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John Cleese on Soccer vs Football

Posted By: on July 7, 2010

With the FIFA World Cup in full swing and Holland winning yesterday and Spain vs. Germany today, soccer is getting it’s day in the sun over here. This is a very funny but very true rant on the differences between American Football and British Football (soccer). I’ve always liked John Cleese’s humor and this is another fantastic short from him.

“If I can get you to laugh with me, you like me better, which makes you more open to my ideas. And if I can persuade you to laugh at the particular point I make, by laughing at it you acknowledge its truth.”

Hence, it’s funny ’cause it’s true.

11 Responses to “John Cleese on Soccer vs Football”

  1. sandy says:

    in the late 18th Century, the word, "soccer", was first used by a student of Oxford University by the name of Charles Wreford Brown. The students at Oxford were known for using slang where they added "er" to the end of words that they intentionally shortened. The game of Rugby was called "rugger". Brown shortened the word "association" and added "er" and the term "soccer" was born.

    so the word is NOT American at all.

  2. Bob says:

    Blow my Vevuzela! Out football kicks soccers ass

  3. Wallis says:

    Regardless of it's origin, it's not the name of the sport. The sport has been around since well before the 1700's, James I even passed a law regarding in his reign during the early 1600's. The name of the sport is football, it always has, and it always will. The only people who call football soccer, is America and the occasional French man. If you listen very carefully to the funniest human being ever born above, he never claims the word is American in origin, he just points out that the only people who call it soccer are Americans. Which means, in a quite a strong sense, the word is American. Good luck finding a football fan in Britain, or anywhere else for that matter, who calls it soccer.

  4. Matt says:

    So that means Rugby is a game played on a Rug by Bees and Cricket is a game played by annoying, chirping insects? Makes perfect sense.

  5. Gavrilo says:

    Heh, somebody sounds a little bit butthurt. ;- )

    Cheer up Bob and Matt, its not your fault your sports have no real value however you choose to look at them.

  6. Sambo says:

    Kind of ironic that he used the most cliche and faulty arguments, on an old and tired subject, while ranting about creativity. I normally like John Cleese, but he sounds like a hack internet troll on this one.



    He's either shamelessly drumming up publicity in a mad attempt to stay relevant or he's really lacking in the ability to formulate intelligent opinions.

  7. Chad says:


    So this is it, huh? All comedy is about politics, in some form or fashion. Is anyone else very, very tired of it all? I just don't find contemporary "comedy" particularly funny. It's not even insulting or offensive, just boring. Just as predictable as a black comedian using race as a routine (as in, EVERY SINGLE ONE does it), I guess even old timers like Cleese are now falling into the terribly hackneyed shtick of bashing Cheney, Bush or Sarah Palin.

    Please, someone….anyone….where is the creative comic out there??

  8. Sweet Baby Jeebs says:

    The only thing that would make this better would be if Troy Polomalu sacked John at the end. The reason that the action is broken up in American football because play is too intense to go on any longer for a few seconds at a time.

  9. C.S.Strowbridge says:

    Soccer is a British term. It stands for Association Football, as opposed to Rugby Rules Football.

  10. Al says:

    First argument of the video is quite good. While the second argument has been heard by most people it's still valid. Unfortunately he makes an error stating only 1 member of an US American Football team can kick the ball. It's actually 2 in modern US American football, the kicker and the punter. This shows he has not watched much US American football or has not done it with attention and patience.

    More tolerances is needed. The majority of human activities have their intricacies and beauty. It is often us the intolerant human who can not learn to appreciate it.

  11. Durr says:

    Dur, that English feller is pretty smart. I'm confused, since the forward pass wasn't allowed when "football" was named, and field goals used to be worth more than touchdowns. But, you know, I'm just a dumb American. Durrrr.

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