A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/19)
“Never mix the grape and the grain” (drinking adage) (12/19)
“My mother taught me about the science of osmosis—‘Shut your mouth and eat your supper!‘“ (12/19)
“Yo mama’s so stupid, she asked for a price check at the 99-cent store” (12/18)
“In a dog-eat-dog market, get yourself a big dog” (12/18)
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Entry from June 23, 2014
“Soccer is 22 people running after a ball” ("Football is 22 people running after a ball")

"Football/Soccer is 22 people running after a ball” is a popular definition of soccer (or football; also, of American football). “Once, I asked my husband what he found so fascinating about a bunch of grown up men running after a ball” was said in 1972 about American football. “Twenty idiots, running after a ball, while two of them wait to catch it with their hands” is a definition of soccer cited in 2002.

“Soccer: A bunch of people running after a ball, when someone gets near, he kicks it away!” was cited in print in 2005.


Google News Archive
5 November 1972, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “Happy Daze: Wife Need Football Watching Degree” by Liliane Johnson, pg. 2-D, cols. 4-5:
Once, I asked my husband what he found so fascinating about a bunch of grown up men running after a ball.

Big Soccer
Defining soccer- -,ahem, “football”—in 25 words or less
Discussion in ‘The Beautiful Game’ started by Karl K, Sep 4, 2002.
biosoccer
This would my mom’s definition, translated to English:
“twenty idiots, running after a ball, while two of them wait to catch it with their hands”
17 words…
biosoccer, Sep 4, 2002

Google Groups: alt.religion.unification
Christmas in the Holy Land
Zev
1/9/05
(...)
Soccer:
A bunch of people running after a ball, when someone gets near, he kicks it away! grin

passionate pursuits
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Football a way of life..
(...)
I have been a football fan ( of the World Cup ) for quite some time now. It never ceases to amaze me how many people around the world enjoy this game. The usual comment from those not interested was always the same “what do you see in a group of people running after a ball?”

Simply Jean
Football: The hype over 20-odd people running after a ball?
Perspectives March 30th, 2010
As a child, I remember my dad sitting in front of the television with his eyes glued to the screen, watching what I vividly recall, 20-odd people chasing after a ball – with my dad giving the occasional euphoria when a ball enters a net. Of course, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t always seem excited whenever a ball goes into a net, but all I remembered was my dad’s appointments with the television gave me the license to stay up late into the night.

Football Speak
Why do we love Football.
05 Nov 2011 By Waleed Abu Nada
(...)
Football is more than just a game, more than just 22 players running after a ball, football is life.

Twitter
shaz
‏@Shazepicfail
@AwesomeSunHyeok lol ._. My view of soccer, 22 people running after a ball for 90mins.
10:18 AM - 11 Oct 2012

Battlefield4 Forum
Do you watch Soccer?
Jeroeny92
2013-04-20 18:48
Don’t like it, never did.
Football (soccer) = People running after a ball trying to get it, and when they get it they kick it away.

Twitter
AK Lingus
‏@aklingus
Remember the old saying: soccer is 22 people running after a ball, and after 90 minutes you get an improbable draw against the Germans
7:31 PM - 22 Jun 2014

Twitter
@Alexxxinho_
Is soccer still a bunch of people running after a ball, and a not exciting sport?
6:44 PM - 22 Jun 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, June 23, 2014 • Permalink