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Friday, 11 June 2010

The 2010 “European Kickball” World Cup gets underway…

After a weeks holiday in Wales, where a basic phone signal was hard to come by and a WI-FI connection non-existent (much to my families approval, I'm sure), it is with heightened enthusiasm that I scan the various news outputs for items of interest. Whilst scanning through the many articles regarding the imminent football spectacular in South Africa, I noticed an article written by an American journalist named Rick Moran. In his publication for ‘Pyjamas Media’ Moran discusses the possible reasons why the ‘beautiful game’ is greeted with general apathy and distain by his fellow countrymen…

_47803521_usa Much of the article points to the lack of interest in the sport (referred to hereafter as football, not soccer) following the 1994 World Cup Finals, and that MLS crowds have dwindled to such an extent that teams have down-sized to smaller stadiums. He also touches on the notion that football is seen a participator sport rather than a spectator pass-time in The States, I can draw a few parallels with golf and cricket in this country.

Whilst Moran sieves through the reasons why one of the world’s leading nations chooses to turn its back on a sport that is embraced the world over, he inadvertently solves his own issue. Whilst his statement “The U.S. midfield is solid, even spectacular with Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan recognized as two of the top players in the world at their positions.” threatens to derail the credibility of the entire piece, within these lines he portrays the reason why ‘The Yanks’ shun football – insularity.

Indeed it wasn’t the actual article itself that I deemed worthy of republication, rather the nature of the comments left, comments such as;
“The most boring game in the world. A game 90 + minutes long that normally has a score of 1 to 0. Wow that's really exciting… NOT. I will leave my TV off and watch the grass grow in my back yard thanks.”
“Americans play soccer. They just don’t watch it on TV. They don’t because it is mind numbing, and scoring seems to be accidental. We are also well aware of “nuance”, its just that it strikes us as silly if that marvellous technique has nothing to do with putting the ball in the net.
The World Cup is the impotent nations’ substitute for war, but then I guess the Olympics are the powerful nations’ substitute as well. Which is why riots break out. Hordes of bored, drunks need something to keep their attention”
Whilst I understand that there are plenty of football fans stateside, some very close supporters of this website. Indeed The ‘Dirty Leeds’ Blog has had visits from 44 of the American States, you can’t help but feel that FIFA are fighting a losing battle. The disregard for what is primarily a female sport across ‘The Pond’ is plain to see… ‘Boring’ is the general consensus. Although anybody who has sat through a the 4+ hours of an NFL game, with adverts every 25 seconds will agree that boredom is taken to a whole new level.

All is not lost though, one particular poster named ‘WJ’ might have the answer “Get rid of the offside rule and free substitution, then it would be a real game.”

Each to their own I guess…

The article in question can be found here

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