Rank and Vile has a nice discussion of soccer from the viewpoint of an AFL fan. He quotes a forum member from the Melbourne Victory board:
Australian Rules barrackers are baffled by the low-scoring nature of football. They are used to a game with a scoring shot every few means, where scores over 100 are not uncommon.
Football demands a completely new mindset. It is all about possibilities. It is about build-up. About attempts. A football fan gets pleasure out of watching the strategic approach towards the goals. They see the possible passes mapped out, and watch for openings to appear.
A nil-all draw can yield any number of promising build-ups and near misses. The experienced football fan will cheer and remember these as much as any high flying mark or rushed behind.
While Aussie Rules fans celebrate what just happened, football fans assess what could happen next
All true, and beautifully put. But it misses one point. Low scoring sports are inherently less fair than high-scoring sports.Â In a high-scoring sport, it is very likely that the better team will win. In a low-scoring sport, there’s a higher probability that bad teams will have lucky wins. Perhaps the age-old idea of widening the soccer goals would do violence to the inherent poetry of the game. But one thing’s for sure – itÂ would make it fairer.
Then again, from the Socceroos’ perspective, we probably want as much randomness in the game as possible.