CallingItAsISeeIT: Really? That is why soccer is not popular in US?
There is a very interesting – and that is the most generous adjective I could come up with – analysis of why soccer is not popular here in US. Apparently, the problem is there are too many “draws”. And the solution suggested is to have judges giving points for every 15 minutes of play.
I have not followed soccer in a long time and am an avid NFL and College Football guy now. With that, let me say the following:
1. Soccer in the rest of the world is doing fine, thank you. They do not need any boost from us in terms of popularity.
2. I thought we used to complain about East Bloc judges and the whole system how gymnastics point system worked in the Olympics. I thought we do not believe the ref on the (American) football field and want to rely on the objective way of replay technologies. Why this change of heart and reliance on three judges?
3. The funniest part? TIME calls the world soccer body “insular” to changes of rules. Of course, we, who are throwing stones at other glass houses are the same ones that cannot put in my simple drug testing rules in our national sport or summarily dismiss who use epithets on people who unfortunately were born with the “wrong” skin color.
4. At some point of time, we have to understand that here, in this country, it is all about money. Nothing wrong about it. Money drives glamor and popularity and that drives what kids want to do. Btw, the recent rise of cricket’s popularity and India’s seizing the center stage from the traditional owners – England, is a great study of how money drives popularity.
5. So, who in this country drives that money? It is not the spectators. It is the advertisers!!!
6. And there is a lot of advertising in a (American) football game. A football is “live” for about 12 minutes in a game that lasts for 3 hours. Imagine the ad time on TV or in the stadium. Look at the time between pitches in baseball. And the interruptions in baseball.
7. I am rusted, but as I recollect, soccer is a lot more continuous and free flowing game. The ball is “live” for almost all the 90 minutes. (Other than half time). That is a nightmare scenario for me as a TV advertiser.
8. Till we have figured out how to stop the soccer game every time somebody has received a ball, I do not see much money in the game.
We are good at what we do but let’s leave them alone and let them play their own game. Sucks that it happens to be world’s most popular sport. But what do we care? If we can get one team from Canada to participate in our game, we can call our series the “World Series”. We do not need the rest of the world to call it World Cup. And frankly speaking, they do not need our help. They are doing fine.
Now let me get back to my off season trade analysis for the Falcons 🙂