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America Still Isn't Fond of Soccer (Football)
As an American-born citizen, born of Filipino-Spanish descent, there are questions that linger and beg for an answer. Here are a few examples:
• Why is there something rather than nothing?
• What happens after death?
• What came before the Big Bang?
We'd like to add another question to that list, and that is:
• Why don't Americans love the sport of football (soccer)?
Graphic by: 333pix
(Given this is our very first article published for the sport, we will be addressing soccer as its native label football. We'll be mentioning the NFL as its own league name and/or by "American football.")
After lurking around for the reasons, some points stand out to us than most. Let's go through them:
This is unusual, off the bat. Not long ago on Week 10 of the 2021-2022 NFL season, a tie after overtime concluded the Lions-Steelers game with each a score of 16. If the NFL allows such stalemate, what makes football any different? Yeah, our societal philosophy caters to "there has to be a winner," yet often times, a tie could save your blood pressure and your bet(s) in the case of such occurrence. Saying that won't convince a fellow American sports fan sitting next to me, but it doesn't hurt to ask, does it?
There's a hit song "Humble" by Kendrick Lamar where the chorus goes, Sit down; Be humble. This is the reality of indulging in competitive entertainment: You win some, you lose some. Because our country's team isn't ranked at the top, compared to, say, England or Italy, says enough. While leagues like Major League Soccer nationalizing the sport of football in America, it appeals to some but not most. We're hoping that changes, but we're not sure. I mean, going through a "reset," it's tough to say that there is some growing interest, unless leagues spew out their own LeBron James type of player: Someone whom Americans can rant about, gossip and poke fun at. Celebrity gossip seems to run amok here in our country.
A user in an online forum mentioned low scoring as the reason, which is interesting. You get sports like American football, hockey and, baseball which are platforms of low-scoring happenings, depending on the teams competing, the players and their performances, and just scoring overall. This is weak, and while it is hard to keep your eyes open watching all nine innings of a baseball game to witness just one team score a point can be draining. However, it does happen. Only difference is, much like hockey, lacrosse and basketball, offensive and defensive plays change constantly with football, enough to keep you awake and on the edge of your seat. If you're one of those, yes, altercations and roughing happens occasionally in football, especially if you enjoy hockey.
Other reasons include the distribution of the sport historically speaking and broadcast advertisements of the sport on TV. We find those to be fair reasons, but like us, it doesn't mean we're not curious as to what makes football the way it is. Football seems to resonate well among the youth both in school and camps, since it involves a lot of running, along with proper teamwork. Some schools, like my old elementary and high schools, both don't have their own football fields, leaving us to borrow a nearby school's field for a scheduled game. In contrast with track and field, and cross country, football fits the bill for students wanting to partake in extra-curricular activities while at school. On the other hand, you get the advertisement spots placed during a football game, and that's difficult for a sport that can't be stopped in the middle of a play. Yes, business is business, but that also explains the short-attention span of the average American sports fan. As someone who grew up loving basketball, and now American football, hockey, bowling, curling, darts, poker, auto racing, lacrosse and baseball, I've seen the high adrenaline of some, and the steady pace of another. Football brings that same excitement, however, as mentioned in the "Low Scoring" tab up above, it takes a particular amount of patience for a goal to happen. Again, this goes the same way with hockey, despite it being more of a Canadian sport, despite the NHL pushing its expansion and marketing toward the American market. Aside from its competitive entertainment, sports is big business—an industry—and particular measures have to be excluded, followed, done and/or shared regardless of its audience big and small.
As an NBA basketball fan, the very first sport I played, believe it or not, was football. I remember wearing a purple-colored football outfit, with purple-striped baseball socks, when I was in grade school. Fun times (the picture is so old, I couldn't find it for the sake of this article, but I distinctly remember wearing it after school during half day).
What do you think? After all the drama going on with the American sports leagues right now, is it a perfect time for American fans to venture onto a new sport? Would football be one of them? Let's talk about it in the comments below!