Saturday, March 5, 2011

Soccer In America-My Dad's Thoughts (Written February 5th, 2011)

My dad's thoughts on soccer in America!

To All Family Members by Birth or Blood,

I was surfing the net last night and found a blog by, a Jiresell, in which he, rightly so, laments the fact that MLS (Major League Soccer) has not released itʼs 2011 schedule for league play which begins March 11th (since then released). If releasing the schedule for major league football, basketball, or baseball or even college ball, was this slow there would be a national uprising and commissioners of the different sports, subject to skewering if caught. Why not the Commissioner of soccer? By the way the United States is the only civilized country that does not call it football.

The reason is our national psyche has been conditioned since Columbus, Erica the Red, America Vespucius, or the Phoenicians discovered our land and people from many other countries began to populate it. This conditioning began, very early, when the pilgrims and puritans began to play the native americans in the home grown, American sport, of lacrosse. The idea being for the non-native americans to win, win, and win by the biggest score possible. To always be on the offensive. Being offensive then, through natural selective, became part of our national gene pool. Other traits that were learned and incorporated into our national inner being were: impatience (do everything fast), if your going to win - win big, do not depend on your feet to get ahead, man has opposing thumbs - use them.

Another factor in americans not being as enthusiastic as other people from other countries about soccer (football) is that we have more sports to choose from, both amateur and professional. But the biggest factor is that soccer is slow. Not in motion and movement, for players are continually running and seldom slow down, but in scoring. The mentality of non-believers in soccer (football) has been conditioned to higher scores. Defensive playing in other sports is acceptable for it is part of the strategy to win and a tactic employed to eventually outscore your opponent big time. This is what the fans look forward to. Soccer (football) means sitting on a hard bench for 90 minutes, with a short break after 45 minutes, to see one or perhaps two points being scored. So our our mentally conditioning is such that it will take a much longer time to break down the barriers Americans have for soccer (football) and to give it greater stature.

In thinking about soccer, there is a serendipitous moment! Is there direct relationship between menʼs soccer (football) and a countryʼs status? Status meaning international influence and esteem, living standard, economic importance, and the many other factors that determine a nationʼs importance in and to the world. Using the insight and reasoning developed by Aristotle and his teacher, Plato, and not a more technical, statistical analysis, it is evident that there is an inverse relationship between a countryʼs status and itʼs mania for soccer (football). It appears that the lower a countryʼs status and worldly influence the higher their ardor and vigor for football (soccer) with the exception, perhaps, of Brazil.

As a countryʼs fervor for soccer (football) increases, its status diminishes. After World War II, Englandʼs avidity for football (soccer) increased, concomitantly with a decline in cricket. An empire where “the sun never set” became a much smaller universe. French, the universal language of diplomacy, was displaced, as Franceʼs national prominence decreased and soccer (football) became a more prominent sport after guillotining.

Japan, for a while too, had major status, but as baseball, relegated sumo wrestling to a background sport, and soccer (football) devotion and play increased, Japanʼs status declined, but not solely because of soccer (football). They still make a very good stable of cars.

The capstone on the premise of the aforementioned relationship - soccer (football) vs. status - is China. They are and will continue to be a rising power in the world and they play very little soccer (football). They are, however, very good at ping-pong and gymnastics.

So it could be an arguably assessment that if America wants to maintain its International status, it should both pay down the national debt and de-emphasize increasing the scope of soccer (football) in the United States.


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