This wc had the best group stage I can remember. The final is anti climatic by comparison. Germany was the best team and deservedly won. Unfortunately, it'll be most remembered for Brasil's incredible meltdown.
I don't have a problem with the Brit announcers. I love all their drollness and dry humor. But then, I like soccer so I'm atypical American.
Does it contribute to the perception that soccer is foreign? Guess what, it IS foreign.
Soccer will never, ever, ever, ever catch on in the US. Let me count the ways
1/ low scoring. To the uninitiated, a lot of times, it does not look like there is anything happening at all. You don't watch it for the goals, but for the strategy, the individual skills, the passing, maneuvering. It's a game of creating chances and near misses. You know why it's called the beautiful game? Because if it is not beautiful, it probably does not go in. Tough game.
2/ the field is big, the players look small and indistinguishable. In baseball, the players are identified by their position. In football, by their position and size. In basketball, by position, size, and because you are close enough, their faces. In soccer, you have to be very familiar. There's a reason soccer stars play with their hair style -- so they can stand out. Soccer is more of a team sport than any of the 3 major sports. Goes against American individualism.
3/ not made for American tv. There is no time out. Where do you put the commercials.
4/ not invented here. Don't underestimate American chauvinism.
5/ the fuzzy timekeeping drives American legalistic mindset crazy. Look at the ridiculous use of the measuring chain in football. As if you're not just eyeballing where to spot the ball anyway. But no, you gotta bring out the chain. Call it precision theater.
(Soccer haters love to cite flopping but I won't do that here. It's actually something fixable. Anyway, there's plenty of flopping and acting in basketball too. Look at how guys flail their arms when they get hit. The difference is there are three refs in BB who all call fouls and they are standing a few feet away, vs only one with soccer and he can be 20, 30 yards away so you have to do a lot of "emoting" to get his attention.)
True, soccer is popular with some segments of the population. Yeah, and the metric system is popular with scientists and drug dealers. Good luck with that. The same people who hate listening to British announcers will cry bloody murder if the US tries to ditch the imperial system. Imperial as in the freaking British Empire.
We may by fluke produce a transcendent soccer player. That will create a surge of broad interest in soccer similar to what Tiger did for golf. Then things will settle back to baseline.
Soccer in the US has been a game played by predominantly white, middle class kids to bolster their self esteem and watched largely by less affluent immigrants. Not exactly a recipe for success. This is changing slowly, but I don't see soccer catching up to football or basketball. People think the growing Asian and Hispanic population will change this, but guess what. Immigrants assimilate and second and third gen immigrants just watch football like everyone else.
Soccer will always be the sport of the future, something Americans pay attention to every four years, time zone difference permitting. But as long as there is enough interest so that I can catch some euro league stuff and the wc on tv, I'm ok with that.
Last edited by barth2k; 07-14-2014 at 06:05 PM.