Ah to be young again.
As I sit at work and watch the UEFA Euro tournament and being extremely unproductive I can’t help but to be fascinated with the game of soccer. It’s amazing that the most popular sport in the world still hasn’t caught on in America.
The beauty, the artistry, the skill, and the personalities. Surely there’s enough juice in to quench America’s thirst, right? Why isn’t it popular here? I know a lot of people say it’s boring but that’s probably the same person who watches a 3 hour baseball game or a 5 hour Nascar race. It just doesn’t add up.
How can soccer catch on in America? The answer is in the question.
Baseball and Nascar are viewed in America as home grown and patriotic. There’s nothing more American than going to the park, getting a hot dog, and watching America’s pastime. They’re ingrained in American culture therefore will always be coveted. Soccer is a foreign sport with strategies that aren’t normal in other sports.
For example, in soccer if a player receives a pass and is behind the last defender that’s not the goalkeeper then they are offsides and the play stops. Can you imagine if Russell Westbrook had to follow that rule? It just doesn’t make sense to penalize a player for being in the right place at the right time.
So is soccer doomed before it begins?
Fortunately, for soccer, American football has been under a lot of scrutiny lately due to concussions and CTE. This is soccer’s prime opportunity to scoop in and offer a safer alternative for youth. If soccer wants to build long term success in America then they have to take the WWE model and target the youth. I played soccer growing up and I still love it to this day. It’s a piece of me that I value and hopefully my kids will play soccer. That’s the state of mind soccer needs to plant.
If soccer raises a generation of youth then it can start weaving its way into American culture.
Who knows, maybe one day it’ll be American to go the stadium and see a match.
As always, thanks for reading.
Let’s Groove! (1946)