Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quick note on today's loss & US soccer fans

The hoopla over Wednesday's victory is rapidly fading, as is the wild optimism regarding the "future of American soccer". I don't mind this - all that hype is about as sound as the California real estate market. We belong to a different world, really - one that doesn't need the team to "win it all". We wanted them to play well, to play an honest game.  The USMNT really did that. They got farther than France and Italy, and I think have more French and Italian fans, perhaps, than do either of those two squads.

Meditating on today's loss, Jeff Nunokawa captured what might be most interesting about football culture here in the states:
I like to think that at least a little of the interest exhibited by my fellow Americans in the fortunes of our team at an international contest in a sport where, historically, we have hardly distinguished ourselves against other countries, I like to think that at least a little of that interest exhibited by my fellow Americans has to do with the desire, vivid or obscure, to take our place as a nation among other nations, rather than a nation above them. I hope so. Don't you?      (FB Note 2076, "a general shout of brotherhood and joy")
 I don't hope so, I know so.


  1. Soccer is the most important sport in the US. Prime-time television is not what determines these things.

    If you count fans of Mexico, Ireland, etc, it all becomes more obvious.

    What is wrong with a "beautiful niche"?

  2. There are also those of us who can barely watch any US sports at all because it's three or more hours of 30-second dramatic moments alternating with five minutes of shrill, insulting commercials. Commercials make me queasy. Soccer is refreshing for having only one interruption during a game. My paranoid side says that Americans really prefer their commercials to their sports, i.e. we want to be told what to buy, what to do...

    In any case, this is surely part of the problem sponsor-wise. If there were timeouts in soccer, there would be more commercials, and thus more networks might want to see soccer take off.

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