World Cup Draws Boring North Americans

TAGs: 2010 world cup, Soccer

North Americans have always found it hard to get behind the game of soccer. It’s a beautiful game yes, that’s not disputed, the athletes are top tier yes, that also can’t be argued, but there’s something missing from the game to most North Americans…

Sometimes, there’s just not enough bang for your buck. I’ve caught enough of these preliminary games and in many of them, most of excitement is going on in the stands!

In fact, for me personally, if it wasn’t for the excitement of betting on the World Cup, I really don’t know how many games I’d watch or care about. This is not bashing of the World’s game, this is keeping it real. If you ask most North Americans what they would rather watch, tonight’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers or the Portugal and Ivory Coast World Cup soccer match, I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’ll be watching the NBA Finals.

Call me crazy, but it’s a little more exciting for me to watch a sport that doesn’t end in a scoreless draw. You see, for many North Americans, when they’re viewing a sport, they expect to see a winner and a loser, anything in between is nonsense. All of the major sports in North America cater to this basic need. In baseball, they don’t stop playing until someone has won the game, it could take 20 innings and the game could last 6 hours, but a winner must be determined. NBA basketball is the same thing, could anyone imagine Game 6 of the NBA Finals ending in a draw? The NHL changed their regular season overtime rules to involve a shootout at the end of overtime if a winner hasn’t been decided, to ensure that at the end of the day, someone is a loser. And during the NHL playoffs overtime continues until someone scores. Even the NFL has altered its overtime rules to ensure the likelihood of a winner, heck even golf has a playoff round.

I, like many other North Americans, hate ties. So when 12 games in the World Cup have already ended in a draw, I have to admit, it feels a little like striptease without a lap dance. Yeah, there’s plenty of close calls, but where’s the real action? I understand the format, I understand its only the group stage and its based on points, but all of that doesn’t change the fact that tie games bore me and leave me thoroughly unsatisfied. Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by the North American sports mentality of ‘win or go home’ and maybe the spirit of competition and the beautiful game is lost on me, or maybe I’m just human to be disappointed when I can’t determine who is better between England and United States.

Don’t get me wrong in all of this, I love the game of soccer, but I had to laugh to myself when I hear North Americans who know nothing about the game complain how with the net being so big and these players being so talented, more goals aren’t scored…I guess it is a little anti-climatic to the casual viewer and probably not the best way for the World Cup to have started. Read more. It probably doesn’t help that we all watch to much TV and spend too much time on the net, we the attention spans of a hyperactive three year old!

I’m hoping that trend does not continue and that once these teams build chemistry the beautiful game will produce some more exciting results before the golden goal and shootout rounds. In the meantime, I’ll be watching the NBA Finals.


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