World Cup 2006

I find it hard to believe how disinterested most Americans are about the World Cup.

I know we are a nation that has little interest in soccer as a spectator sport, that for most it is just a way for many children to run off a lot of their excess energy. I know that until fairly recently, America has not had teams worthy of notice or mention (1994 was the first year America fielded a team in the World Cup, and that was because we were the host country) and we don't like paying attention to (or even participating in) arenas where we have no hope or prayer of success. I know we are a country so arrogant and so self-centered (or maybe just clueless) that we don't even call the sport by it's rightful name of football, instead using that word to describe a game wherein the ball is rarely kicked.

But still.

How can Americans not care about the World Cup? How can anyone fail to be moved by the political changes brought by soccer success in the Ivory Coast? How can we remain indifferent to a competition where the competitors exchange jerseys at the end of every game? How can we not be filled with as much enthusiasm for these next three weeks of sport as we feel for the Olympics?

Is it something as depressing and simplistic as the analysis offered on The Daily Show the other night by John Hodgman? Hodgman asserted that the world loved soccer because it serves as a metaphor for war, Jon Stewart asked why America couldn't also appreciate that, and Hodgman replied, "We don't need a metaphor, we have war."


Anonymous said…
...and we have spin. Wimbeldons and World Series' and World Cups of spin.
Anonymous said…
um, i hate to break it to you, but very few people watch the olympics now either. Folks like the superbowl, world series and (gulp) NASCAR. Left turning is easy to understand, and you can be fat. NO INTERNATIONAL SPORTS. HURRAY!

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