From: Jim Riley (
Subject: RSS 12 years old Wednesday (was FAQ [12/01]) 
Date: 2001-12-15 03:33:03 PST 

Google has updated their archive to include Usenet messages from the
beginning of time (1981).

The first proposal for a soccer group occurred on 17 June 1982
(,,, and were among the first 50 newsgroups):

   Now that the World Cup is underway, is there interest
   in News coverage seems to be sparse - at least
   my local news radio station has not mentioned it. Network tv
   will cover the final (ABC I think) and ESPN is carrying some
   games. Is anyone aware of other non-local broadcasts?
       I am willing to submit daily zone tables and/or results. 
   STOP PRESS - the radio just announced Scotland beat New Zealand 
   Maybe life is still beer and skittles after all. Please respond by
   mail and if sufficient response arrives I'll kick off the group.

                                 Dave Nixon

Another 1982 mention of soccer was the following poem attributed to 
Shel Silvertein's "A Light in the Attic" (1981):


   I'd rather play tennis than go to the dentist
   I'd rather play soccer than go to the doctor
   I'd rather play Hurk than go to work
   Hurk? Hurk? What's Hurk?
   I don't know, but it must be better than work

1983 brought a question about when the FA Cup final would be played,
whether it would be shown on ESPN again that year, along with a
mini-standings: 1. Liverpool 63 pts, 2. Watford 49 pts.

An article in discussed the newspaper game of "Where's the
ball", in which a photograph of a soccer match with the ball erased is
published, and the contestants guess the position of the ball.

                           Some time back the responses  to  several
   rounds of this game were subjected to statistical analysis.  This
   analysis showed that there were statistically  valid  differences
   associated  with  the  cultural  background  of the participants.
   This finding was particularly striking in Fiji  with  a  resident
   population  comprising  several  very  different cultural groups.
   Ball placement by the different groups tended to cluster at  sig-
   nificantly  different  locations  in the picture, even for a game
   like soccer that was well known & played by all.   

Also from 1983, an article by an American sports columnist about the
reaction of the British press to an American football exhibition at
Wembley Stadium between the Vikings and Cardinals:

   "Football? Is that the game where the guys dress up like 

In net.rec.nude, it was suggested that:

   The comraderie of nude recreations is probably not as close as
   that on a soccer team since you don't spend as much time with any
   one group of people and you don't have such a clearly-defined goal
   (winning) as you do in competition. 

In 1984, net.nlang (natural language) discussed why in America the two
sports were called 'football' and 'soccer', and
tackled the question:

   Would someone please explain to me how the Detroit Tigers (or any 
   Major League Baseball team) can claim that they are the World 

In, subject, "BYU #1", Eddy Lor wrote:

   All sports events in America, except college football, use the    
   knockout system in the playoff to determine the champions. On the
   other hand, all European soccer leagues use the league system to 
   get the winner. 

   Now, go back to college football. After Oklahoma beat Nebraska 
   (and who else they beat is a powerhouse? OSU is not a powerhouse), 
   they claimed to be the #1 team. Have they proved they are better
   than Florida, BYU, and Washington? If not, how can they say they 
   are the champ? Well! neither BYU nor Washington has proved they are
   the best among the powers. So this system actually sucks!

From net.movies, 

   The Los Angeles International Film Exhibition (Filmex) just ended.
   I saw 15 or 20 of the 180 films shown.  I will give a brief 
   description/review of each.  Also, for what it's worth, a rating 
   on a scale of 1-10.


   "Those Glory, Glory Days" - British film about a bunch of 
   soccer-mad girls who will do anything to get tickets to an 
   important match.  Not much inspiration involved.  3

November of 1984 brought the first regular posting to of the
standings in the English and Scottish first divisions (the results
were copied from the Vancouver BC Sun which was imported at "" expense).  

1985 brought FA Cup scores, occasional World Cup qualifiers, and an
explanation of European leagues, cups, and international competitions.
There were also RSSSF precursors with complete lists of FA Cup finals,
and match results for the WC finals from 1930 to 1982.

An article in complained about the funny US Soccer rules
(e.g. shootout, no draws, golden goal, lack of the aggregate rule in
two-legged ties, 3 substitutions, and no offside outside the 35-yard

Australia won the Oceania group to advance to a playoff against
Scotland - Scotland won their home match 2-0; the 0-0 draw in the
return match was announced with the subject "We're Going To Win The

Also from 1985 at the time of the WC draw under "World Cup History":

   >Just out of curiousity, anyone have any theories why the US has 
   >never had any real success in sports like soccer??

   What is real success?  The United States has reached the 
   semi-finals as often as England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern 
   Ireland, and Wales COMBINED. 

December of 1985 brought the first predictions of the group results of
the 1986 World Cup.  Spring of 1986 included analysis of each team's
prospects in the World Cup.  Unfortunately, the archive cuts off the
day before the tournament started, and doesn't pick up
until 1989.

From 1989 in soc.culture.china:

   1989 as 1848 ... and more (was: what next?) 

   In the years that followed 1848, every thinker in Europe read 
   everybody else.  Only the demagogues refused to do so.  And as one 
   emerging nation-state moved toward it's consumation ... it took 
   along the others.  Every emerging nation had an opera, every nation
   had heros in music, art, literature and science to point to, every 
   semblence of a nation had an athletic union, a soccer federation 
   and a boy scout / YMCA movement.  The point is, everybody learned 
   from everybody else.

The discussion about creation of began in earnest in
November, 1989.  While there was some grousing about the name, it was
accepted that soccer would be the easiest to get approved.  A concern
was raised that the then 10 messages/day in didn't seem
to warrant a new group.  By the time of the World Cup, rss was number
7 in volume, with over 50 messages/day (maybe #3 in article count).

As close as I can tell, the birthdate was 19 December, 1989:

> ****************                ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> We got our own group,
> 	We got our own group,
> 		Eeee iiii adio, 
> 			We got our own group!!!!!
> Seriously, soccer fans, this is *really* exciting.
Subjects in the first month included:

'Liverpool RULES'
'Brief History of Soccer Formations'
'you'll never walk alone'
'What ever happened to M. Rummenigge??'
'Meola and Harkes go pro???'

'offside' - Google scrambles threads over several years if they have
the same subject.  A 1990 posting discussed the rule changes then
being considered by the IRB.  A 1992 follow-up (in Google-space) says:

  > Is even off or is it on?

  Level is ON these days. It used to be offside but they changed the 
  rule about 2 years ago, 

'Home Countries (was Netherlands)' - in which Colin Morris answered
which Welsh teams playing in which divisions of the English League.

There were several league results:

'German 2nd Bundesliga' [by Stephen Mulrine, also several others]
'Serie "A" Results; Week 17, December 30, 1989'
'English League results & standings DIV I and II 30/12/89'
'Italian second division'
'German Amateur Leagues ( = 3rd division)'
'Scottish Premier Results 6-1-90'
'League of Ireland results '
'Dutch Soccer Report'

Several persons made game-by-game predictions of that summer's World
Cup.  One prediction drew the derisive response:

  >	A: (Florence,3) Austria vs USA                2:1

  The US score a goal???  You must be mad!

'Fixed Draw (was Re: Maradona and van Basten)'

  Did anybody else read the article about Maradona's little argument
  with FIFA and the Italians last week. He said some things about the 
  draw that many officials did not like. I cant remember the quotes, 
  nor do I have the article with me, but Maradona said some stuff 
  about the World Cup draw and how it was fixed in favor of the 
  Italians. When he was threatened by Blattner (sp?) of FIFA with a 
  possible ban from the cup, Maradona said that he will apologise if 
  necesary, but that he wont recant his statement.

It was noted that it was in FIFA's best interest that host Italy
advance to the second stage, just as it had been for Mexico, and would
be for the US.

'National Team Components' - A discussion of Silvio Berlusconi's idea
that national team might be better off picking several players from a
single club who were used to playing together, rather than necessarily
the best individual players from many teams.

'Revised list of sites for 1994 WC in USA.' - a 1988 article listed 18
potential stadiums from which FIFA would pick 12.  Included was the
90,000-seat Minnesota Sports Stadium under construction in Blaine,MN.
The 1990 update lopped off JFK and added Michigan Stadium, Stanford
Stadium, and Yale Bowl.  FIFA picked 6 of the 20 (Rose Bowl, Soldier
Field, Cotton Bowl, RFK, Citrus Bowl, and Stanford Stadium) and added
3 others (Silverdome, Foxboro Stadium, and the Meadowlands).

'Miscellaneous news' - this reply was posted 5 January, 1990.

  >Japan applied at FIFA to host the World Cup in the year 2002.
  >    The WC in 94 is going to be in the US, therefore the 98 WC will
  >    most likely  be held somewhere in Europe.

  No offence to the Japanese, but this is equally ridiculous as the 
  U.S. hosting the WC, maybe more so.  What is football like there?  
  It seems to me that South Korea should be given a better chance.  
  They've put in some good showings in the past (i.e. qualifying!!)
  and have shown they can host a major event with the Seoul olympics.

  >The US-TV station TNT will telecast 23 games live from the World 
  >Cup in Italy. Besides the opening game and the final, mostly 
  >weekend games will be shown.

  Oh, *wonderful*
  The Mouth of the South determines what games we get to see?!?

  Will there be any coverage on the Big Three (ABC,NBC,CBS) or ESPN?
  I'd think they'd at least put the U.S. games on regular TV.

And the followup included the following tidbits:

  If only proven soccer playing nations are allowed to 
  host the WC, the ones fulfilling the above criteria will be 
  (ranked): W. Germany, Italy, Spain. Only THREE!
  Brazil has the stadia infracstructure but no present 
  ability to provide financial guarantees. Ditto with Argentina.
  Since Uruguay is far too small, that leaves us with no other 
  Latin American soccer power capable of hosting the WC.
  Mexico hosted the Cup twice, but if we apply you high standards
  they shouldn't. Their only respectable performances came when
  they hosted the finals in 70 and 86! Even then, they got the
  last finals by default, since Brazil backed out at the last minute 
  and the "rule" was that the finals had to go to Latin 
  America. That is why we have so much "rigging" in the WC draw, 
  to allow the host nation to at least qualify for the quarterfinals.


  It has in fact been
  suggested that the WC be hosted by several countries together-- e.g.
  a Holland/Belgium or Austria/Hungary WC. The problem of course is
  to determine how many of them qualify automatically as hosts!


  The politicization of FIFA is something that
  happened during Joao Havelange's reign as the head honcho.
  This is why the WC has bloated up to 24 teams, when it should
  have been kept as a 16 nation event; why we had those morbid round
  robin 2nd rounds, ad nauseum. In any event, if Japan does get the 
  Cup, they will still have to construct stadia (probably spend  
  billions), since it has few good soccer venues. Even Tokyo's Olympic
  stadium has a godawful pitch! Maybe the Japanese think that if the 
  US can do it, so can they, and why not, perhaps it will help boost
  soccer there. 

'Interesting News Items' and 'Dublin City try for Scottish Lge' -
Story about Irish businessmen proposing that their new Dublin City
team seek admission to the Scottish second division.

'Uruguay 1930 (Re: US WC telecast)' - by Walter Garcia-Fontes 

  >In 1930, Argentina went on to lose 2-1 to Uruguay in the Final.  
  Let's be picky! 2-1 was the result of the first half in favor of 
  Argentina, Uruguay won it by 4-2. My father was a 15 year old in the
  stadium (Estadio Centenario), and I used to ask him about this World
  Cup all the time.

Jim Riley