Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup: Watching Guys Run Around

I think soccer (yes I'm American and it's soccer to me) can be a fun sport to play, I grew up playing it as a kid. It is however an atrociously boring sport to watch on TV. I'm not one for assertions of absolutes, but no matter how hard they try, the World Cup will never be big in American markets. No friggin way.

Americans are not huge fans of constant motion sports, they are for all intents and purposes less strategic and because of this more boring. Of the four major U.S. sports baseball and football are both stop motion games, that play more like chess games and despite their differences are the two most popular sports for U.S. audiences. The other two are hockey and basketball, both constant motion sports I don't personally understand the attraction to. Hockey at least has some good fights, and takes place on a bizarre medium like ice, and basketball at least has a brisk pace with a good amount of scoring.

This last point also drives home why soccer is just a horrible bore as a spectator sport, of the games I have watched so far the scores have been 1:1, 0:0, and 1:0. Ninety plus minutes of guys running up and down the field trying to create an opportunity for a goal and two out of three games resulted in one team never getting the ball in the net once. When I have seen people score it has often seemed to be a fluke or sloppy play that lead to it. Is this really what the rest of the world gets excited about? 

Being amidst ex-pats of course you find a lot more soccer fans than you do back in the states where most people aren't even aware that the World Cup is going on. You go to events and watch the games because that's what everyone else seems to be doing, and people tend to feign interest because everyone else seems interested. Very few people seem to actually watch the games, most just chat, eat food and occasionally look up when other people that are interested start hooting and hollering. Europeans for the most part actually do seem interested in this. Unfortunately their teams seem to suck this year. France and England don't seem to have met expectations and I watched the Swiss get beat yesterday. Even Germany I think lost some game they were expected to win the other day. Humorously I think the US still might be in the running, having something to do with England's ability to do little more than tie games. In some ways I almost hope the U.S. team wins one of these days, and no one at home is watching. It's kind of like how you like the idea of Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France, not because you care at all about cycling, but because many Europeans do, and it makes you smile when we still win anyway.


  1. lol soccer and cycling. What gets me mad is that good baseball news is being wasted on soccer highlights. I've tried for years to like soccer. The more I watch the more I hate it especially the way people fake being hurt.

  2. Is baseball news about how many hot dogs the crowd has managed to eat? We went to a game in the US and had no idea what was going on - looked like a bunch of fat guys standing round then somehow, someone won and we stopped eating hot dogs and went home - a complete mystery. But fun and I especially enjoyed singing about how we were all 'rooting' for the team! Ha ha, cultural differences are so entertaining.

  3. @HandM - agreed on baseball sucking. It's completely boring, and it is fat guys standing around on a field. I think Americans like because...actually I have no idea. I worked at a minor league baseball stadium for 3 seasons & never understood why it was supposed to be holding anyones interest.


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