Daily Fantasy Sports

DFS Soccer Guide Part I – My Footcross to Bear



First of all, I want to get something off my chest.

This began as an actual guide but turned into something far more important.

Beware: what lies ahead is a lengthy history lesson written by an axe grinding pedant.

You can always skip ahead to why someone should play soccer DFS and actual soccer DFS strategy.

DFS Soccer Guide Part I

Take what you have learned to the Soccer/Football/Futbol pitch and win some money playing FanDuel DFS Soccer.

We Need to Talk About Soccer/Football

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A lot of the pundits refer to this as “football” because they insist it’s the correct way to call it. Or they feel it’s a bit more authentic and gives some much-needed gravitas to a sport often treated with levity.

Never trust the advice of someone who isn’t born and raised in England and still calls it football. It’s a good rule in life to fade the noise from sycophantic idiots.

One Foot to Rule Them All

Football is, in fact, a generic term for a variety of sports.  Hence why it’s now used today to describe sports that today are completely different.  The concept of “football” dates back as far as the 13th century in Northumberland, England. It’s not until the 14th century in Newcastle, Ireland that usage of the term is indisputable.  None of these references are talking about what we today call soccer. Soccer didn’t exist until the 19th century.

Football has a recorded history several centuries before modern soccer/football even existed. No sport has any legitimate claim to sole usage of the word.

These early “football” games aren’t even related to the modern game of soccer either.  People assume it’s football because you can’t use your hands but this isn’t the case.  It’s called football because its a game played on foot rather than on a horse.  It’s that simple.

A footman isn’t there to kick things. Nor does a foot soldier attacks by kicking.  A footman ran alongside the carriage rather than rode on horseback. A footsoldier walked around the battlefield on foot. It pains me to have to write those sentences to dispel the “football means kicking” narrative.

This is my cross to bear… on foot.  I guess you could call it footcross.  You know what, I figured out what to name this article.

Born in a Pub

Soccer didn’t exist until the mid 19th century. That is when some people started codifying the rules of a variety of games into one game.  The rules were decided in a London pub by various associations in 1863.

Football meant many different things so there were many disagreements over how the game should be played. The main disagreement and one that couldn’t be reconciled was over whether they should be allowed to carry the ball in their hands and tackle each other. This led to the great schism where the game split into two distinct paths of rugby and soccer.

The soccer branch was more organized and grew to be associated with the athletic associations organizing it and it became known as association football. Get it? That was later shortened to soccer.

Meanwhile, the “we want to continue to carry the ball and hit each other” wing were too busy streaking and drinking alcohol from boots after games to organize themselves.  As a result, there continues to be a wide variety of those games whereas soccer found itself a bit more unified.

That “carry and tackle” division brought about gridiron football (America), Gaelic football, Aussie rules football, etc, etc.  Like soccer, these games also came from the generic “football” roots and are often called football as a result.

There was once a Canadian variant of gridiron. Like most good Canadians, they adopted more of the US rules over time. The differences are now insignificant enough that Johnny Manziel can be terrible on both sides of the border.

What’s in a Name

Gridiron football has a much longer history of calling itself football than soccer. It also is only about 20 years younger than soccer as well.  So if you really wanted to go about tradition and history then the Americans have it right.

In 19th-century newspaper clippings, it’s called soccer or sometimes “soccer football.” I couldn’t find any instances where they only used “football” to refer to soccer until the modern era.  The name soccer is as old as the game itself. It’s an English tradition like none other. It is even older than their tradition of putting ugly people on television.
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Meanwhile, gridiron football has always been called football.  Harvard and McGill Universities formalized the rules in 1874. The earliest newspaper reference I found refers to it as “foot-ball” in 1884.  Baseball was also “base-ball” as well.  It’s good to see progress away from hyphens.

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In fact, soccer was the most popular variant by which to call it in England until the 1970s.  The reason is that when the game started getting more international, they started having fever dreams of shirtless Mediterranean men running around after scoring.  These island dwellers and all their latent homoeroticism were repressed under Victorian culture. They got exposed to the outside world for the first time as the game grew bigger in the 70s and it left an indelible mark.  Those overtly sexual Latin lovers. Abs, dark complexion, full sets of teeth. They were an unstoppable force that changed the way the English viewed the game forever.

But What About the Rest of the World?

You can look at stupid charts and graphs pointing out that the whole world calls it some variant of “futbol” all you want. Even without soccer having historical precedent it’s beside the point. It’s irrelevant when you consider they are not native English speakers.

How about we rename America to 美国 because a billion Chinese say it? I know that’s a stupid idea right? So is it when someone says “but they call it futbol in Spanish” as if that were relevant.  I personally make a habit of repeating everything that person says in Spanish to correct their silly English language whenever that happens.  Consistency above all else.

Bottom line is England is basically alone in calling it football among native English speaking countries.  From Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, etc, etc they all call it soccer.  You know how in DFS you use the phrase “on an island” to describe taking a viewpoint so contrarian you’re the only one doing it…  Well, England is literally and figuratively that island.  Yet somehow we allow them to use their obstinate contrarianism as a bully pulpit.

Darling, I’m Afraid Our Baby is Becoming American

Actually, I made a few embellishments. I’m sorry for trying to defend them with a reasonable explanation for their switch. The reason the English started called it football instead of soccer is not nearly as good a reason as I stated.

I wish it was something as plausible as fever dreams of shirtless olive-skinned Mediterraneans scoring goals and crushing hearts with symmetrical smiles.  But no, this wasn’t a matter of the heart. It’s something beyond petty and pathetic.  The English sadly still keep their latentism hidden.  As they watch Ronaldo, they hide something else growing stiff by emphasizing their stiff upper lips instead.  I wouldn’t rule out the ulterior motive of Brexit is quite possibly their best solution to stay hidden in that closet and keep that temptation locked away on the continent.

The actual switch from soccer to football coincided when soccer was growing in popularity in the United States.  It was when the NY Cosmos overnight went from a recreational club to signing players like Pele.  The British didn’t take kindly to this encroachment on their sport.  So they literally changed the name of it to try to find some separation from the US.

Their own word of “soccer” had become “too American” for them so they dropped the soccer part of the name and started just calling it football.

You can hate on America all you want from your little island, but at least do it properly.  To quote the brilliant Mike Judge (coincidentally also an American, #USAUSAUSA) from his all-time classic Office Space:


In essence, America is number one, and the English are a bunch of haters. Soccer is a correct name, the original name and the traditional term both in England and abroad.

I’m open to people switching out terminology like calling it a pitch instead of a field or a pub instead of a bar – there’s no disagreement over that.  Nuance in language is a thing of beauty and something to be embraced.  You may even read me writing about clean sheets instead of shutouts.  I have no qualms with the English version of English.

I do though make a stand over Americans calling it football because of the toxic history behind it.  Nobody is calling Americans stupid for calling a pub a bar.  Nobody is saying, “Why do you call a pub a bar?  You don’t drink a bar. lololol.” It pains me to write lololol, but I can’t find a better way to show how stupid the people are that say “but you don’t play American football with your feet.”  There are many legitimate reasons to make fun of Americans. Soccer/football is not one of them and simply exposes your own ignorance.

This should become a battleground. Instead of shrugging our shoulders we should put our feet down (so to speak) for some foot rhetoric of our own. Point out the utter stupidity of anyone saying it’s wrong to call it soccer.  The information is all available. It’s not obscure, Wikipedia talks about everything covered here.  It’s not us, it’s them who’ve changed the word and expect everyone else to follow.

This information needs to be stated enough that it becomes common knowledge. We need to start calling out Americans who use the word football to describe soccer and rightfully shame those quislings.

Make Soccer Great Again

I also can’t support the MLS in good conscience. They pretend they are European. Teams add wholly unamerican prefixes and suffixes to their name.  Atlanta is by far the worst offender doing it twice.  Atlanta… United… FC.  WTF?

At least, my hometown team, the New England Revolution don’t fall into that trap.  Thank you, Robert Kraft, you’ve done a fine job as a franchise owner, you deserve a back rub… err maybe just pat yourself on the back for now.

I will never love the MLS if they can’t look themselves in the mirror and love themselves first.

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Ok… I’m sorry, I had to get that off my chest.  I know you came here for DFS and not a history lesson in the Queen’s English.  And by the way, I’m on my 4th passport, traveled to dozens of countries, spent years of my life living outside the US and speak several languages.  This is not a call from a xenophobic nationalist, this is a simple appeal for common sense and dignity.

Now that I’ve unburdened myself, let’s start breaking down DFS soccer… here is part II.

About DFSx42

DFSx42 is a tech consultant who built his own models for DFS. He's a cash game specialist that primarily plays on Yahoo as "Adam" where you can see his H2Hs for every sport and every slate. Recently finished 5th overall in the Yahoo Cup, a season long DFS league with over 100k competitors. Yahoo Cup Standings

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