Sunday, June 12, 2011

Flipping Channels: The NBA Finals and Gold Cup

It's a great feeling to be a Soccer fan.  It gives the U.S. sports fan that many more options.  I'm able to watch an intriguing, unpredictable NBA Finals and check in on Gold Cup matches during time-outs.

As a recent Soccer convert, I haven't been able to watch too many Gold Cups in my life, so there aren't many memories to build on.  I know my NBA Finals really well, going back to the Bird, Magic and Dr. J days, but nothing sticks out for the Gold Cup, other than last time's 5-0 loss to Mexico in the final.

The Gold Cup is a newer experience, but an exciting one to watch.  It's not played every year and hasn't been such a defined sports spectating experience, until recently.  It has taken on an importance not necessarily there before, so it has its own special feeling now.

I feel more allegiance tonight to the NBA Finals because of the compelling nature of this year's storylines, the history of the league and the meaning of what could be the last game of the finals, depending on whether Dallas wins or not.

Mexico is playing Costa Rica tonight in the Gold Cup, two perennial World Cup entrants, but there is less at stake because both countries are likely to go on past this round.  Mexico has already qualified for the quarter-finals and Costa Rica is likely to, because 8 of the 12 teams competing get to move on.

It doesn't really matter which teams are playing in the Gold Cup, all the matches have been entertaining.  Countries have sent their best players and each of the matches have displayed excellent Soccer skills and talent.  There has been a lot of action as some countries are overwhelming others with an onslaught of goals.

For Soccer in the U.S., it's important to know how many U.S. sports fans are checking out the Gold Cup during commercials for the NBA Finals, but it's even more important to know why or why it is not happening.  Do U.S. sports fans understand what the Gold Cup represents?

The most interesting channel flipping could happen two nights from now, if Dallas and Miami battle in a game 7, while at the same time, the U.S. faces a pesky Guadeloupe team in a possible must-win situation for a spot in the quarters.

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