Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do we care about World Cup anymore?

I've been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, and I got pretty into the World Cup. I didn't watch a lot of sports on TV while off work, but I made sure I knew when each U.S. game was being played and generally watched the whole thing with my 9-year-old son. When Landon Donovan scored against Algeria in extra time to put the U.S. into the round of 16, we screamed in joy.

But now that Ghana has knocked the U.S. out -- 2-1 in extra time on Saturday -- do you care anymore about this World Cup? Maybe you never did. A lot of people certainly don't, but the TV ratings were pretty high this time around for the U.S. games at least.

So now the World Cup party is going on without us. Germany whipped England, 4-1, this weekend, and England got robbed of one goal in that one by a bad call. I know a lot of the European continent was up in arms about that battle, but I didn't watch it live and haven't gotten around to watching a replay of the disputed goal, either.

In other words, I think my interest in the World Cup declined by about 80 percent over the weekend. Although I wish I was less parochial and more global about it, I simply am not. What about you? (And if there are no comments about this blog, I'll take that as my answer).

In any case, please keep checking back on "Scott Says" this week. I'm back.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, you missed a lot while you were gone. The Charlotte viewing parties alone have been pretty amazing spectacles. There’s a festival atmosphere that comes along with the soccer fan experience that’s like no other. I’m a life-long soccer fan and I watched many casual and non-fans get bit by the soccer bug. Sure, lots of folks will drop off, but I know plenty that aren’t ready to leave the experience behind just yet. Not with all the good times that will surely surround those big games coming up. It’s too bad that ends in Charlotte with the World Cup. I’ll be heading up to Philly next month to see that new soccer stadium they opened today for the Philadelphia Union. It’s too bad we don't have a team like that here in Charlotte. Maybe some day.

Anonymous said...

Scott I do care about the World cup.Having play soccer for 18years .I was a world cup before the US made it great run is this world cup.And even though the US is out of the world cup i will make sure to watch every game.Because soccer is a great game and there is great team that are still playing in the world cup.Brazil, Portugal,Germany.And as far England goes they are overrated

Anonymous said...

Soccer does nothing for me. The officiating is awful. Refs are probably on the take. Horns are stupid. Wish The USA would drop it.

Anonymous said...

Well, considering I had no interest to begin with... then no, my level of interest hasn't dropped off at all. It's a boring sport to watch and the officiating in the WC makes the NBA look good by comparison. Why bother?

maggerds said...

It hurt for a day or so; especially because Ghanna used "unsavory tactics" at the end of the game (holding the ball, and faking injurys); they have no integrity as a team for doing that, and it reflects poorly on their country. I'm pulling hard for Uraguay against them. Though I hate all other soccer "I love World Cup".

Anonymous said...

i am still watching, at least on weekends. There are great matches to come and it is not often we get to watch the greatest players in the world. After Germany destroyed England, I watch Argentina dismantle Mexico. The "disputed goal" in the England match is irrelevant as England play poorly, very uninspired much like the American Side on Saturday. I have grown to enjoy this sport mainly because of the national flavor. The teams are made up of their own citizens, and that is pretty amazing. in The NFL, they players are only as loyal as their next paycheck.

Anonymous said...

Even with the US out, I'm more interested in the World Cup than I was with the last few Superbowls or NBA Finals.

Anonymous said...

The game of soccer has a long way to go. The fake injuries, questionable calls by the refs and the horns bleating reminded me why it is intolerable to watch.

Anonymous said...

Let's see.......

80% reduction in interest............

Deducted from about 10% to start with..............

Equals.....Hmmmm????

A general waste of time and money to show it.

Anonymous said...

I had enough of the "vuvuzelas". The noise produced from them made the games irritating to watch. I might have continued watching the tourney if not for them. This is the same reason I never watch Duke home basketball games. The students at Duke with their continuous chant are just as annoying as a "vuvuzela". I'm for fans cheering, but when the same noise level is repeated over and over, my love for the game diminishes by about 100 percent.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think the so called "spectacle", "parties, and alleged festival atmosphere is mostly in the mind of a very small, distinct minority of the populace.

IMO, this is,always has been, and always will be a non-sport by and large to the majority of our population. We have much better things to do if/when we want to play a sport.

Anonymous said...

i am watching it until the end, the best is yet to come, the lame teams are out!

Americans don't know the sport, most people commenting about itdon't know jack about it, thats why people dont like it here !!

Anonymous said...

Kumasi, Ghana is one of Charlotte's sister cities. That's reason enough to keep watching.

Anonymous said...

I am still watching. I have enjoyed many of the non-U.S. games. I have stopped watching the NBA and MLB completely as those sports just don't hold my interest any longer. It is a great sport and you dont have to be 7 ft tall or on 'roids to play it.

Anonymous said...

Staged media pc event and 1st ever on the African continent. Other than that the World Cup has been fine but doubtfully will come back anytime soon.

The refs clearly rigged it against America who would never have been allowed to win plus the players lives could have been endangered by the large muslim commie population. At least by losing they get out alive.

South Africa was once a modern thriving nation but gone to hell in handbasket since the socialists took over in the 90s and now has the highest corruption crime and aids rate in the world per rate. Its a sewer with a 50% jobless rate today.Be glad you live in a 1st world nation like America as long as it remains capitalist and not socialist.

The ancient game of soccer is the granddaddy of American football combined with rugby. Soccer is an ceap inexpensive simplistic game as opposed to American football. No 50 lbs of intricate padding jerseys helmets or cheats. No big hype or million playbook plays just basic eye to foot skills and running.

Only highly wealthy nations can afford to play the American brand of football. Thats why soccer is the worlds most popular sport. The world is mostly poor.

Anonymous said...

ESPN marketing has crammed this sport down our throat, trying to make it relevant. I had no interest in it from the start and could care less from this point on. I am glad the every four years of 15 minutes of fame for soccer in our country is over! Now it can go to the back pages of the sport section where it belongs. NFL camps open in less than a month, with the college and high school football teams to start practice soon after that...American football is king!

Anonymous said...

After the USA lost, the little interest I had is gone. From what I saw, the officiating is worse than any of the 4 major US sports. How these refs missed (or made depending on your view point) some of the goals and non-fouls is baffling. A complete turnoff. Thankfully NFL training camps are about a month away.

turtleman_jr said...

No doubt, Disney (parent company of ESPN and ABC) has me and the majority of america choking off of this over-hyped game.

All of that money wasted on broadcating lame nil/nil matches, fake injuries, horrible officiating, a below average american squad leaves me dreading the next world cup.

Unlike american football, low scoring matches in soccer are unwanted (by the masses) and are very uneventful.

Another thing that gets me is that flopping and bad officiating has been going on since the first ever world cup, why isnt there instant replay? I cant see how all of this money and time is being gulped into this lame sport and the least it can do is modernize a bit.

I'd rather watch preseason football than to seriously get sucked into this hype.

With America being out, it only makes ESPN's coverage less relevant and slightly more annoying.

uglyyeti said...

Don't give up on World Cup before Germany-Argentina. Classic matchup - the '86/'90 finals were fantastic - and Maradona's on the sideline as a reminder.

Anonymous said...

bandwagon mentality? if you don't care about soccer in the first place, then perk up during the world cup, that's nothing to be ashamed about. it's like only watching the nba finals, world series, superbowl, and olympics. i mean, who is a fan of curling or the luge outside of the olympics anyway? so, in a sense, we aren't watching soccer, or the world cup, but rather the us team do its thing, whatever the sport. so, to say "do we care about the world cup anymore?" is probably better asked, "do we care about the world cup at all?". it's no secret that the us is short on soccer fans, but instead of worrying about us interest in a sport they aren't interested in, after their home team is knocked out, we should question why it is that during the world cup, while the us is playing, screaming, face-painting soccer fans seem to come out of the woodwork to cheer on the blocks and near misses of soccer. who are these people and why do they make the server in my favorite watering hole suck so bad?

Anonymous said...

Actually, it should get better once the has-beens and also-rans get weeded out.

Just watch the best, why waste time on the rest?

It's a bit like the Super Bowl.

Anonymous said...

This probably means nothing to my futbol (soccer) illiterate countrymen, but Manchester City in England's Premiere League was scouting Landon Dononvan in each of the USA's games. It is being reported that Man City is ready to offer him a 4 mil a year salary and pay the Galaxy his current team 12 mil in transfer fees. This is a big deal for a US born socer player.

Anonymous said...

I like kickball.

Anonymous said...

There is a report that Manchester City in England's Premiere League has been scouting Landon Donovan in all the USA's games. They are prepared to make him an offer for 4 mill a year and pay his current team the LA Galaxy a 12 mill transfer fee. While not many here will get it, this is a big deal for Donovan and a big deal for a US born player.

Wade said...

Actually, I never had in interest in the world cup. When all you have is hamburger, you don't know how good steak really is. On the other hand, when all you have is steak, you don't want hamburger. Soccer is hamburger. Basketball and American football is steak. Most of the world doesn't know about the better sports, so they are left with soccer.

BLZbub said...

No.

Anonymous said...

I only lost about 20% interest becauase our chances weren't that great to begin with. But I enjoy watching the best players in the world battle it out for their countries, American or not. It comes with having a worldview larger than the slow southern state you live in.

Anonymous said...

Those who have no interest in soccer are those who never played or simply sucked at playing sports themselves. Most real athletes enjoy the sport and support the World Cup (our American football players, basketball, etc.). It is a sport and most athletes know what it takes to get to a level like this and represent your country. I admit that it is not for everyone, but the World Cup is a spectacle played every 4 years so you can bet your last dollar that I will be watching until the end.

Anonymous said...

Ive noticed that anyone who has interest in the World Cup are people that have actually player soccer for a decent amount of their lives. All of my friends grew up playing it so we all have a certain appreciation for it.
Ive had so much fun watching the US play with everyone in the country behind them. You do not get this in any other sport. The Olympics is a time to stand behind our country but there are so many sports that people pick and choose which to watch. With soccer there is nothing else going on besides baseball.
There is a reason its the most popular sports in the world and with football camps STILL a month away what else is there to do? My interest has diminished slightly but Im still going to watch all the games left because its do or die time now.

CWSinstead said...

Lets see, guys falling down with grimaces trying to sell broken legs only to jump right back up like nothing happened, horns continuously blowing like you're being chased around by a swarm of bees, 90+ minutes of MAYBE 3 scores if you're lucky, boring and repetitive commentary....

Mr. Pickles Rocks! said...

At least we didn't take the pounding that England took...their fannies are probably sore....you know how the Germans like to do it!

Anonymous said...

Soccer fans are not fair weather fans who "drop off" like Panthers or Bobcats fans when their team loses. Good riddance to all of the posers who jumped on the band wagon and to those who never cared to begin with. I've been to the past 5 World Cups and I'll keep watching and going to World Cup games, qualifiers, and international friendlies, cheering for the red, white and blue until the day I die. It's unfortunate that Charlotte only gave a weak bid to host World Cup games in 2018/22. I have to wonder if the City regrets its underestimation of soccer's popularity. I sincerely hope we see more international matches hosted here... and like another poster hinted at, maybe we'll get an MLS team someday.

Anonymous said...

I have seen MLS and ACC Men's soccer in person, and I still don't like it. The reason American's don't care is because our best athletes do not and will not play the sport, so we will never be any good at it. Kobe Bryant is a fan of some FC team in Italy, but he chose basketball. Why? Because that's what American's care about. Don't give me an arguement about all these youth leagues. Kids play because it only costs the parents $10 for the t-shirt, they get outside and run around. That's it! By the time they get to middle and high school they try and get on the real teams, not soccer.
It's a game where the goal is the size of a barn and ties and no scoring is very common. I dread this every four years. When Lebron James, Tom Brady and Derek Jeter decide to quit their sports and start playing Futbol, then maybe I'll watch.

Anonymous said...

The World Cup is a lot like the Olympics: Nobody watches the second week of the Olympics.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty funny that soccer is arguably the team sport that requires the most amount of fitness to play, and the most obese country in the world is the only one that isn't interested. In our country, offensive linemen can weigh in at almost 400 lbs. and we call them athletes. It's hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Wade compared soccer to hamburgers and other sports to steak. I bet he's really fat and has never played a sport in his life.

Anonymous said...

No one knows how to play soccer like the Brazilians, and no fan is equal to the Brazilian fan. US should not be playing soccer in a sport they do not know how to play.
GO BRASIL

Anonymous said...

"I had enough of the The noise produced from them made the games irritating to watch. I might have continued watching the tourney if not for them. This is the same reason I never watch Duke home basketball games. The students at Duke with their continuous chant are just as annoying as a "vuvuzela"."

Here here my good sir. At our hallowed Dean Dome, you shall not hear those disgusting grunts. It is not the Carolina way to hear such nonsense. Go Heels!

tarhoosier said...

Dear Socceer:

Please go away.
Thank you.

Sincerely

Anonymous said...

Anymore? I didn't care to begin with.

CltGreg said...

The World Cup is a wonderful spectacle like the Olympics. The USA success and subsequent demise had me "all-in" and I look forward to the impact in 4 years in Brazil. I love the beautiful game, even with the imperfections.
I guess either you love it or hate it, but you cannot dispute the worldwide impact this event holds. GO DUTCH!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch one minute of the NBA playoffs and baseball fell apart for me years ago with the doping, free-agency revolving door and players strikes. I'm left with football, but I have to laugh when others say soccer is "boring". Is there anything more boring than watching the John Fox offense run the ball 2.5 yards a play and "manage the clock" for half the game all to the end of a great punt or field goal? And if you want annoying, how about beer commercials evry 5 minutes? I'll take the horns any day over that- even if they are just an African thing. Any sport can be "boring" if you have no idea what you're watching. Most of the people who bag on soccer don't know the sport. I think hockey is boring, but I understand that has more to do with me not knowing what I'm watching.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching since 1966 and will keep watching. I watch all levels and appreciate the skill, endurance and artistry that is involved. Those who are bored with the game must only be watching the ball and not the bigger picture and the movement on the field. Their ignorance of the game is reflected by the comments, but that can be forgiven since many from other parts of the world don't get over-sized monsters pushing and shoving and grabbing for a few seconds then having a chat to decide what to do next. It is disheartening to see the list of injuries following each NFL encounter and the shortened quality of life that has been documented for many of the players.

lj said...

I think Americans need to experience hosting the World Cup and the crazy atmosphere that comes with it. I was in Paris in 1998 during the World Cup and the aura was wild and infectious. Hosting the World Cup would go a long way towards caring about the tournament, even if the US doesn't advance.

Anonymous said...

I had zero interest before, with one exception... I was pulling AGAINST the USA so that we would stop having to hear about this worthless "sport". I'd rather watch grass grow.

Anonymous said...

While certainly disappointed about the USA dropping out, now is the time that the cream rises to the top and, if you hang with it, you will see soccer at its highest levels...much higher than we're currently capable.

Yes, there are more than a few jingoists here who lose all interest once their team is out, but for those who love the beautiful game, now it gets really good.

Will be interesting to see what ESPN's numbers do from here. USA v. Ghana was most watched Men's game ever and overall they are up to the tune of 1.5x, which means a lot in terms of overall interest.

Anonymous said...

There's no instant replay in baseball and I've seen a lifetime of blown strike calls and plays at home plate. Last time I checked, there will still baseball fans. Pass interference calls and offsides jumps in the NFL aren't exactly a science yet either. In the NBA you "sell the foul". In hockey, the foul can take over the whole game and there is far more time spent dealing with injuries during NFL games than any one soccer game I've ever seen. None of this takes away from the fact that FIFA officiating needs to be better and they need to wake up to technology so they can take away from some of the BS that distracts from the game. But no sport is without its problems in this area. I didn't stop watching baseball the first 15 times I saw blown strike calls. It's an excuse for people looking for one.

Anonymous said...

... what's a world cup?

Anonymous said...

This is the problem with small minded people...There is a world out there besides the US and soccer is the #1 sport. It's easy to hate on a game you have never played, but i would love to see the people out there that say it doesn't require skill/athletic ability stand in the box and try to stop a 100mph penalty kick from some of these guys...

Anonymous said...

Glad Ghana won. It's about time Africans had something to be proud about at the expense of the U.S. The World Cup is still an amazing tournament of world-class players. How could you not be interested in that?

Anonymous said...

Do I care? You bet I do! I'm originally from Venezuela and we have never made it to the World Cup but it doesn't matter; What matters is that this a beautiful sport, played with heart and passion.

You may have Bolivia playing against Nepal and regardless of the country's size, poverty, political strife or whatever, you may have a great match between two talented teams. THAT is part of the beauty of this sport. On a soccer pitch, the national GNP, the number of Nobel award recipients, or the number of movie stars is absolutely irrelevant. What matters is the passion you play with!

Ricardo Mata
Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

I like Taekraw.

Real-men-dont-play-soccer said...

Considering the vast majority of us could care less when we were still in it, I would venture that it is not even in the minds of 90% of Americans now. Soccer is a "sport" only to grade school kids. If you are still palaying that sissy game after the age of 10, you are either gay or are willing to learn to be gay. Soccer is ont he same level as figure skating.

Anonymous said...

Soccer gives all the loser countries in the world something to feel good about.

Anonymous said...

The good thing about soccer is its for the dirt poor who need nothing more than ball. Soccer is played by every nation on earth and 90% of all nations are poor. Soccer should be played more in the ghettos of America.

Football is a rich mans game played by rich snobs requiring an average of 2000 of equipment per player.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the World Cup since 1974, and while I was pulling hard for the US, we can't hold a candle to teams like Brazil and Argentina when it comes to talent and depth. I watched the US out of loyalty, but I'll watch the rest of the World Cup for the pleasure of seeing the best players in the world play a game we can only dream of. (At least, for now.)

Bobby said...

People like Wade are cute, adorable even. The rest of the world doesn't have basketball? The 213 national federations recognized by FIBA had me fooled, as does the interest in the basketball world championships and Olympics. I guess all the Europeans and South Americans in the NBA are simply figments of my imagination.

Other countries have our sports, basketball is wildly popular on a global scale and has passed rugby union as the world's second team sport. Baseball is popular on a moderate scale. The internet changed the world, America isn't in some special bubble, the world knows all about our culture and vice-versa. You should probably enlighten yourself, if that isn't too much of an arduous task for you.

To simplify: I'm calling you an idiot.

And yes, I still have interest in the World Cup. I didn't expect us to win the group, so that was a bonus, I was upset about the Ghana loss but I'm proud of the effort our guys put in. Fairly sure the winner of Netherlands-Brazil wins the whole thing, both look excellent.

Anonymous said...

People in Charlotte are a bunch of bandwagon fans. Look at the Panthers and Bobcats.

rcm said...

Yep, I am even more interest now. Big teams are rising to the top and titans are starting to clash.
Watching the US was great and I wish they had gone farther, but US soccer is still a work in progress. Bob Bradley is a good leader and all around nice guy, but we need a better tactician at the helm to take it to the next level. Donovan, Bradley the son, and Edu should end up at bigger clubs after this, and it will be interesting to see where Altidore lands this season. I am a lifelong soccer fan and have been around enough to know that 90% of the people who ran out and bought Dempsey jerseys in the past weeks wont be waking up at 7:30 on Saturdays to watch the EPL or go to an MLS game, but hopefully a few more fans have been made and will continue to enjoy the game between now and 2014.

Anonymous said...

The best part about soccer may be that all the right people seem to hate it. : )

Anonymous said...

Love soccer. My interest started when my son played. Now we watch as many games as possible together. 4 years ago we were in Italy when Italy was in the finals, what an unforgetable experience. So glad to see folks celebrating as a country here this world cup too.

Very sad when US was eliminated, but they played well. We have other teams we enjoy watching, and continue to watch as many games as possible.

Anonymous said...

Scott- I am a huge sports fan, age 43, who had little interest in soccer before the World Cup. This tournament has completely won me over and I am enjoying learning more about the strategy of the game and who the great teams and players are. I cannot wait for Germany/Argentina. Brzil is very fun to watch as are The Netherlands. I look forward to following MLS and the european leagues this fall. The World Cup has been a great experience so far.

John W. said...

Here's the answer:

We still care about the sport. But many of us won't be watching.

Not because we're disinterested in the absence of a rooting interest, but because it's too painful.

Going out to Ghana hurt(s).

My English friends feel the same. They'll likely still watch the most interesting matches, and the final -- but it will hurt.

Anonymous said...

DUDE!! Scott....seriously???? What a question, of course we ALL will continue to watch the world cup!!!

what'sgoingon said...

I have been watching the World Cup since 1994. I will be watching all of the knockout games. My pick to win before the tournament was Brazil. I don't see any reason to change that choice. I was drafted into coacing youth soccer when my son was young. That was 20 years ago. I played in a couple of 30 and over leagues. I also officated youth games for a number of years. The US had a good tournament, but with the defensive breakdowns it was inevitable that they would go out soon. The way Uruguay is playing the US could not have handled Uruguay. The game is growing slowly in the US. There are too many other sports attracting attention and talent. However, MLS is strong, and is here to stay. Youth soccer is booming. But children need to be playing the game on the streets and in their schoolyards and backyards. Youth soccer is too organized. As Jurgen Klinsman says in the US we have the pyramid upside down. Adults have to much control of yourth development in soccer. When I was growing up I learned to play sports through pick up games. Now you only see young people playing basketball in pick up games.

what'sgoingon said...

I too have lost interest in MLB and the NBA. I think baseball is a boring sport to watch and it is the sport I played most as a youth and I played as an adult. The NBA has lost its appeal to me over the last ten years. I watch football (both forms) and golf.
As for the person who said soccer is for sissy's, I played baseball, basketball, and football as a youth. I played baseball and soccer as an adult. By far the worst injury I ever suffered was in soccer (sprained knee, which was almost an ACL tear). In soccer there are no pads. Try going up for a header in a crowd with no helmet.