March 6, 2005


Soccer link to motor neuron disease (Laura Spinney, 26 February 2005, New Scientist)

A rigorous Italian study has confirmed claims that professional soccer players have an elevated risk of developing the condition

A RIGOROUS study in Italy has confirmed claims that professional soccer players have a higher than normal risk of developing a type of motor neuron disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The reason remains a mystery.

Because Nature hates Soccer too and it's punishing them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 6, 2005 5:59 PM

You're absolutely right. If only they'd been taking nice nutritional supplements like baseballers, this wouldn't be a problem...

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at March 6, 2005 10:48 PM

How do we explain Lou Gherig?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 7, 2005 12:11 AM

To change the subject slightly, anyone seen a picture of the Columbian soccer star Maradona lately? Woah!

Posted by: H.D. Miller at March 7, 2005 1:35 AM

What's the mystery here?

Wouldn't it make sense to connect it to the frequent "heading" of a not-exactly-soft leather ball going at middle to very high speeds?

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 7, 2005 1:59 AM


You hate soccer, but surely you must realize that most immigrants love soccer. In fact, I think that there is a strong correlation between the huge influx of immigrants and a dramatic increase in America's interest in soccer. I guess this means we can count you in as another American concerned about massive immigration's negative impact on our culture.

Posted by: Vince at March 7, 2005 2:38 AM

H D Miller:

Maradona is Argentinian, though he certainly has a fondness for certain Colombian products.

Posted by: Brit at March 7, 2005 4:51 AM

Alas poor Diego (I saw him more than once, a phenom, a prince, a soccer deity).

Suffering no doubt from pangs of conscience brought upon him by the hand of God.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at March 7, 2005 5:27 AM

It cannot be much of a sport if its greatest star of recent years looked even in his prime like he did most of his physical training in a Taco Bell. 'Immigrants' love soccer only because they don't know any better, given a few years here they quit following that tedious waste of time and follow or participate in real sports, like baseball or football.

Posted by: Bart at March 7, 2005 6:33 AM

Maradona was a dynamite little ball of muscle and football genius who came from squalor, briefly ruled the world and then returned to squalor as a ball of repulsive flab.

Platini said of him "The things I could do with a football, he could do with an orange".

Football is the ultimate team game, and individuals rarely dominate.

I've got a remarkable picture of Maradona, framed on my office wall. He's poised over the ball, the only Argentinian in the picture, waiting to make his move, while ahead of him six orange-shirted Dutch defenders hover, mesmerised.

He's the anti-Pele. The genius with too-human, almost sub-human, flaws.

His hand-of-God goal in Mexico made him a hate-figure in England, but even here his other goal in that game is remembered as one of those sublime moments of sporting perfection.

Posted by: Brit at March 7, 2005 8:29 AM

Dominate? No one does anything.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2005 8:33 AM


Dramatic increase?

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2005 8:37 AM

"dramatic increase"

Still lagging behind Women's Beach Volley ball

Posted by: h-man at March 7, 2005 9:02 AM


Here in California every school has a soccer team. It is considered a winter sport.

Posted by: Vince at March 7, 2005 3:55 PM


Soccer is ideal for kids, it requires so little talent or athleticism that anyone can play.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2005 7:46 PM

In that case, it teaches all the wrong lessons. Winning and losing should matter. No wonder the Euros love it so.

Posted by: Bart at March 7, 2005 10:29 PM