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What They're Saying: Jim Harbaugh
August 14th, 2017 4:04PM
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TAGS:  youth soccer

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“I think every American boy should play soccer till the eighth grade. Then they should play football. American football.”

-- University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh with his qualified endorsement of soccer, a sport he has said is like no other. He stunned quarterbacks at his summer football camp when he had them play soccer so they could work on their footwork. (Wall Street Journal)


21 comments
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 14, 2017 at 4:52 p.m.
    He is a smart guy except playing the American football part :). You get better vision of the field playing our game that could help a football receiver and the quarterback find open space to attack.It is great for basketball as well. Kids who play soccer tend to get a lot less traveling calls against them. You develope better control of your body then in other games. So I can see it helping them when they play other sports. Except maybe baseball it can hurt to volley or head a baseball. But the biggest benefit for the soccer player playing it teaches you to think a head before you come under pressure in life.
  1. Andrew Kear
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 4 a.m.
    Soccer is the future for middle class athletes. I already know of a half dozen parents that won't let their kids play American football. Already, high school football programs are disappearing throughout the country.
  1. Footballer Forever
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 9:29 a.m.
    "soccer" endorsement?
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 9:38 a.m.
    This goes for Basketball as well.Grant Hill, I remember as a kid playing soccer in Reston. You'd be surprised how many in the NBA have had a soccer background as kid.
  1. Ben Myers
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 2:14 p.m.
    Hakeem Olajuwon and Steve Nash, too. Nash played indoor soccer in NYC between seasons. This is a very weak endorsement. A local ex-college American football player (and orthopedist!) had his kids play soccer through the 8th grade, then football. Two of the three played college football, and nothing else. Wonder if any suffer from CTP?
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 3:04 p.m.
    I think, Bob MC Adoo and Earl "the pearl' Monroe as well
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.
    Those names ring a bell Frank. I thought Earl the pearl was a shot nut when he played for Baltimore. Then he comes to the knicks and changed his whole game to fit into the Knicks game plan. Very surprised that he could do that.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 3:46 p.m.
    Nick, Earl the pearl Monroe, Jerry West , Larry Bird , Pete Maravich were my favorites...
  1. Wooden Ships
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 6:58 p.m.
    Oscar Robertson " the Big O ." If they play soccer through the 8th grade many wont play eggball because its too boring. Takes years to make a soccer player, a month to make an eggballer. I played both.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 15, 2017 at 7:20 p.m.
    Ships, that's right the "the Big O", I forgot and Elgin Baylor, Havlicheck. What is eggball, LOL
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 7:04 a.m.
    Man I forgot I liked basketball so much. Met Red Auerbach in the bar right near the garden. He used to light his cigar when Boston won the game before Boston actually one the game. Met Chamberlain in the Knicks box talked about women. Julius Irving was really something knew he was special before he played in the NBA. I think the most complete player was Walt Clyde Frazier. 20 pts a game 6 steals a game 7 assists and 7 rebounds age I can't even imagine how complete his game was. Me at 5'11" no chance to be more then a stiff in that game. I did meet Kareem Jabarr when I worked for a brokerage firm. Right out of Ucla with a contract from The Milwaukee bucks. Poor Lew he was Lew then he lost most of his signing bonus with that place I worked for. I mentioned my best friend in life when to the same high school at the same time as he did Power Memorial that did not go over well. It seems they had a fight in HS Kareem 7'2" against Roastbeef my friends nick name he is 5'8" and Johnny won. Kept hitting him below the belt to they broke it up :) now he is almost a movie star been in over 80 movies. The last one get this was the great classic "Dances with Werewolves"
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 7:18 a.m.
    Nick, Great Stuff, love hearing or rather ,reading about it.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 9:08 p.m.
    I had the chance to be an extra in a movie in the 1960s. The name of the Movie was Westside Story with Natalie Wood. They needed extras they offered a lot of money at that time 50 dollars a day. Remember a months rent in the tenements where we live was 30 to 35 a month rent so 50 was a lot of money. I lived two blocks from the playground. They wanted some real gang members as extras and girls. I don't know how many viceroys they got. That was the real Puerto Rican gang there at the time to play some sharks. No Irish gangs there then to play the jets. Just the RedWing gang mostly Italians. Got that name because they started in a building called the red wing block on Lexington Ave not many people know how it started. None of them took it they said we don't dance when we fight :) so I missed my chance. Could have been in Goodfellas they recruited people at Rao's in East Harlem my favorite restraunt. That is how my friend Roastbeef got his first movie he worked there. I did meet Joe Pesci good guy a funny guy and an actual tough guy. I met him before the movie at a half way house in Harlem. He had a relative who was getting out of prison and I had a friend who was getting oytbthat day. I recognized him from two movies I saw him in death collector and raging bull. I told him I liked when he hit a guy with a cab door I told him I actually did that once. We were friends until he moved to Florida. At that time he was going with a red head Sandra Beel spelling might be wrong. When she walked on the street she actually could stop traffic. He wanted me in the scene when Rodney Dangerfields daughter was getting married in his small small yard in the movie I forget the name of it. I said not could not see the point of it.
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 9:38 p.m.
    Nick, GREAT stuff, interesting read. You must have grown up in a tough neighborhood. We're raised in the Bronx, or Brooklyn
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 10 p.m.
    Italian Harlem in Manhattan. One of the guys in Goodfellas had a minute on screen remember Pete the killer that is my cousin Peter Cicali his father was my Godfather. He lived in the Bronx the house was a city block long. Everything in his house fell off a truck. He own 10 gas stations and made porn. He later became my insurance agent :)
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: August 17, 2017 at 9:34 a.m.
    NICK, LOLOLOLOLOL. Sometime in the Fall my wife and I are going to NY. We 'll take the Amtrak and come into NY. Sometime You need to give me some cute tips on little restaurants or Deli to go to...The last time I was in NY was in '68 when Santos came to play Benfica with Eusebio. I got a book called, "The Island at the Center of the World". It is all about the dutch influence in New York City. I had no Idea of all the names like Wall Street, Brooklyn, Harlem(named from a dutch city Haarlem where I also used to live and so much, much,much is dutch history. It is a worthy read. A friend of mine who grew up in Brooklyn visited Amsterdam for the first time and thought he was back in Brooklyn...
  1. Footballer Forever
    commented on: August 16, 2017 at 11:54 p.m.
    That was a "soccer" endorsement? That sounded more a "soccer" discouragement for kids to drop it simply to take on eggball afterwards. With endorsement like that, who needs promoters? In the end, football, not the eggball type, is not only more physical , but it takes a stronger mental challenge than the brute style eggball thinks they possess.
  1. Andrew Kear
    commented on: August 17, 2017 at 4:54 p.m.
    The truth is that the NFL and many in football are concerned by the lack of football players participating in high school. Parents are hesitant to let their kids play football, due to severe life long injuries. More kids today play soccer than any other sport. The prospects for the American soccer players is a lot better than it was a few decades ago. There are now two professional leagues, and a respectable USMNT. If a player plays their cards right he or she can become a millionaire playing soccer.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 17, 2017 at 8:24 a.m.
    I lost some good young soccer players to baseball. Because you made more money in the major leagues then you did in soccer. My nephew was a left handed baseball pitcher. In high school he was great threw a lot of no hitters. I saw him pitch a few times he was great. My brother his father is only 5'7 his son is 6'5. He was no good with school work but that did not matter to college baseball recruite. He goes to St. John's and hurts him arm. For the past few yrs he is trying to recover. I doubt if he will ever get back the arm he once had. So when I tell soccer players your only as good as your last game I mean it.
  1. Andrew Kear
    commented on: August 17, 2017 at 5:06 p.m.
    American football players are too muscle bound and lack agility to be great soccer players. Football players look out of the place on the soccer field. It also goes the other way around. I remember seeing Neymar taking batting practice before a met game. A local paper simply said "stick to soccer". I was so embarrassing I won't put up a video link to Neymar's time behind the plate.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: August 18, 2017 at 11:35 p.m.
    Andrew you might be thinking of the linemen. At the skill positions and there are not many skill positions quarterback and receivers it would be different.

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