Here's how frequent the phrase "World Cup" has been in the Newspaper of Record since it began in 1930:
The 2010 data-point is as of June 12, but probably won't be very different by the end of the year, at which point no one would care anymore.
Not even the liberal elites started caring until the 1966 World Cup; the first two received zero mentions, and the third only one mention. Both the 1942 and 1946 World Cups were cancelled, yet the NYT believed that its American readership wouldn't have cared since it didn't mention "World Cup" during these years. Just imagine if two consecutive Super Bowls were cancelled -- the NYT would still discuss "Super Bowl" in those years, if for no other reason than to cover the fans' outrage.
From 1970 to 1990, there was a steady, low level of interest. It's only during the '90s and 2000s that the NYT's audience really started to pay attention. There is lots of discussion about how to make soccer-watching more widespread among Americans, given its low scoring, no-hands allowed rule, etc. But nothing has really changed in the rules over the time that it's shot up in popularity here (to the extent that it has). Rather, what will convince a lot more Americans to follow soccer is persuading them that soccer-followers are more sophisticated and cosmopolitan than those provincial boors who watch football. Pretending to like soccer is another part of the Stuff White People Like phenomenon of the past 20 years.
That might seem like a strategy with limited maximum reach, but look at how widespread designer toilet brushes are, or how even ordinary supermarkets carry cheap cans of fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic.
From 1970 to 1990, there was a steady, low level of interest. It's only during the '90s and 2000s that the NYT's audience really started to pay attention. There is lots of discussion about how to make soccer-watching more widespread among Americans, given its low scoring, no-hands allowed rule, etc. But nothing has really changed in the rules over the time that it's shot up in popularity here (to the extent that it has). Rather, what will convince a lot more Americans to follow soccer is persuading them that soccer-followers are more sophisticated and cosmopolitan than those provincial boors who watch football.ReplyDelete
Um, well the major thing that has changed is the U.S. actually qualified for the World Cup in the 90's and 00's. And more recently the U.S. team has played competitive with top in the world teams. Many sports Americans love are boring to watch (baseball). But it's always fun to root for a team you care about in a close game.
Here's something I don't entirely get. Why do people on the right-wing hate soccer? Is it tainted with European culture? Is it because so many BOHOs enjoy it and you reflexively hate whatever liberals like? Or did you just read one too many condescending pro-soccer articles.ReplyDelete
It really makes no sense to me the amount of piss and vinegar directed toward the sport. Blame the evangelists for being overbearing but don't tell me not to enjoy the game.
Soccer is boring and it has nothing to do with left or right, BOHO or whatever. Not enough fast-twitch movements and specialization of tasks like football.ReplyDelete
It's not the only boring sport -- so are golf, bowling, and baseball. But there's no hype machine trying to tell me how exciting golf is.
"Not enough fast twitch movement and and specialization of tasks like football"ReplyDelete
Haha. Spoken like a geek who never actually played sports. There is plenty of fast twitch movement - sprinting with or without the ball, muscling an opponent off of the ball, receiving the ball on the attack, feinting and then creating space for a shot all require explosive movements for effectiveness. The soccer field is vast which means the amount of time the action is in the goal scoring area (in front of the goal mouth within reasonable shooting range) is less than in comparable sports such as hockey, basketball and lacrosse which are played on smaller areas. Therefore the transition game which occur in the midfield in soccer is more prominent relative to these sports. This also explains why scoring is lower. The the clever penetration of the goal scoring area is the key.
As for specialization of tasks, there is the same degree of specialization that you see in baskettball, hockey and lacrosse. The fluid, continuous nature of these games adds a layer of complexity making this more difficult to observe than in a turn based, non-fluid game such as football. Each player of the soccer field has role and task to fill, yet because of the fluidity, each player needs the full skill set. Like in hockey there are situation when the defense takes a calculated risk to push forward to support the attack. This exposes you to the risk of counter attack.
I love football. However people who dont know the game find it completely boring and lacking in action. When you understand the game, its strategy and tactics, and appreciate what makes a player amazing, it's enjoyable to watch. The same is true of soccer.
Spoken like someone who doesn't know how to read. I played sports growing up, and again it's pretty clear just by watching now.ReplyDelete
No one said soccer has no fast-twitch, explosive movements, but that the explosive-to-endurance ratio isn't as high as in football.
An american football game has something like 15 minutes of broadcastable action while soccer is ninety minutes of constant flowing action.ReplyDelete
American football is boring.
I guess that's why marathons draw a larger viewership than the 100m dash -- all those hours of constant flowing action vs. less than a minute.ReplyDelete
It's only because soccer is so tilted toward endurance rather than explosive movements that it can last that long without interruption or pause.
But endurance sports are the most boring of all to watch.