Monday, December 20, 2010

Footbol Fan's Dilema

No, I did not misspell footbol. And no, because I am in America doesn't mean I have to refer to the world's most popular sport as "soccer." Actually, that is a good place to start. Football, is an American sport that does not even require foot to ball action. Instead, it is what many of my British friends call "Rugby for Pansies."

But, that is pretty off topic. I guess as an American footbol fan, I have a lot of pent up aggression. Being American and a footbol is really frustrating. And this rage has been bubbling since I first started playing the sport at a very young age. But my first major realization was in high school that footbol is a second hand sport. Compared to my other school's sports always had fairly new uniforms. Our footbol team had old, ill fitting jerseys. Our socks were awful and barely fitted over our shin guards. We were one of the stronger teams in our division and one of the better teams at my school.

Here in America, we look down on the sport. Don't get a footbol player or fan started about how people tell them how low scoring the sport is or how boring it is. During this past World Cup, I was watching ESPN to get some game coverage.  ESPN 2 has a program called 1st and 10. The only thing I can gather is it is a round table discussion about sport headlines, spoken as if it was a bunch of fans mouthing off. I mean I hope they weren't being actual sports journalists. They said the goal box should be smaller, that way the goalie wouldn't be able to disrupt shooters. They continued to complain about game length. Not just stoppage time, which even the fans think can be ridiculous, but that 90 minutes is much too long. Because a 4 hour baseball game isn't.

This is really just a whole lot of the same noise that I've come to be used to. As I spoke to fans they all voiced the same issues. Follow that up with the fact that MLS is only shown on cable channels and most international games are shown on premium channels, and it's no wonder the sport hasn't picked up steam. The accessibility to the sport is low.

This is part of the circular fail that is American soccer. By letting ESPN and Fox Soccer Network buy up the game rights to most of footbol games, you make it harder for people to get into the sport. And with schools, like mine, not putting enough backing into their teams, you can't generate local talent.

I don't know where else to go with this. The evidence is there. Americans and Footbol, aren't the best of friends. And the fact that we keep underachieving in recognized big events like the World Cup, we never will get the sport to grow. End of story.

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