Americans don’t like soccer. The biggest complaint I hear is that it is boring. Why? Because goals aren’t scored enough. However, soccer is comparable to that of the MLB and NFL.
In 2011, America’s favorite past time, baseball, saw 2.85 runs per hour in each game in the MLB.
In 2010-2011, American football saw 2.10 touchdowns and field-goal conversions per hour in each game in the NFL.
In 2010-2011, the BPL in England averaged 1.87 goals per hour.
American’s like everything to be big, whether it is their big gulp soft drinks or their entertainment scorelines. Soccer games are only 90 minutes, while MLB and NFL games average at about 3 hours–twice as long as a soccer game. Now, each BPL game averaged 2.8 goals; compare that to the MLB of 4.28 runs per game and the NFL at 6.30 touchdowns and field-goal conversions per game. Because of America’s preference for extra large, spectators take the scoreline for granted. Yet, per hour, there is not much difference in scorelines. Yes, it is true that baseball and American football yield more scoring opportunities on average. But it isn’t that big of a difference when boiled down to a per-hour foundation. All three sports should expect to see 2 scoring opportunities, whether runs, touchdowns and field-goal conversions, or goals, each hour of play.
Out of curiosity, how do the top performers of each stack up to each other? The New York Yankees managed to earn 859 runs in 162 games last season, working out to be 5.30 runs per game. The New England Patriots earned a total of 518 points in 16 games, which is 32.38 points per game on average, equating to 4.63 touchdowns and field-goal conversions every game. Manchester United scored 78 goals across 38 games, or 2.05 goals per game. As I pointed out earlier, our common ground is per hour: the Yankees scored 1.77 runs per hour; the Patriots 1.53 touchdowns and field-goal conversions per hour; and the Red Devils 1.36 goals. The scoring is comparable across the boards.
To say that soccer is boring because there aren’t that many goals is a false statement. The scoring rate per hour is less than the likes of the MLB or NFL, but it is still comparable. People often neglect to consider that the soccer game is typically around 90 minutes, whereas baseball and football games are around 3 hours. Just saying.