In nearly every country across the globe soccer reigns supreme. Yet here in the USA, “The Beautiful Game” pales in popularity. American sports fans would rather watch Seinfeld reruns over FIFA soccer any day of the week because a deft, one touch pass leading to a goal still cannot trump barbs exchanged between Jerry and Kramer or Elaine and George.
Last night’s 1- 0 USA victory over Trinidad in a World Cup qualifier proves my point. The game wasn’t even broadcast on cable television, yet a litany of Seinfeld reruns was available for the viewer. Sadly, true soccer fans had to log onto to www.ESPN360.com to witness Ricardo Clarke’s exciting goal from 25 yards out to give the Americans the win, putting them in first place in the Americas’ FIFA World Cup Qualifying Bracket.
Plus, last week, FIFA announced that the USA squad inched up to the #11 slot and Brazil nudged Spain again for #1 status as the world’s best team in the world’s most popular sport.
But, do Americans really care? The answer simply is NO!
American sports fans can’t stomach much soccer, and I know why. It’s the exxagerated histrionics. Sure, low scoring games probably bore modestly inquisitive American fans, but what really irks American fans is the overly dramatic actions of the gel-infused artsy-fartsy guys sporting knee socks, neon colored tee shirts and animated attitudes you’d normally attribute to overly pampered 5 year olds.
I know, I know, Americans revel in the soap opera antics of the WWF, but the drama queen dilettantes of soccer are far too melodramatic for the traditional, 3 yards and a cloud of dust American male mentality.
Want to argue my point? Tell me you haven’t guffawed at these over-reacting “athletes” every time they get touched. They get kicked in the calf, but by the way they jettison to the ground you’d think they got shot by a stinger missile. Next, tell me you haven’t grunted as panicking paramedics race onto the pitch with their all-too-familiar stretcher in a mad dash to resue the injured player. And tell me you haven’t shouted “disgratziad” as succouring soccer teammates hover around their fallen comrade, scream wildly at the ref, and practically recite the rosary in a last rights gesture for the teammate who’s precariously fighting death’s door.
Now…..if all this nonsense is not enough, you’re expected to stand up and cheer once play resumes and the injured player suddenly, as if risen from the grave, miraculously sprints into the thick of the action like he’s running in the Boston Marathon.
These silly shenanigans play way too much like a bad Italian Opera for gutsy American sports fans. So, that’s why American sports fans, if given the choice, will gravitate to a silly show about nothing and will always, yes always, choose Seinfeld reruns over soccer.
Straight talk. No static.
MIKE – Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!