Head for the hills, soccer-haters!

  • Fanatics -

    Thank you for your patience today and welcome to the newest version of Cyclone Fanatic!

    Most of the changes we have made are very simple, but will greatly improve your user experience while visiting the website.

    We have upgraded our forum software to speed things up. Our homepage is much cleaner and should be even more mobile friendly than before.

    We appreciate your loyalty and are committed to not only keeping Cyclone Fanatic in tip-top shape, but continuing to build this community for the next decade and beyond.

    We ask that if you are experiences any glitches to let us know in this thread . Will will be diligently working on the site all day.

    Thanks again.

    Chris Williams - Publisher

cycloneworld

Facebook Knows All
Mar 20, 2006
22,815
4,596
113
Urbandale, IA
Soccer is becoming very popular among children but doesn't have near the following on TV. There are a lot of mexicans in the country which I'm guessing drastically drove up those ratings because they could watch their team on TV.

Put a soccer match on ABC and see how it does versus about every other sport and you will get some very different results.
 

nicmilani

New Member
Mar 24, 2006
20
2
3
I don't chime in too much, but let me add some of my perspective. I was at the ISU vs. MSU elite 8 game in 2000 and that was the best US event I've been to. I was at all of the NBA finals games in Detroit 2 years ago against San Antonio ... and that was okay ... pro basketball isn't that great, but Eva did look fantastic. I partied at the Super Bowl in Detroit, great atmosphere. I was at NLCS game 7 Cubs vs. Marlins and that was a nutty atmosphere (my #2 event) ... but then ...

... last summer, I spent 2 weeks traveling Germany with my friends and watching world cup events/games. It was the craziest event I've ever seen. You don't realize until you experience it ... we went to a game and it was RIDICULOUS. Songs, Chanting, Drums ... All day and all night ... just boozing and having fun ... people from every continent, every language, celebrating.

My thoughts ...
 

cyclonenum1

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
7,186
321
83
I am not a "soccer hater"...to me the sport is just a non-issue. However, I do have a few observations:

-I have been hearing that soccer is going to become one of the most popular sports in the US ever since the 70s when Pele' and a number of other international players came over to play in the NASL (I think that was the name of the league?)...obviously, this has not happened.

-Although many kids grow up playing soccer, I think most Americans believe (me included) that the most gifted American athletes go into the more "mainstream" American sports (football, baseball, basketball, etc.) where they can make more money. We never seem to have much success when we play internationally and I think most Americans believe that if our best athletes played soccer we would be the dominant team on the world stage.

-There is no doubt that internationally this sport is wildly popular. As mentioned in a previous post the atmosphere surrounding a match is supposedly fantastic. However, I draw the line at stampedes where people are crushed to death!

-I do believe Soccer will become more popular for one primary reason...our willingness to let people from south of our border immigrate illegally to our country and stay here. I recall seeing a soccer highlight of a game between Mexico and the US played in Phoenix...the stands were packed...with people waving the Mexican flag!

-The reality is that currently soccer is not one of the most popular sports in the US...football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, and auto racing (just to name a few) are all more popular...just look at what the athletes make and what is shown of ESPN SportsCenter.

One last thing...I've always got a chuckle out of a quote I saw attributed to Mike Ditka..."If God wanted us to play soccer he would have made us without arms"!
 
H

HGPuck

Guest
I played and coach soccer and watch a lot of games on tv in a year, mainly EPL, Champions League, UEAFA Cup, and European international games. I wish it wasn't the case but I just can't get excited about the US national team, Ill watch and cheer for them if they are playing European or the big South American sides but their play just doesn't do it for me most of the time.
 

soccercy

Member
Apr 20, 2006
556
14
18
Soccer is not behind NASCAR in popularity, only on tv ratings, of course some of the more established sports are on tv more and make more money, they've been around longer.
Hopefully MLS will continue to improve, as more opportunities for young players develop, the level at the top will only continue to get better. Look at all the pro/semi-pro leagues that are developing, summer leagues like the U-20's (DM Menace are sporting a team this year), those will all lead to soccer improving in this country.
I hope USSF is able to get more National team games on TV, I can't believe I can't find Copa America games anywhere in English, and that I couldn't find Gold Cup games in English unless I subscribe to FSC, which I don't, yet.
 

CloneAggie

Well-Known Member
Oct 21, 2006
15,466
1,503
113
Although many kids grow up playing soccer, I think most Americans believe (me included) that the most gifted American athletes go into the more "mainstream" American sports (football, baseball, basketball, etc.) where they can make more money. We never seem to have much success when we play internationally and I think most Americans believe that if our best athletes played soccer we would be the dominant team on the world stage.
For which mainstream sport that is played internationally are we the dominant team internationally? I'd argue not a single one. Thus, if you are suggesting that our elite young athletes get spread among many, many sports instead of getting funneled into one main sport, then you may have a reason why we cannot get up to the level of the traditional soccer playing countries. However, we also have a much higher population than all other countries in which soccer is the dominant sport.
 

BryceC

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 23, 2006
21,003
9,553
113
Soccer is not behind NASCAR in popularity, only on tv ratings, of course some of the more established sports are on tv more and make more money, they've been around longer.
How do you measure popularity then? Attendance of games? NASCAR blows away soccer in this respect as well, unless you count the 95% Mexican population at the US Mexico matchup in Phoenix.

Soccer fans love talking about how the sport is rising in the US, but the fact is that it's still a niche sport. It's not the 4th biggest sport in the country, and if soccer fans are using the unseating of Hockey as the proof... Hockey hasn't been the 4th biggest sport in a long time either.

As far as dominate internationally... I think us losing in basketball was an aberration based on poor coaching and a super young team that didn't include our best players (average age was something like 22) and if we actually put all of our best pro baseball players on a team vs any other country I'd take that. What other sports do we even participate in nationally? I mean with Phelps we'd have to be pretty solid in swimming.

That's a definite reach though.
 

Knownothing

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2006
16,650
8,691
113
47
Sorry to break it to ya but the UFC TUF saturday night did 3.1 million viewers. So that is ruffly double what soccer did. Plus some dude got beat up legally. And not one fight flopped on the ground and had to be strechered off the ground only to return and fight 30 seconds later. Soccer blows.
 

Cypwr

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2006
1,218
144
63
Ameskeny
For which mainstream sport that is played internationally are we the dominant team internationally? I'd argue not a single one. Thus, if you are suggesting that our elite young athletes get spread among many, many sports instead of getting funneled into one main sport, then you may have a reason why we cannot get up to the level of the traditional soccer playing countries. However, we also have a much higher population than all other countries in which soccer is the dominant sport.
Depends on what you call mainstream sports. The U.S. is very sucessfully in track and field, sprinting and most of the womens events. T & F is very popular in Europe. The U.S. is holding up pretty well in the Tour De France, as the top biking event and the only event anyone here has heard of. Men's and Women's swimming, Women's softball, Women's soccer Women's basketball the U.S. is the class of the world or in the running for that title. Mainstream in the U.S. and the rest of the world may mean two different things.
 

cyclonenum1

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
7,186
321
83
Soccer is not behind NASCAR in popularity, only on tv ratings, of course some of the more established sports are on tv more and make more money, they've been around longer.
Hopefully MLS will continue to improve, as more opportunities for young players develop, the level at the top will only continue to get better. Look at all the pro/semi-pro leagues that are developing, summer leagues like the U-20's (DM Menace are sporting a team this year), those will all lead to soccer improving in this country.
I hope USSF is able to get more National team games on TV, I can't believe I can't find Copa America games anywhere in English, and that I couldn't find Gold Cup games in English unless I subscribe to FSC, which I don't, yet.
You cannot be serious?! NASCAR is far more popular than soccer in the USA.

TV puts on programming that people want to watch (ie: NASCAR) so they can sell ad space and make money. If they thought they could get a big audience for soccer it would be on TV more...they can't get a big audience for soccer consequently it is not on TV much.

The bottom line remains...the soccer "invasion" is over 30 years old and it still has yet to gain traction in the USA.
 

cyclonenum1

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
7,186
321
83
For which mainstream sport that is played internationally are we the dominant team internationally? I'd argue not a single one. Thus, if you are suggesting that our elite young athletes get spread among many, many sports instead of getting funneled into one main sport, then you may have a reason why we cannot get up to the level of the traditional soccer playing countries. However, we also have a much higher population than all other countries in which soccer is the dominant sport.
You make a good point. The definition of "mainstream" is certainly different from country to country.

However, I would take our professional championship team from football (NFL), basketball (NBA), and baseball (MLB) and be nearly certain they could beat the championship team from the international countries that play these sports...football is played in Canada and Europe, basketball is played all over (Europe, Mideast, South America, Asia, etc.), and baseball is played in Japan and Central America.

One last thing regarding your population comment...what is the dominant sport in China and India...is it not soccer? I'm not sure. Maybe someone knows.
 

cybsball20

Well-Known Member
Nov 26, 2006
12,742
439
83
Des Moines, IA
You cannot be serious?! NASCAR is far more popular than soccer in the USA.
I think, by popular, he meant in terms of participation... But those numbers are probably dominated by 5-8 year olds who are too young to play basketball, baseball, football... It's easy for parents to thrwo their kids out on a patch of grass with a couple of goals and a ball to let the run around for a couple of hours... Just let them go out there and play mob ball for an hour, get some capri sun and orange slices and it's a nice little social event for the parents... They don't have to teach them things like hitting a baseball, a free throw, or a throwing a spiral and don't have to worry about them dealing with failure when they swing and miss...
 

cycloneworld

Facebook Knows All
Mar 20, 2006
22,815
4,596
113
Urbandale, IA
I think, by popular, he meant in terms of participation... But those numbers are probably dominated by 5-8 year olds who are too young to play basketball, baseball, football... It's easy for parents to thrwo their kids out on a patch of grass with a couple of goals and a ball to let the run around for a couple of hours... Just let them go out there and play mob ball for an hour, get some capri sun and orange slices and it's a nice little social event for the parents... They don't have to teach them things like hitting a baseball, a free throw, or a throwing a spiral and don't have to worry about them dealing with failure when they swing and miss...
Exactly. I would bet that soccer is more popular than football and basketball through junior high aged kids. But we all know that in the U.S. football and basketball are multiple, multiple times more popular than soccer. And you can't compare youth soccer to NASCAR...since I don't see many youth racing leagues around. But television ratings, merchandise purchased, media coverage, etc. shows that soccer isn't that popular.
 

CyTom

Member
Mar 30, 2006
717
27
18
Des Moines
I always thought soccer was something you did when your woman stepped out of line in the relationship?! I hear it's big in the South and usually takes place during a NASCAR event.
 

cyclonenum1

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
7,186
321
83
I think, by popular, he meant in terms of participation... But those numbers are probably dominated by 5-8 year olds who are too young to play basketball, baseball, football... It's easy for parents to thrwo their kids out on a patch of grass with a couple of goals and a ball to let the run around for a couple of hours... Just let them go out there and play mob ball for an hour, get some capri sun and orange slices and it's a nice little social event for the parents... They don't have to teach them things like hitting a baseball, a free throw, or a throwing a spiral and don't have to worry about them dealing with failure when they swing and miss...
Outstanding post!

For some reason, this post reminded me of the Will Farrell movie from a couple of years ago where he coached his kid's soccer team with Ditka...what was the name of that show? Very funny in my opinion.
 

Clone9

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2006
3,037
544
113
Boston, MA
I'm a huge soccer fan but it's not the "4th" sport in the US yet. I know the traditional top 4 sports are football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. But this was largely made by ESPN (who didn't cover racing much in the early days). I believe that now, in terms of TV viewing and number of "fans", NASCAR is #2 in the US, behind only the NFL.

NASCAR is an interesting case though, because many of the non-fans don't call racing a real sport. Also, not just anyone can go out and race cars, but anybody can go play basketball or touch football or soccer or whatever.

Soccer is definitely growing in the US, and now record numbers of youngsters are playing soccer. Whether or not that turns into increased popularity among adults is yet to be seen, but like many of you have said, it hasn't happened yet. It is also possible that if the US national team improves (they are quite respectable in the world already), then soccer will increase in popularity amongst normal americans.

It's gonna be touch to nudge their way into the major TV contracts though, since we as Americans already have the NFL, NASCAR, college FB and BB, the NBA, the MLB, and many other popular sports (even poker gets a lot of viewers). In most other countries around the world, soccer is the number 1 sport, and the others are distant competitors (with the possible exceptions of Formula 1 racing and cricket in like India and Pakistan). They don't have as much competition, and certainly not as much well established competition like the US does.


p.s. - The main reason we lost in basketball is because our players never practice as a team and don't play as a team. The European and South American teams beat us because they play much more team oriented ball, much more similar to college basketball than NBA. Our players are much more talented, but they don't play team ball......which is another reason why the NBA has fallen in popularity in the US.
 

soccercy

Member
Apr 20, 2006
556
14
18
I think, by popular, he meant in terms of participation... But those numbers are probably dominated by 5-8 year olds who are too young to play basketball, baseball, football... It's easy for parents to thrwo their kids out on a patch of grass with a couple of goals and a ball to let the run around for a couple of hours... Just let them go out there and play mob ball for an hour, get some capri sun and orange slices and it's a nice little social event for the parents... They don't have to teach them things like hitting a baseball, a free throw, or a throwing a spiral and don't have to worry about them dealing with failure when they swing and miss...
Come on now, we'll look at participation numbers, you and I both know there are plenty of youth baseball teams for kids to participate on. I'm pretty sure there are plenty of things to teach soccer players, I get paid to do it. You and I can debate over some beers on Saturday night how much easier it is to hit a soccer ball with your foot, how and where you want it, as opposed to hitting a baseball. Soccer has more participants at our home town high school now, and more and more kids are choosing to stick with soccer. Look at regionals this weekend in Des Moines, 15,000 people in town, and all the kids on those teams are in high school or will be this year.
Play it off all you want people, but the explosion in growth of soccer at the youth levels is only going to lead to more of those people enjoying soccer down the line.
 

BryceC

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
SuperFanatic T2
Mar 23, 2006
21,003
9,553
113
Soccer isn't exactly huge in Asia either, there are bigger sports in Russia and the Asian countries. Australia also calls Soccer "soccer", as Rugby is called football there.

I agree with you that the national team being better could help soccer in this country, and them tanking in the last world cup really hurt a lot of momentum it had going. I think if they had performed well a lot of people that got excited about the World Cup would have stayed excited. As it was, they flopped, and everybody went back to paying no attention to soccer at all.

Play it off all you want people, but the explosion in growth of soccer at the youth levels is only going to lead to more of those people enjoying soccer down the line.
I agree with you, and I think this is evidenced by the fact that more kids are playing soccer later. There were always a lot of soccer playing kids in my town when I was very young, but there was nothing after about 5th grade. I think they have a JV soccer team and they are going to get a varsity squad soon if they don't already. Those people are going to like soccer for life probably.

I don't have problem with this, just like I don't care about people who really love baseball. I just think the statement that soccer is the fourth most popular sport in this country (because they beat hockey ratings no less) to be completely ridiculous. Frankly, after football, baseball, basketball, and NASCAR there is a huge drop in attendance and television ratings of pretty much every other niche sport.
 
Last edited:

cyclonenum1

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2006
7,186
321
83
You and I can debate over some beers on Saturday night how much easier it is to hit a soccer ball with your foot, how and where you want it, as opposed to hitting a baseball.
Yeah, I've always heard that the toughest thing in sports to do is kick a soccer ball! I love the "Off Topic" section...I always get my daily dose of laughs in!

Play it off all you want people, but the explosion in growth of soccer at the youth levels is only going to lead to more of those people enjoying soccer down the line.
Correct me if I'm wrong but this "explosion in the growth of youth soccer" has been going on for decades...yet with very little increase in soccer as a mainstream sport that people look forward to viewing on TV or attending in person here in the USA.
 

Latest posts

Help Support Us

Become a patron