The World Cup is in full swing and if you believe, all the publicity, the popularity and viewership are rivaling the Super Bowl. But when you look under the hood you see that viewing audiences are good and are at record levels for soccer, but that is about it. We are certainly more aware of the World Cup than ever before and that awareness generates a lot of interest and questions.
First of all is the structure and terminology of soccer and the World Cup – with terms like knock out stages, group of death, flexible timing and even players biting other players – it is hard not to be intrigued. But what is really driving the popularity of the World Cup in the US is not the love of soccer but the love of country.
For the first time in recent memory, the United States is the underdog, by a wide margin. And Americans seem to thrive on not being the favorite to win. We love the feeling of being a little ignorant of all the rules but moving ahead anyway and then there are the hotel and training conditions in Brazil which certainly favor other countries whose soccer teams are part of the national identity.
So what happens to the popularity of soccer after the World Cup is over? I am afraid, that at least in the US, soccer will drop back off the radar of the national sports scene.
It will take a few more World Cups to create a tradition of winning and for Americans, that is what sports is all about.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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