Statistical answer to whether soccer is dull

One British academic looked at all the English soccer scores going back to 1888 to answer the question of whether soccer is dull:

But Curley used the same approach he uses in his academic career: data, lots and lots of data. By cobbling together game results from several different sources, he has compiled what is almost certainly the world’s biggest compendium of English football scores. Sitting on his GitHub page, devoid of any fanfare whatsoever, are the scores of nearly 200,000 English soccer games played in the top four leagues since 1888, the days of Jack the Ripper and Queen Victoria. These 14 megabytes can tell remarkable stories, dating back more than 125 years to the founding of the English football league…

In 85,694 games — dangerously close to half the total — at least one of the teams forgot to score at all. That led Curley to an answer for one of his questions: “Soccer is a bit dull,” he told me…

Scores are likely to be low. In more than 85 percent of all games, neither team scored more than three goals.

Those low scores help lead to thousands of draws — 47,412 since the foundation of the league system, to be exact. That’s more than a quarter of all games. And 7 percent of games overall have ended with no one scoring, and no one winning — there have been 13,475 nil-nil draws.

Statistical evidence that not much scoring takes place. But, this will only fuel the debate as true fans will argue scoring does not necessarily equal excitement. Baseball fans make similar arguments. Yet, there is a common claim that American sports fans are more interested in more scoring (as opposed to simply movement or action). Does this mean English fans (as well as other soccer fans around the world) are more willing to endure low-scoring games? Is this only because they are used to these games or are there other factors involved?

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