Monday, June 9, 2008

Soccer (and Euro 2008) No Match For Baseball

I had an interesting discussion today with my German colleagues, who firmly believe that baseball is far more boring than soccer could ever be. We all realize that the best game is what you grow up with, so there can be no true resolution to this question. But I did throw out the following truth:

The average soccer game features 2.67 total goals scored over 90 minutes of play (but in reality, about 2 hours in front of the TV).

The average baseball game this season featured just over 9 runs total (4.75 runs for the home team plus 4.29 away; stats calculated on my own computer). The average game lasts 2:52 (but we'll say three hours for simplicity).

Soccer, therefore, offers the fan 1.33 goals per hour. By comparison, baseball's average scoring is 3 runs per hour -- a 2.25x advantage for America's pastime. So while the Euro Cup 2008 is interesting because of its rabid fans and playoff format, I still can't bring myself to watch the games like the Germans do. Luckily, my colleagues and I have both come to accept it.

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