Friday, June 11, 2010

why americans dont watch soccer

the world cup is going on, and there is a lot being said about why soccer hasn't engrained itself into american culture. i disagree with all of the points being made.

"soccer is too slow for americans. there isn't enough action." - i don't buy this argument at all. golf is a huge sport in america, and is highly televised and highly watched. golf is a much slower sport than golf, yet the ratings and money invested in america are high.

"turnovers aren't important in soccer. americans love game that value possessions." - hockey does well here. basketball does well here. golf, tennis, and volleyball don't even have ball possession, and they do well here.

"soccer hooligans turn me off to a sport." - go to a game in philadelphia. go to an LSU football game as a supporter of the 'away team.' go to an OSU vs Michigan game.

the real reason soccer hasn't taken foothold here is: we already have too many sports. NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PBA, PGA, tennis, college football, college basketball (March Madness), lacrosse, little league... we have a lot of sports here that we are invested in. i would argue that college football is the american sport with the craziest fans, but some college basketball fans can get crazy too. there is simply no room for soccer in our lifestyle. where could they fit it in? MLB playoffs are in the fall, NFL playoffs are in the winter (combined with college football bowl games), the BCS games are in January, the Super Bowl in February, then college basketball in March, and NBA and NHL playoffs in April and May.

summer is usually reserved for baseball, but baseball is the only sport that can survive in the heat, because it doesn't subject it to the physical demands that the other sports do. soccer requires a lot of running, and for it to break into the big TV markets in the US (California, Florida, Texas...), there would have to be games in sub 100 degree weather. the soccer players would croak.

that is why there is no soccer here. there's just no room.

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