World Cup Dillusion

In case you live in a cave or have been stranded on a deserted island, the FIFA World Cup is currently going on in Brazil.  That is a big soccer tournament that happens every four years.  I can understand why other countries think this is a big deal.  Soccer is about the only sport played in those countries.  However, I do not understand why anyone in the United States gives a rip about it.  After all, you can watch ninety minutes (or more) of a game and chances are you will not see a single point scored.  Before you freak out — I know they are called goals, but I just do not care.

For some reason, there are a number of people (mostly in the media) that feel like those of us that do not care about soccer are somehow lesser people.  I keep hearing commentators make statements about how popular soccer is becoming in the United States.  It is either that kind of statement or they say something about how Americans are “evolving” or becoming more like the rest of the world by liking soccer more.  If only we would adopt soccer as our most popular sport and become like the rest of the world, that makes us better people.  That is simply a bunch of crap.

I have made no secret to my dislike for soccer.  I also do not like NASCAR racing or tennis.  Both of those sports are also fairly popular.  Like soccer, neither or anywhere near as popular as the major sports in the United States.  All three are nowhere near as popular as football, baseball and basketball.  I know that hurts the feelings of soccer fans, but it is simply the truth.  Even with the bump in interest with the World Cup, soccer is not a significant American sport.

As much I might dislike soccer, I have much more dislike for the propagandist that create the disillusion about soccer.  They are like the political spinsters that just cannot tell the truth.  They have to mislead (or lie) about the popularity of their sport to give the appearance that it is more popular than it really is.  They also present an argument that those of us that do not like soccer are somehow backwards or lesser people because we do not like their sport.  They just cannot accept the fact that the majority of Americans simply do not care about soccer or find soccer boring.  It really is that simple.

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It is interesting when friends want to argue with me about soccer.  I know they are desperate in the discussion when they bring up wrestling.  Knowing that I was a high school wrestler and still have a love for the sport, they will make a comment that goes something like “more Americans are watching the World Cup than watch wrestling”.  I guess they think that is such a smart point to make.  However, it has absolutely nothing to do with my arguments against soccer.  As a wrestling fan, I look forward to watching the NCAA wrestling championships every March as well as wrestling in the Olympics every four years.  The difference is that I understand that wrestling has a relatively small following, especially when compared to the major sports.  I have no disillusion that wrestling is anywhere near as popular as those big sports.  Nor do I make negative judgments against those that do not enjoy wrestling the way I do.  Even though I think wrestling is one of the greatest sports on the planet, I understand that not everyone understands the sport the same way.  The difference between my view of wrestling and what seems to be the majority of soccer fans is that they feel like there is some kind of moral deficit in those that do not like their sport.  Of course, that is an utterly ridiculous notion but soccer fans do not see it that way.

The other funny thing to me about soccer fans is their complete lack of a sense of humor as it relates to soccer.  I have so much fun on Facebook harassing the soccer folks.  They get so worked up whenever someone points out that their sport is not as popular as they think or that their sport is simply boring.  They cannot see that I am just having funny yanking their chains.  They make it so easy and are so blinded by their disillusion that they cannot see that I am just having fun at their expense.

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There’s no other way to say it but I love seeing the way they freak out when someone like Ann Coulter writes an article about hating soccer.  They are just unable to see the satire in her article.  The result is that they have fits over her comments.  I suspect Ann is like me in that she is saying what she believes but knows that the reaction from the soccer nuts will provide significant humor to make the outcry comical.

Soccer fans would feel much better about their sport if they just accepted the fact that there are more people watching soccer today in the U.S. than at any other time.  That should make them happy.  Unfortunately, that is not good enough for them.  They insist on overstating that popularity even though all the polls suggest otherwise.  The poll released recently by Reuters shows that two-thirds of Americans do not care about soccer and only 7% plan to follow the World Cup closely.  That is it.  It is true that the World Cup will draw more spectators because it only happens every four years.  However, soccer has no where near the same numbers for “regular” soccer.  Put in proper perspective, the numbers show that some Americans may love the World Cup but we still do not care about soccer.  This article shows that the U.S.-Ghana game had an audience of 11.1 million.  That compares to 33.6 million for the London Olympics, which is another every-four-year event.  Of course, those numbers are not even close to the 108.7 million audience generated by the NFL championship.  If you look at the “regular” events, MLS playoffs get an average of 0.32 million audience which is much less than the 0.69 million average for MLB, 1.4 million for the NBA or 17.4 million for the NFL.  Therefore, a soccer playoff game does not come close to a regular season game for the big sports.

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Who knows?  The World Cup may increase the popularity for soccer in America.  After all the U.S. did make it to the “knockout” round by winning one game, tying one game and losing one game.  At least now if they lose, they are coming home and we can get back to the sports that matter.

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2 thoughts on “World Cup Dillusion

  1. Randy……….You know I love you. I just get a kick out of how you have always had a way of pulling the strings to get a rise out of certain people! Well, I guess you’ve done it again. Actually, I agree with you about The World Cup , Real wrestling, Real football and other “Real” sports…..even if I am your mother. The only thing I can’t teach you is tactfulness. That’s okay , too because you wouldn’t be Randy any other way! Mom

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