Would USA Like Soccer More IF It Were Violent Like Football?

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    Jul 21, 2014 1:47 AM GMT
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    Colombia's Juan Camilo Zúñiga, left, collided with Brazil's Neymar, cracking Neymar's vertebra and knocking him out of the World Cup.

    NYT: American football is a violent game, but one than is beloved like no other. Would soccer be more popular in the United States if it were more rough-and-tumble? Purists say we are missing the point.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/sports/soccer/after-the-beauty-of-soccer-comes-the-heathen-season.html?ref=sports
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    Jul 21, 2014 2:04 AM GMT
    As I suggested in another thread about this, I think a major stumbling block for soccer acceptance in the US is television. The game itself is less structured visually than baseball, basketball, or US football, and more difficult to capture coherently on TV. Long cover shots lose details, and close-ups are often unrevealing of the team strategies. It's not the kind of action US fans understand, compared to other team sports.

    Plus the pacing of soccer doesn't suit the US form of TV commercial breaks. Without that revenue source there's not much incentive for major networks to carry it. Fans can find some games on ESPN, but that's niche programming.

    As for violence, rugby is pretty rough and tumble. But I don't see any widespread US demand for it, either. I think 3 major team sports (4 if you wanna include hockey) is enough for most of the US market.
  • roadbikeRob

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    Jul 22, 2014 12:45 AM GMT
    I think that it is time for the US to abandon gridiron or American football and start embracing soccer. The NFL has become the nation's biggest corporate welfare recipient constantly demanding more and more from the taxpayers year after year. Plus American gridiron is quite dangerous, the number of serious injuries and deaths due to playing this brutal, harsh sport cannot be ignored any longer. After watching the World Cup, I have become a believer in the real football or soccer. The US needs to get on the same sheet of music and stop being so stubbornly different all the time. The world could probably start becoming a safer place for the US. But many Americans are unfortunately fixated on violence which probably helps explain why we are one of the most violent countries on earth. It is not just gun ownership it is also whats in our popular entertainment that also helps fuel violent behavior among many Americans. Horribly sad but very true.
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    Jul 22, 2014 5:57 PM GMT
    I played American football for 10 years and it is definitely brutal on the players. I had many concussions and now suffer the consequences of multiple migraines/headaches a week. As crazy as it sounds I would do it all over again. I miss it everyday. They have come a long way now with helmet designs and awareness when it comes to migraines. I do think part of the reason why soccer isn't as popular here is the violence factor. One of the main reasons a lot of people love hockey is because of all the fights just like a lot of people watch races hoping to see crashes.
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    Jul 26, 2014 7:25 AM GMT
    The violence factor is obviously a US American fixation. The rest of the world focus on other things as the competition itself and the skills shown from single players and as a team. Violence would never be a factor to like or dislike a team sport .

    Actually me -who grew up in a super football country- don't understand the appeal of gridiron/american football or hockey. I mean, if Im watching a game Im into it but the brutality of it is not a plus for me, actually its more of a nonsense. So yeah that is 100% a cultural thing.

    The issue here is US Americans are already used to violence in sports and they have a very short attention span because of it, so Im not sure how they could start paying attention/enjoying real football now (soccer), specially when their team is not doing well in the sport...because no one plays it...because its not popular (its a never ending story).
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    Jul 26, 2014 10:01 PM GMT
    My brothers and I were not even allowed to play soccer growing up. Dad said none of his kids were playing bunny ball. He was one of those sports Nazi parents.