Monday, May 23, 2011

Interview with a U.S. Sports Fan

Do you consider yourself a sports fan?  Yes, I do.

Do you consider yourself a U.S. sports fan?  Yes.

Do you like sports from other parts of the world?  Yes, but I'm more inclined to watch if its played locally or if its something I can catch all the time so I can stay in front of it.

What sports do you most watch?  Football, basketball, tennis, some baseball and other sports that catch my eye.

Why do you watch these sports?  I'm familiar with these sports, I grew up playing basketball, I grew up watching and playing football, so, I'm more familiar with them, and I know some of the names of the star players which makes it more exciting, and watching some of the players progress from college into pro sports is another reason.

When you watch, what grabs you about the game? Why are you watching?  I like competition, I like athleticism, its just exciting. 

Have you watched Soccer in the past?  I've watched highlights on Sportscenter.  The most Soccer I've watched was the most recent World Cup.

Have you watched American Soccer, specifically, the American League, do you know the name of the League?  Yes, MLS.  I'm familiar with a few teams and a few players.

Have you watched a full game?  No, I have not.  I watched highlights on ESPN yesterday of games that took place, I know the Galaxy has Beckham on their team and they beat Chivas.  I know Landon Donovan.

Do you know where Chivas is from?  Mexico.  Do you know where in the U.S. they're from?  California, right?  I saw on the highlights, the battle of something?  I'm not sure.  

You mentioned you've watched World Cup Soccer, do you watch any other professional club Soccer from other countries.  No, I haven't.

Does club Soccer from other countries interest you?  No.  I'm perfectly happy to get to know MLS.  

Why do you say that?  I'll be able to catch the games here, I may even be able to take in a professional a game or two.  Since I don't know the game of Soccer that well, I think it'd be a perfect place to start off and learn MLS.  It may pique my interest in club Soccer.

Are you aware that club Soccer in other countries has a reputation for being a better skilled game than MLS?  Yes, I'm aware of that.

How old were you when you became a sports fan?  Teenager.

Who are the athletes that you follow in a big way?  Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, the Williams Sisters and Federer.  In football, I follow my home team, the Carolina Panthers, I always want them to do well.

Did you kick a Soccer ball around when you were growing up?  I have, but it wasn't something real big in my neighborhood.  I wasn't real familiar with it.  I watched a little bit.  I know how you kick a Soccer ball.  I think its a great physical sport, it builds your endurance and stamina.  I think people that play it are strong and I know it would be a great workout. 

So, you've been intrigued by the highlights?  Absolutely.  Yeah, when the women's national Soccer team won all those matches.  I don't remember when it was.

In '99 for the World Cup?  Yes.  

Do you think MLS is interested in you as a sports fan?  I don't see why they wouldn't be.  I'm a person who already likes sports.  It would be easy to get me on board to support and like MLS.  I really am interested in going to a game.  They should certainly be interested in me as a fan.

Do you think they have done what's necessary to recruit you as a fan to their sport?  No, I don't think so.  

Does it have to do more with your demographic or more with you as a sports fan?  Sports fan.

So, they're not recruiting you as a sports fan to their sport, in what way?  I don't think they necessarily have to.  For me, popularizing Soccer, making it more mainstream and accessible is educating people on the rules and regulations of the sport, also the physical aspects, I think its a great physical work-out, even sponsoring some clinics for adults would go a long way with making me become an MLS fan. 

Is Soccer exciting to watch?  Well, I'll tell you what, if you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would've been 50/50 on going to a game, but because I watched Sportscenter over the weekend and they showed highlights of the Galaxy-Chivas match and seeing the crowd and seeing Beckham kick the ball on a free kick, and the goal is not in front of him, and then seeing one of his teammates take his head and hit it and they got that point, it did make me want to go to a MLS game. 

Why do you think you've only watched highlights and not a full game?  Well, in basketball, just about every play is exciting and you're putting points on the board and the athletes are showing their athleticism, in football, there's not as many points, but to see someone break out and get those points is cool.  Soccer, there's not many points scored and some games end 0-0.  Not saying its not exciting because I'd have to watch a full game to know.  Maybe if I looked at it as a good defensive stance by both teams, at not letting the other team score, and looked at the difficulty at making a goal, then it would be different.  But, the other sports I watch, there are points being put on the board.  I know in Soccer, you have to be a strong athlete and you have to defend well.  

Are there some aspects of the game that could make you a better fan of Soccer, are there changes to the game that would enhance things, what would attract you more to the game?  Its more of a defensive game, than offensive game.  What I don't like is that no one can score and the game ends.  There's no true winner.

What if it ended in a tie, 2-2?  It would upset me to sit there watching a whole game and it ends in a tie.  In competition, you need a true winner.    

End of Interview.
Interview conducted with African-American, 30-something female.

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