I'm not much of a soccer fan, or even a football or basketball fan anymore. If I am passionate about any sport, it would have to be baseball. But Ed Felton has a rather nice essay about not just why soccer is the way it is, but why any tweaking of the rules to more suit American audiences isn't a very good idea. I think to a certain degree, the arguments also apply toward baseball. It's worth noting that both soccer and baseball predate any kind of cheaply available timekeeping technology. This has probably a lot to do with why the rules are the way they are, and why soccer in particular might be enjoyed in far flung parts of the developing world.