Americans Prefer Baseball to Soccer
Let's face it... Baseball is America's sport. Sure, some of us will watch a little Soccer during the World Cup... but our hearts and souls belong with Baseball!
For years, the effort has been made to bring Soccer to America in a more widespread fashion. After all, the rest of the world is enamored with the sport. What's wrong with the United States, they ask.
We saw a slight increase in interest in the sport with the success of the women's soccer team quite a few years back... operative work here is SLIGHT! Yet, despite these efforts, Soccer is nothing more than an annoyance or occasional diversion every four years. Sure, we'll half-heartedly cheer for the American team... but it seems to be done more out of patriotism than any actual interest in the sport. The World Cup has given us a chance to root for America.
Most of us could care less about the actual sport or even the team we're playing. We'll watch the highlights... say "Yay America" or "What's wrong with you American team?", but it's really just that we want to see the other country fall defeated at our team's very talented feet!
So this begs the question... why do Americans prefer Baseball over Soccer?
1. We have plenty of our "own" sports. Baseball, Football (the American kind of course) and Basketball were born here and are this nation's love children... We've even accepted and grown to love Ice Hockey... imported from our Canadian friends. But do we really have room for Soccer? Do we really want it? Many Americans shout a resounding NO!
2. Americans like action. We need something to cheer for. Soccer is an extremely low scoring sport. Just look at the scores so far in the World Cup. With a good percentage of games ending 1-0 (or even 0-0 for that matter), Americans are left wondering if anything actually happened in those 90 minutes. Very few Baseball games end in shut-outs and very few Soccer games have a score above 3. We need our sports teams to score. Most Americans wouldn't stand for a tie of 0-0. We make our teams play until someone does something! Tie games are no fun.
3. Soccer has their stars who end up with the ball a good percentage of the time, but Baseball shares the wealth. Fielding and batting gives every player their chance to shine. There's no telling where the ball will be hit or who will be called upon to make a play. The opposing team decides that... so the big stars aren't the only ones shining.
4. What do you mean I can't use my hands? America's most popular sports involve heavy use of the hands. With the exception of punting in Football, our feet are just used to get us down the field or around the bases. We like using our hands. The change would be awkward for us... and a bit pointless in our humble opinions.
5. Soccer players border on the melodramatic. Could you image a MLB or NFL player falling on the ground after being "tripped"? American fans would boo them out of the stadium. Our players "walk it off"... they don't cry or roll on the ground just to get a penalty on the other team. Penalties are given out for blatant offenses, but we as Americans expect our athletes to be tough and competitive.
For Americans... Soccer will stay in the periphery. We will continue to love and defend Baseball as America's Favorite Pastime and we will continue to defend our dislike for the World's Pastime! For now, the world will have to accept that.
It's unfair to call us uncultured because we don't like Soccer just like it would be unfair to call other countries uncultured for not liking Baseball. We appreciate what we know... and Americans don't know Soccer. You know what you’ve played as a child and you play what everyone else is playing. In America, that's not Soccer. We don't know it, don't understand it and (as much as we hate to admit) we're not very good at it. Why would we embrace a sport we're not good at? We have plenty of others that we are good at!