Friday, March 18, 2011

Will the Sports Fan Be Able To Keep Up?

Originally posted July 22, 2009

The Summer of Soccer continues to open eyes. Sports fans are taking a second look and new fans are getting hooked. This period of time has undoubtedly been Soccer’s most historic in the U.S. But are sports fans getting confused and could this confusion be counter-productive?

No other mainstream sport has as many international tournaments. Basketball and hockey have the Olympics, while baseball entered international competition only very recently, playing in the Olympics and forming a World Classic.

No other mainstream sport has an international tournament structured towards clubs/franchises only. CONCACAF Champions League and SuperLiga are something none of the other ‘Big 4″ have.

The U.S. Open Cup has its place among the team sports as the only one of its kind, as well.

On one hand, all of these Soccer tournaments produce something unique and special. But what is the average sports fan supposed to think?

We send our best team to play the Confed Cup, but second-teamers to play the Gold Cup. Why play it then? The average sports fan doesn’t accept that the best only play some of the time, but not all of the time.

The best players play in the Champions League but second-teamers play in the U.S. Open. Why play it then? What’s the average sports fan supposed to think?

After a while, it’s like which exhibition/friendly/international is this and are they playing for real? Superliga doesn’t matter because the Mexican teams aren’t in their season.

The great European squads are here for their pre-season games, which don’t count towards their record, so their first-teamers don’t play the entire game and when they are playing, they’re trying to avoid contact and not get injured. Are sports fans supposed to watch these ones too?

On TV, we get our choice of many games from all over the world all the time. So, which games count? Which matter? Does each fan pick and choose?

If an MLS team wins the Champions League but doesn’t win the MLS championship, which had the better season, the MLS winner or the Champions League winner?

More soccer in America is great but wouldn’t more MLS games in a season be the better idea? The intrigue of all the different international and national tournaments is fascinating for the soccer enthusiasts and blogs, but what are the sports fan’s motives through all this? Why should they care and are they able to keep up?

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