Monday, June 09, 2014

Like Most Americans, I'm Not Watching the World Cup...Or the NBA Finals

Later this week, the world's second greatest sporting event kicks off in Brazil with soccer's World Cup. Soccer fans everywhere will be enthralled.
The rest of us? Not so much. A few people will watch it like it is the Olympics, rooting for our national team.
But others, like myself, won't be paying a lot of attention. And that's something that soccer fan just can't comprehend.
Soccer may be the world's most popular sport.  Not necessarily in the U.S.  Sure, kids love to play it. They don't typically love to watch it.  Of course, I'm dealing with generalities.  There are passionate soccer fans in this country.  It is growing, even in Nebraska.

But it's not something I find particularly interesting.  Simply too much like the Simpsons' parody..

 I admit it, I'm a hockey fan. And many of the reasons why I like hockey could also apply to soccer.  If you quintupled the field area, removed the pads, and allowed contact.  But I digress.  Bottom line is that I'm not a fan of soccer, and I don't have much desire to watch it.

And in that light, I'm much like most Americans.  ESPN's Darren Rovell found an infographic that shows how much lower the United States' interest level in the World Cup is, compared to elsewhere.
Just like there is no law that says non-hockey fans need to watch the Stanley Cup final, there is no law that says non-soccer fans need to watch the World Cup.  So I'll be amongst the majority of people who won't be paying much, if any, attention to the World Cup.

It is, however, more likely that I'll catch more World Cup soccer inadvertently than the NBA Finals, which I've been purposely avoiding. I swore off the NBA about 20 years ago, and haven't looked back since.  In the post-Michael Jordan era, the professional game became unwatchable (and almost downright similar to professional wrassling), and I haven't come back.

And here's another little fact.  Even though professional basketball is one of America's most popular spectator sports, it still doesn't matter to the majority of Americans.  Heck, the NBA finals don't matter to most people in San Antonio or Miami, according to the TV ratings.
There's only one sporting event that gets the attention of the majority of Americans: the Super Bowl. Simply put, most people aren't sports fans.  Far more people are interested in Justin Bieber, the Bachelorette, or apparently what's happening with the Kardashians than sports, as near as I can tell.

If you want to follow soccer and the World Cup, that's your choice.  But unless a blizzard breaks out in Brazil, I'm probably not going to pay much attention.
If you don't like that, that's your problem, not mine.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

"Simply put, most people aren't sports fans."

This, I think I'd have to disagree with. I have no actual numbers/studies to point to, but I have a gut feeling that "most people" are sports fans. "Most" meaning >50%.

Now, it comes down to which sport(s) they are a fan of, and if they are a fan of the overall sport, or just a specific team. I'll watch baseball, if the Mets are on. But I have little to no interest in watching two other teams play. Same with hockey. I'm watching the Stanley Cup for the first time because the Rangers are in it.