Monday, June 17, 2002

USA Beats Mexico 2 to 0 in World Cup Soccer

Why is the USA obsessed with American football while the rest of the world loves soccer? The short answer is that American football started in America, and that's where it has grown up. That it has grown up here is the only reason its many disadvantages are tolerated.

American football is an expensive game costing hundreds of dollars per player in equipment. Therefore it will never be taken up by scholastic leagues outside the USA. Players will never be inculcated in American football from their young years outside the USA. Only in the USA is it seen as manditory that football be played at the high school and undergraduate levels. Only in the USA will the expense of suiting up players for football be paid out of school budgets, and only in the USA will the risk to players be tolerated.

Soccer only requires a ball and an open field with minimal improvements. No other special equipment is needed even for tournament play. The contrast is obvious.

The same appeal will eventually take hold in the USA. American football is becoming too expensive for most smaller schools to support, and at the college level it can be maintained only at the expense of other men's sports due to Title IX constraints. Soccer is spreading gradually in the USA and will supplant American football for many venues eventually.