super Bowl. While the game itself may not always live up to the billing (the most recent one, for example) the Super Bowl is more an event then it is just a game.
UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) has one main title game, the Champions League Final. This is the most popular championship in international soccer and likewise, the most well-known. Like the Super Bowl, it’s held in a different location every year. It captures the attention of everyone involved in UEFA both in Europe and around the world but has nowhere near the popularity and branding that comes with the Super Bowl.

The Winner Is

(Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Winner Football
3 out of 5

There could be more criteria to compare “football” and “futbol” but for the sake of this Tale of the Tape, and again, coming from an American who is also a big soccer fan, the advantage in this one goes to American football. Both are great sports with their own brand of excitement and fan support but at the end of the day, at least in this format, the edge goes to “football.”

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