Soccer, you know, that sport that is played on the grassy field with the black and white Oreo ball? Well it is mainly played more fanatically in countries like Argentina, England and Spain, and so does the United States actually have a fighting chance of being a “big” soccer entity? I really am skeptical and as much as I enjoy the sport I do not think it will grow as much as football or basketball has in the US. In fact, soccer is known as football in foreign countries, so there is a whole different interpretation to begin with.
First of all, the origins of the game soccer began in England in 1863. The first team-sport game in America was baseball. Baseball, being a widely media franchise game is very popular and remains the most popular game in America I think because of the fact it was started in America. I think that soccer will remain the most popular World Sport due to it being started in England, but baseball, because of the unique origin of being started in America, will remain and grow to be the most popular sport in the United States.
Secondly the money that is made off of widely commercialized sports such as Football and Baseball are much more effective in the United States for economic reasons. Economically, football, basketball and baseball produce wide media coverage and sell tons of merchandise/events/etc for fans to come out to the game. Soccer is more of a sport that of course gets media attention as well, but not as widely covered in the United States. I think most of the well known Soccer Players come from other countries that the US, so there is not a “big name” soccer player to out due some of the foreign players. Perhaps since soccer gets so much media coverage world wide there simply is not a need for more media coverage in the United States.
Thirdly, foreign countries also develop strong social, economic and community ties to their soccer teams. For example, the Côte d’Ivoire national football team has even drawn a truce between a civil war in 2005 in Africa. I think that the love for the game and the common love for wanting to win in foreign countries shows that they take soccer on a personal level. Soccer also has caused not so peaceful events in Yugoslav wars in 1990, there actually was a riot at one of the games over two players. I think that the unique embracement of soccer in foreign countries over winning the “game” shows their passion for the game. In the United States, it seems as though if one team loses, well, too bad, maybe next game they’ll win! I don’ not see soccer taken so seriously or personal in the United States.
Soccer also has had major league teams in the Olympics, which as we know is huge sporting competition among many different athletes from different countries. The Olympics draw fans from across the globe, and I think that the emphasis on soccer and its players are more predominant in the Olympics in foreign countries other than the US. Once again, on a world-wide stage such as the Olympics, soccer simply is not the “number one investment” for the US, instead you might see Micheal Phelps as the most popular US contender. Also the Olympics and other major soccer games such as the World Cup are held around the world, not just in the United States, and this will continue to be so for some time.
Finally the United States, sadly to say in an economic recession at the moment. I think that soccer is a game that a nation must invest in and have the up most interest. In the United States at the moment, the Health Care Bill and war in Afghanistan are top issues and actually a great cause of the economic downturn in recent years. Soccer is a sport where the United States would have to take genuine time to invest in, it is not just a sport like any other, where stars are born overnight. If the United States would recover economically in the next few years, which is unlikely but hopeful, then Soccer might have a better popularity rating in the United States.
I love soccer, I think it is a great game for all ages and both male and female. I feel that the diversity that it brings out worldwide and the unity it can bring in a country or perhaps even how soccer can show the difference in a country will speak for itself. I think the United States loves soccer, but it simply is not taken as seriously here, the game is known as the “world game”, and as unique and individualized as the United States is, it simply has not been cheered on as much. It will always be around in the United States, but other sports such as football and baseball, will continue to grow and be major money markets for the United States.