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Old 07-18-2007, 04:26 PM   #16
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It's not necessarily a conscious conspiracy that is undermining soccer in the US. It's just that the nation has such an ingrained sporting history in baseball and American football; Baseball being the national pastime, and football being the most popular spectator sport.

I think this comes from an Aaron Sorkin TV script, but it rings true for me... The most popular sports in America are situational in nature. In other words, baseball and football are games that revolve around situations, not running clocks and constant play. People love to savour a 3-2 count in the bottom of the 9th inning, or 1st and 10 in the red zone during the closing minute of a football game.

There's just a simple beauty to sitting in a ballpark with the sun going down, savouring a great pitcher/batter duel with a scorecard in hand. That's my idea of it, anyway.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:59 PM   #17
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It's true that the US is a saturated market when it comes to sports. It's also true that there really is minimal media coverage of soccer, and I really don't think that's because of a lack of demand. EVERY kid plays soccer nowadays. I would've given anything to watch pro soccer on tv as a kid in the late 80s/early 90s, but it was practically impossible. As a result, I had no soccer heroes to look up to, model myself after, and increase my soccer fervor. The only way to watch pro soccer guys on tv was to buy a VHS. Even now, there's minimal coverage. You get ABC or ESPN to cover the big games, and it's left to local cable stations to occasionally cover MLS and international league games.

Baseball, to me, is a dying game. The largest number of fans I see anymore are aged 16 and under, then 50 and over. I think there's a huge chunk in the middle that left during the first or second strike. I'm very surprised that people aren't as turned off as they should be with all of the steroid shit. I know that I'll never go back until either Maris' record is restored or glaring asterisks are placed next to Bonds', McGwire's, and Sosa's names. The only things keeping baseball alive, IMO, are Fantasy leagues and the idea of going someplace for three hours to eat hot dogs and drink beer.

With Hispanics now being the largest minority in the US, perhaps things will change. That, however wouldn't necessarily have to bring soccer to the mainstream media, though...instead staying on the Spanish channels. Who knows...

One thing that killed soccer's chance of becoming a permanent fixture in the US was the stupid gamble the women's league made in conjunction with the 2003 Women's World Cup. The US Women's team was expected to take the trophy in the 2003 Cup. The US team were champions in the 1999 World Cup, making the women's players more popular and better recognized than most of the US men's players. It was really around that time that it seemed like every single kid in the US was playing soccer. Mia Hamm, the women's team, and the Brandi Chastain Moment were given a lot of the credit. In a short time, the women's league was failing financially, and announced its closure immediately before the Cup. I believe they decided to close at that time with the idea that a Championship win in the Cup would create such a stir that everyone and their brother would want to pour money into the league. Had they won, I think that would've happened. However, no one likes 3rd place, and no one put money in to revive the league. Now, the whole "emotional swell" that America had invested in its soccer team (no emotions have really been put into the men's team, save for disgust!) had nowhere to go, and the moment was lost.

I don't think the bad gamble of the women's league is solely to blame at all, but I do think it was a hugely lost opportunity.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:54 PM   #18
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Mexico has a strong league, the US league should try to find an agreement with them. It's stupid to be independant, they need to create a Mexico-American league with 4/5 clubs based in the south (LA, Dallas, etc) and 13/14 Mexicans.
It's the only solution.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:29 PM   #19
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I really don't know how people in the US haven't picked up on the sport. It's the fastest paced most fun game to watch and it's so full of passion.

For what it's worth in Honduras Real España has just been crowned champion two months ago.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:11 AM   #20
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That's what it's been like in Australia. The media controlling what Aussies follow, through attacking soccer to preserve the sporting status quo. It's one of the great myths that all Aussies adore cricket. Few really give a toss about the dying sport of cricket, and soccer is by far more of an appealing sport to most Australians, even if has it's association with " sheilas, wogs and poofters" That said, we still get shitehouse media coverage, while for some reason cricket and rugby league dominate when few really give a shit.

No way. Not a chance man!! Soccer is in no way a "far more appealing" sport to Australians than Cricket. Yes there has been a bit of a lapse but in no way has soccer eclipsed cricket. For mine the top three will ALWAYS be AFL, Rugby and Cricket. Soccer I doubt will ever figure. The World Cup did huge things for Australian soccer, as did A-League, but it is still behind those three, and by quite a way.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:12 AM   #21
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Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
I really don't know how people in the US haven't picked up on the sport. It's the fastest paced most fun game to watch and it's so full of passion.

For what it's worth in Honduras Real España has just been crowned champion two months ago.
Depends what part of the country. Where I live its huge, and basketball is the dying sport currently here. I love it. I play it every day almost.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:22 AM   #22
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They are trying to build the game from the top down...what about the grass roots level?

One man is never going to change the sport in the US...you would need to get a few big names playing over there in order to maintain the buzz for at least a season.

Just a wonder but with Hispanics being the largest minority in the US...do good Hispanic players go to Mexico to play or is there a large number who play in the MLS?
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:58 AM   #23
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Originally posted by COBL_04


No way. Not a chance man!! Soccer is in no way a "far more appealing" sport to Australians than Cricket. Yes there has been a bit of a lapse but in no way has soccer eclipsed cricket. For mine the top three will ALWAYS be AFL, Rugby and Cricket.

Ah, soccer has already eclipsed cricket.

Attendances in Melbourne reveal a lot:

Melbourne Victory - Average of 27,728 for 06/07 season
Victoria Bushrangers - 500 to 600 people for 06/07 season

Soccer: Australia vs Greece @ MCG 2006: 95,103

But, cricket:
Australia vs England ODI @ MCG 06/07: 78,000
Australia vs New Zealand ODI @ MCG 06/07: 48,000
Australia vs England Day One of the Boxing Day Test 2006: 89,155 (so much for eagerley awaited!)

Participation rates:

Children playing soccer: 19.6% of boys, 2.9% of girls
Children playing cricket: 9.9% of boys, 1.2% of girls

Adult participation rate:

Men playing soccer = 4.4%
Men playing cricket = 4.7%

but...

Women playing soccer = 1.8%
Women playing cricket = 0.8%


SBS' National TV audience for 2006 FIFA World Cup:

Australia vs:

Japan - 2.16 million (11pm)
Brazil - 1.53 million (2am!)
Croatia - 2.02 million (5am)
Italy - 2.28 million (1am)

These figures fail to take into account all the people who flocked to pubs and clubs and the big screens across the nation, a spectating culture that is alien to the stale culture of following cricket.

2003 Cricket World Cup Final:
* Australia vs India (mostly shown in prime time on a Sunday night):2.46 million

2007 Cricket World Cup Final:
* Australia vs Sri Lanka: I read somewhere that it never peaked over 1 million.

Cricket, in both a participatory and spectatorship sense, lags behind soccer in terms of appeal. Channel Nine have begun to recognise this, with their decision to no longer screen One Day Domestic matches and their increasing hesitancy to screen matches in the tri-series that don't involve Australia, and the impending scrapping of tri-series ODI cricket after the 07/08 summer.

Cricket is dying, while soccer is finally being recognised for what it always has been, as one of Australia's favourite sports.
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Old 07-19-2007, 11:56 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
I really don't know how people in the US haven't picked up on the sport. It's the fastest paced most fun game to watch and it's so full of passion.

See now speaking as an American sports fan, I find it slow and boring.
And many here agree with that assessment.

We have always favored football (the kind where you hold the ball with your hands ), baseball and basketball.

Soccer lacks scoring, and lacks scoring chances. Watching the ball dribbled around midfield for 86 out of 90 minutes just doesn't do it for me nor a large portion of U.S. sports fans.

Thats why they make chocolate and vanilla, but be sure David Beckham won't help the MLS sell any more vanilla in the U.S.
If Pele couldn't do it, now way "Becks" will.

His wife will get more publicity here.
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:19 PM   #25
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Plus, the camera position during soccer/football games make the game seem inpersonal and distant, at least compared to football, basketball, and baseball.
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:16 PM   #26
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Yeah we need more rail cams right next to the pitch, and maybe Fox can come up with some movable superimposed line to aid TV viewers.

They can call it the "Boredom Box" or the "Leisure Line" or something, and they can flash it at the ball's location when something interesting might actually happen during a soccer match so people can pay more attention.

I know these guys are giving their all for most of 90 minutes, and watching a game in person you can appreciate the speed and grace of the game, but on TV a lot f ti time it's akin to watching ants push a piece of food around for 1.5 hours.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:22 PM   #27
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I'm probably right where someone surveying American soccer would want to survey right now. I'm 16, typical American kid from the suburbs of Philly.

And I can't stand soccer.

I respect the players. They have to be physically in shape, absolutely. They work tremendously hard, I'm certain.

But it's terrible to watch. In baseball, there is a direct result in every at bat. In soccer, the ball just seems to go back and forth. For a similar reason, I can't stand hockey. Basketball, baseball, and football (American), for me, thanks.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:24 PM   #28
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I have a solution.

Gus Johnson calls every MLS game.

It'll be a sure-fire success.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:40 PM   #29
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For a similar reason, I can't stand hockey.
Bitch please, get out mah house
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:34 PM   #30
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Bitch please, get out mah house
My father described it best: soccer on ice with legal assault.
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