Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Soccer Fans are Back.

The United States women's soccer team lost their final match in the World Cup to the team from Japan. According to data, 13.4 million Americans watched the game on television. I suspect that a large number of them watched it because it was ending in the late afternoon when baseball games were ending and people were wondering, "What else is on TV?"

The backlash
(what there was of it) came on Monday morning, when anxious jingoists noted that the women lost a game that most of them didn't know existed a couple of weeks ago. Mostly, I suspect they rooted for the flag (and the Republic for which it stands) and couldn't name three women on the team, but I digress.

I tried to tune in -
that is to say, I turned the game on a couple of times, but as the game just wasn't interesting enough to keep me tuned-in. After all, "The Great Outdoors" was on Encore, and I always enjoy watching the late John Candy. If only he could have played soccer.

On the sports talk radio, callers repeated their popular refrain: You should like soccer. Why, I asked (quietly to myself) much as Jerry asked Kenny Banya when Kenny implored Jerry, "You should work out."

It's the 21st century, and people do what they want. They will either watch soccer or not, and no amount of coaxing will lure them in. They think we are strange because we do not like something that they find endlessly appealing, in spite of the fact that the game strangely does not tell us how much time remains. We like a time limit or at the very least, the knowledge of when the game is over. In fact, when the U.S. scored a go-ahead goal in what they call "extra time," most viewers figured that the game was over. But it was not sudden death, but soccer's version of it, which should be called "Eventual Victory."

"There are no commercials," is one of the more popular reasons as to why we should like soccer. No commercials? There are no commercials on Cinemax either, but that doesn't mean I should spend twenty bucks a month to watch movies I can rent for two dollars.

The other one is, "It's the most popular sport in the world." OK, so being popular means I should like it? If that's the case, we should all buy CDs made by "American Idol" contestants, because they're popular too - or so we are led to believe. The TV ratings tell us the show is popular, but some of us abhor it and wouldn't watch it if I got a check in the mail every month.

So now, the soccer fans' moment in the sun is gone. At least until the 2012 Olympics when, once again we will be reminded of how popular soccer is around the world and how Americans are supposed to like it. We could reply in kind...

"Did you go to that prostitute?"
"No, I don't find sex with prostitutes appealing."
"Why? Sexual activity is very popular around the world. In fact, it's one of the most popular things we humans do."
"I just don't like paying for it."
"But, they don't interrupt you and don't ask 'do you love me' or any of those other questions. It's uninterrupted, guilt-free pleasure."
"I don't like it."
"You're stupid."

1 comment:

junior alien said...

I think it's perfectly okay that you don't like soccer.
People usually like what they are used to. So if you had been raised in Europe or South America, you'd probably like soccer, right?
But I don't think it's desirable that all people like the same things.