Admittedly, I did not see much of the U.S. vs. Ghana World Cup game this last weekend, but the ratings were good. The U.S. was clamoring for something to believe in, something to once again hang our hat on in world athletic competition. Unfortunately, we got beat by a country the size of Minnesota, with the population of Texas, and a less than fearsome soccer resume.
Alas, if only we really cared. I’ve thought long and hard about why Americans haven’t caught onto football yet, and I think there’s many reasons-
Europe likes it. A lot. Therefore, it would be weird of us to like it.
- The whole faking an injury to draw a red card thing. American men are raised to pretend like they aren’t hurt, even if their leg has been snapped like Joe Theisman, so pretending that you are hurt when you’re not, is not only foreign to us, it’s downright despicable.
- South America likes it. A little too much. Therefore, it would be unoriginal of us to like it.
- The lack of scoring. Let’s face it, a game where they rarely score more than 3 times a game just isn’t appealing to Americans. Just ask Gary Bettman.
- Africa and Asia and Oceania like it. Therefore, well, you get the point.
These are just a few off the top of my head. I think another part of it is the lack of high level competition in the US. Who wants to watch an MLS game when you know that the players on the field aren’t the cream of the crop? We wouldn’t accept that kind of competition in the NFL or MLB. The outrage over mediocre players leaving the NBA and NHL for Europe proves that. All in all, I don’t see the U.S. jumping feet first into soccer, ever. Never say never, but as long as we have our beloved [Insert Home Team Here], we just won’t really give a hoot about soccer. Is it unfortunate? Perhaps. The U.S. could bring its stable of athletes who chose other sports over soccer to the table and be a world power in the sport, but as long as there’s still millions to be made in the big 4 professional sports, I don’t see that happening. It is just another rift between us and the rest of the world? Perhaps. But we’ll just keep being the quirky kid that doesn’t understand the global obsession.
Which is just fine by us.
To follow up something I wrote a few weeks back about players complaining about the Jabulani ball from Adidas, Scientists have recently proven that the problem with the ball is its perfection- the heat bonded seams that give the ball its perfect sphere shape make it too perfectly round, and therefore, less aerodynamic. I think it’s something along the lines of a golf ball without dimples, but I’m not a soccer scientist.