It’s going to take the US football team to get to the semi-finals of the World Cup or better for the US ever to become a real football nation.
Of course it’s not even called football in this country – it’s soccer because there is American Football – and when the Americans talk about football they mean the NFL game, which is of course played with the hands.
And we had the sight of a new Yorker on TV at the beginning of the World Cup tournament, rather annoyed and saying that the rest of the world was crazy to love soccer, and that the game was so stupid, because you couldn’t use your hands – and that unnatural for any game.
I know – that’s why we call it football – world football – as opposed to American football.
And on the network news over here, the big sports news right now is which team top basketball player LeBron James will sign for – and he will say something tonight – he’s currently a free agent and most fans seem to want him to stay at the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he has been since leaving high school.
President Obama, who is a big basketball fan, at least wants him to sing for Cleveland – even though the Chicago Bulls – Obama’s home town team , are keen to sign him.
Yes, on the major channels they mention what’s happened at the World Cup most of the time, to be polite, but some American commentators also keep referring to a player being “offsides” rather than offside.
There is an “offsides” in American football, and the English commentators keep trying to refer to the game as soccer, but keep saying football – only because that’s what they’ve called it all their lives – after all it’s FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and not FISA.
The coverage on the main networks outside the televised games is minimal, even though the tournament has completely gripped the rest of the world these last few weeks, and does so ever four years.
NFL Football, Baseball, College Football, NBA, NHL (hockey), Golf, NASCAR and Tennis are only some of the sports that are more popular in the US than soccer.
Maybe there’s 10% of the US population into football – but that still means 30M – so in terms of numbers, there may still be a lot of support over here – but it pales in comparison to other sports in the US.
And people are saying that world football will become popular in the US – but I’ll not hold my breath – I was here when Pele played for the NY Cosmos in the late 1970s, and they were saying the same thing then – only more so.
No – the US has its own sports and they will not change to embrace a game that was invented in England – think about it.
Not in my lifetime anyway.
That’s what we think – and we know we have lots of readers on our blog here in the states – so what do you think of the state of the game in America?
Comments very welcome.