Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Do We Really Want the Americans Liking Soccer?

Footie elitists oftentimes become butt-hurt over what they view as Americans not 'getting' the beautiful game. But do we really want our friends from across the pond loving our most treasured sport?



Based on TV ratings; one would not be quivering at the lip with the thought of John Brooks' dramatic late winner against Ghana in last week's World Cup finals game encapsulating a nation of people who, until now, have viewed football as a children's game to play on Sundays, in contrast with how many Europeans and South Americans see it: as a way of life. Just over 11 million Americans tuned in to see their national team's first match. This year's Super Bowl piqued at 111 million. If my Leaving Cert pass-maths serves me correct then that's 100 million more. 

And yes, one might say that comparing the two within the context of America is a jaded way to view the popularity of the sport. However, I urge you to bear in mind that this is no ordinary sporting event. This is the largest sporting event in the world. Yes, even bigger than the Olympics. Impressive, considering that 163 out of 195 countries do not take part in it. Yet, the US barely takes part in the celebrations-and they are in it! One needn't look past the following of MLS clubs to understand that soccer is simply not the status-quo of American sporting.

Due to this obvious glitch in American society, Europeans feel the need to express their frustration at this misunderstanding by exclaiming such tenets as; "well, they just don't get it" or "do they not realise that American Football and Baseball are shite?". Many Europeans could write a whole new 96 theses based on reasons the Americans should like football, but still don't. I instead have begun to take a new approach to dealing with this matter by envisaging a world where football was the most popular sport state-side. We'd all be fucked.

After all, America is the third largest country in the world in terms of population and the largest, by a considerable margin, in terms of stepping on other nation's toes. Imagine if football was as popular as their indigenous sports? They would probably be up there with the Spains and Argentinas, if not much better. Sure, they don't have the pedigree in this generation, but give them 16-20 years and they'd be lifting the FIFA World Cup in the definitely-not-rigged host nation of Kuwait. 

And the gloating...We would never recover as a species. I could see World War III kicking off, and I do not speak of the type of kick off which occurs on a Sunday afternoon.

While the sport becoming more popular in America is a good thing insofar as betterment of the game should be fostered, I think I'll let the Yanks wear their ridiculous-looking armour-plated suits and wife-beaters for now.

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