Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The other football


Soccer has been America’s “next big thing” longer than Christian Bale. Like Bale, it’s recently made some inroads to the mainstream by becoming the sports equivalent of an art-house critical darling who can occasionally anchor a blockbuster. (David Beckham = Batman in this analogy).

But like all sports, Major League Soccer is a business and they don’t want to settle for being the indie rock of American athletics. They want to replace hockey as one of America’s “big four” sports, or at least make it a “big five.” As a fan of soccer (Go Liverpool! Go Celtic! Go Revs! Go indecision!) I think this would be really cool. Especially seeing as every other country on the planet enjoys the game. It would be nice if the US could join the party.

From what I’ve heard though, it's this international flare that turns some American fans off, and I think one of Major League Soccer’s biggest mistakes is embracing the foreign aspects of soccer rather than adapting them for a US audience. Allow me to elaborate: I was watching an MLS game and they were talking about a player who was hurt and needed to come back (probably Beckham). The announcers were talking about how this player needed to “get fit.” In American sports, if a player is hurt, we say he needs to get "healthy.” Now, I’ve always thought “fit” actually makes more sense (when I hear someone needs to get "healthy” I think they have the flu - or a heroin addiction), but in American sports we say "healthy" and that’s that.

This is one very small example of how American soccer – and MLS in particular – are co-opting the world game instead of adapting to an American audience. You could say the same thing about the scarves. I love soccer scarves. I own two. But that’s kind of the trouble, isn’t it? If I think something’s cool, your average American football fan probably won’t. And MLS is trying to attract your average American football fan. They’re trying to make regular sports fans embrace a sport that for decades has been seen as a pass time for Europeans and grad students. Selling things grad students bring home from trips to Europe probably isn’t the best way to assuage that notion.

I like soccer just the way it is, but if MLS wants to attract more viewers, they need to stop calling the field a "pitch,” talking so much about Brazilian clubs no one’s ever heard of and heavily promote homegrown stars. This is American, bub: We like our beer cold, our women hot and our entertainment familiar.

If Christian Bale can make it, so can the beautiful game.

5 comments:

harrington.dw said...

Bro, I think you might have a future in this...

Red said...

Any analogy which includes Christian Bale is pretty much the best thing ever...

Annie said...

Do you know where i can pick up a Christian Bale scarf?

Anonymous said...

Howdy,

I mostly visits this website[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url]Lots of good information here pinkhatnation.blogspot.com. Do you pay attention towards your health?. In plain english I must warn you that, you are not serious about your health. Recent Scientific Research shows that about 60% of all USA grownups are either chubby or overweight[url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips].[/url] So if you're one of these individuals, you're not alone. Its true that we all can't be like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, and have sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now the question is how you are planning to have quick weight loss? You can easily lose with with little effort. If you improve some of your daily diet habbits then, its like piece of cake to quickly lose weight.

About me: I am blogger of [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/lose-10-pounds-in-2-weeks-quick-weight-loss-tips]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also mentor who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under painful training program than you may also try [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/acai-berry-for-quick-weight-loss]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=http://www.weightrapidloss.com/colon-cleanse-for-weight-loss]Colon Cleansing[/url] for effective weight loss.

Football Tips said...

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I think the adoption of any sport or any idea will only be successful if it has been personally adapted to that country and it's values and customs.