Tuesday, April 13, 2010

US to World: FIFA World Cup? Ho Hum.

The most popular sport in the world is football, but it's not the football that Americans know and love. Rather, it is what the rest of the world calls football, and what we Yanks call "soccer." For some reason, the sport that most of the civilized world celebrates and reveres, culminating in the quadrennial tournament known as the FIFA World Cup, barely evokes a collective yawn in the U.S. To be fair, most Americans are familiar with soccer, because many have played some level of the game in their youth. But our interest in the sport seemingly wanes as we grow into adulthood. For Americans, soccer simply does not register a following anywhere near that of football, basketball, and baseball. Which raises the question, "Why not?" Perhaps it's because the "Big Three" are hoarding all the media attention and there's precious little left for other sports. Or maybe it's because we Yanks have an attitude that if we can't be the best in the world, then we don't want to have anything to do with it. For those who do care, however, 2010 is one of those once-in-every-four-years years, and between June 11 and July 11 the FIFA World Cup will be played out in ten stadiums across nine cities throughout South Africa, making its debut appearance on the continent. Team USA, which qualified for its sixth consecutive and 11th World Cup overall, is grouped with England, Algeria, and Slovenia. It should be an exciting tournament . . . if anyone stateside is interested.

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