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Doug From Louisiana Gets It Right

I found this is the comment section of an OpEd piece in the New York Times:

There are three reasons soccer isn’t as popular as football, basketball or baseball in the States: First, it’s not an originally American game; it was invented in Europe. Secondly, it’s not a good T.V. sport. Even with pregame, a soccer game on TV lasts two, maybe two and a half hours. It consists of two uninterrupted, 45-minute halves with no time outs- not great for bathroom/beer breaks and leaves little air time for commercials, so there is less money to be made. Third, the United States is not the best at soccer. Americans, in our glorious arrogance, deny a certain amount of legitimacy to a game we’ve not yet become the best at. These three reasons are self-perpetuating as well. Soccer may never be embraced in the U.S. as it is in Europe, but that makes me like it all the more. Being a soccer fan in the U.S. is kind of like being a liberal in small town Louisiana. People resent you, but deep down, they know you’re right. ha ha!

It was written by one Doug from Louisiana and it is exactly right on. I love World Cup football because of the tragedy of the game, it’s non-obsession with fairness or an everyone-wins mentality. It’s tragic, it’s real, it’s a bit like life. I could never watch Premiere league football, though, since I hate pro sports for so many, many reasons, but World Cup football, even if played by pros, is the best sport on Earth. I hope “soccer” never catches on in the US in a big way because we’d ruin it, as we ruin and cheapen so many, many things. Its subtlety and tragedy and pathos would be gone.

I cheered the US team today on their last-minute win. That’s what you have to do, guys. It was a bit of an education. The only thing that matters at the end is the number of goals scored and the refs and the other players and the missed chances count for nothing when that last whistle blows.

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