Now that I have your attention, let me assure you that this statement is true. Before you get all hissy and start spewing your hate and “you are un-American” comments at me, read this short argument and understand where I am coming from.
First, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Hands down. If someone is trying to argue this fact then they are either to ignorant to accept the truth or are simply defiant. The reason for its popularity is simply the fact that it can be played anywhere at any time. The only needed equipment is a ball and a net.
Baseball, although gaining in popularity around the world primarily due to the Little League World Series, is popular in far fewer countries. Americans are proud of “their” sport, calling it the American Past-time and indulging in the beer and hot dogs that go with it.
Baseball is boring because it takes little physical endurance (unless you are a pitcher), it is very slow paced, games can last for far too many hours and, in many cases, there is very little scoring. Players stand around all game long hoping a ball is hit in their direction.
Soccer is boring because of the perceptions that people who can’t play American football play soccer. It is for geeks, sissies and weaklings. Players run around kicking the ball for 90 minutes and often, the games end in a 0-0 tie. Players are constantly faking injuries and rolling around hurt like little babies.
ATTENTION: My next statement is going to sum up this whole debate. Are you ready? Here I go. IF SOMEONE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND A SPORT FULLY AND WASN’T RAISED TO LIKE IT, IT WILL BE CONSTRUED AS LESS EXCITEABLE THAN THE SPORT ONE WAS BROUGHT UP TO ENJOY.
It is impossible to differentiate between excitements of sports because various true fan bases enjoy, and understand, their sports better than casual fans. I once talked to a friend who thought American football was boring because players lined up, ran into each other, stopped, huddled up and did it again. He thought the break in action was boring because he didn’t really understand the sport.
Baseball players defend their sports by saying it’s the true mental aspect of the game that makes it so exciting. I say that statement is a load of crap. I don’t want to watch players standing around thinking for hours. If that was the case, I would watch chess.
I prefer to watch the constant action of a good soccer match. Plays are exciting as every chance can turn the flow of a game. Players have to be in shape, both physically and mentally. It’s a sprint for near 90 minutes.
But what about the ties and low scores in soccer? Isn’t that boring? Not really. How many baseball games end in a 1-0 fashion after 10 plus innings? The answer is a lot. However, baseball fans will say that it was a great pitcher’s duel or defensive battle. So why is it a great defensive game in a low scoring baseball game but a boring game of running around doing nothing in a soccer match? I see a double standard here.
But really, it is the flopping and faking of injuries that really makes soccer unwatchable. Are you serious with this statement? How many times do baseball players fake being hit by a pitch in baseball? All sports have gamesmanship in different ways. Basketball players fake fouls all the time. NFL receivers try to draw pass interference calls all the time. Soccer players take dives to try and draw penalties in the exact same ways. So, why is it gamesmanship in all of the sports other than soccer? In soccer, most Americans call it being a pussy. I say that is just ignorant.
So, to sum up my thoughts, I find baseball extremely boring to watch, especially live as a fan. Baseball fans sit around getting drunk to make the game more exciting while soccer stadiums are filled with singing, chanting and true fan passion. Soccer goals are fluid and exciting and soccer fans are some of the craziest in the world.
And before everyone complains about how nobody watches soccer, just take a look at these average attendance numbers for America’s professional sports:
1. NFL – 67,508.69 (2009 season)
2. MLB – 30,213.37 (2009 season)
3. MLS – 18,452.14 (2010 season, as of 04/11/2010)
4. NBA – 17,149.61 (2009/10 season)
5. NHL – 16,985.31 (2009/10 season)
As of now, soccer is more popular in America than professional basketball and hockey. As more and more teams are brought into the league, and the economy remains slow to recover, more and more people will turn to soccer for live sport entertainment. The reason for this: Season tickets for MLS teams run for as low as 300 dollars. You can’t even take your whole family to a baseball game for 300 bucks.
I look forward to the criticism from this blog post, but it’s true. Soccer is more exciting to watch than baseball and is slowly catching up in popularity in the United States. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE PORTLAND TIMBERS TO GET THEIR MLS ROSTER TOGETHER. PGE Park is looking awesome, and I’m ready for the season to start!