See You in Three Years Soccer !!
6/28/2010 11:08 PM
Well, the United States Soccer Team lost Saturday 2-1 to Ghana in the World Cup round of 16. More than 19 million people watched the soccer match on television, making Saturday's contest the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history, according to figures released on Monday. The Saturday TV audience surpassed the 18.1 million record set by the Italy-Brazil World Cup final in 1994. While this is a great number for soccer, it is still lagging the true measurement for sports popularity in America; The Super Bowl. To put things in a bit of perspective, 106.5 million Americans watched the Super Bowl in February, making it the most-watched U.S. telecast ever. That is almost 6 times as many people for the Super Bowl versus the World Cup!! Maybe this is not a fair comparison, maybe I should have found out the ratings for the Wild Card round of the playoffs, but I think you get the picture. While I do think many more people have watched at least some part of a World Cup game, I am not convinced that soccer has dome anything to increase its popularity outside of this sixty day period. Some may remember Brandi Chastain’s performance in the World Cup, but what is that popularity doing for her or women’s soccer now? We are living in a society where we want everything coming to us, and the, “what have you done for me lately?” mentality is more prevalent that ever. Now that many within the U.S. have no rooting interest remaining in the World Cup, what can soccer do for them? My guess is nothing for the next 3.5 years.
OTHER RANDOM THOUGHTS FROM THE WEEKEND
This may extend back a little farther, but how can every major sport not use technology to make their sports more reputable? The latest errors in the World Cup matches have lead many to ask for some assistance in making these critical calls. From the two errors in the United States first two games to the “non-goal” for England in its match versus Germany, the officiating in the World Cup has come under intense scrutiny. The technology is there and readily available, yet it usage in World Cup matches in the future has been met with mixed results. FIFA president Sepp Blatter opposes the use of technology, saying soccer needs to retain a human element, and as long as he is president, nothing is likely to change. Why not do what the NFL does and give each coach one challenge per half and if the challenge is deemed successful, you keep the challenge. If people are worried about time, set a 30 second limit and if the decision cannot be completed in a timely manner, then the call stands. This may slow things down slightly, but isn’t it the job of the official to make the correct calls? Athletes are getting stronger and faster and officials are not keeping up with the athletes. This is why many other leagues have begun to use the technology available to them. Maybe there is just too much money on the other side for high ranking officials to welcome the technology. This point has to be raised in these situations because nothing else makes sense to me.