Football, baseball, basketball, and hockey are considered the four major sports in the United States. NASCAR, golf, and women’s miniature bikini volleyball (for obvious reasons) are just three more sports very popular across the nation. One sport that has continued to receive very little fanfare exclusively in the USA is soccer. While the rest of the world has embraced this kicking sport, the USA still values it far less.
So, why is soccer unpopular here?
Every sport popular in America has evolved into a higher scoring game. Football has made defense more difficult, baseball allowed PED use, basketball lets teams play the Philadelphia 76ers, and hockey goalies are restricted to smaller equipment. Americans love scoring. They love the celebration, the noise, and the crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Soccer is notoriously low scoring, games ending in a 0-0 tie way too often. How can a sports fan enjoy a fantasy league when their leading goal scorer has 2 all season long?
Short Attention Span
Americans have short attention spans. Blame MTV or the pills in our water. Whatever it is we just cannot focus on anything for too long. Many people who dislike baseball have this same complaint that the game moves too slowly. Soccer certainly is not a slow sport though. Play is continuous which is actually the other extreme and one we are not used to. Many sports fans like to be able to turn their minds off for a moment. With soccer, it’s too hard to determine when the one exciting thing will happen.
Too Similar to Other Sports
Soccer offers nothing new. It’s the same thing as any back and forth sport where one team tries to put the ball from one end into a zone and the other team wants to prevent them from doing that. Football, basketball, and hockey all give us this basic formula. Soccer falls short because it has no fancy equipment or multiple ways to score. You can only kick or in some instance head-butt the ball into the net for a point. This is nothing more than a simpler version of other sports and to many, feels like something is missing.
There are other smaller things that bother sports fans. Soccer’s rules are strange to someone who never took the time to learn them. No research has ever been done, but I suspect there is a part of the brain that learns sports rules and it is limited to a certain amount. Another complaint about soccer could be the fact that the players wear shorts. A man running around wearing shorts is very unusual to Americans. Basketball players do wear shorts however, this is probably just an illusion. There is no reason to believe that they are not actually wearing pants and are too tall for them to reach their ankles.
Soccer will probably never be popular in the United States. The biggest reason is probably because we are all too stubborn to change.