World Cup Fever – American Style

Filed in American Culture by on June 27, 2014 0 Comments

Photo by aff ei.

We’re into the third week of the World Cup, which is being viewed by an estimated 3.2 billion viewers around the world. Despite the global popularity of soccer (known as football in the rest of the world), the U.S. has actually been slow to catch soccer fever. In fact, in the U.S. the most popular sports have always been American-style football, baseball and basketball. So, while 11 million American’s watched the first match between U.S. and Ghana, it still lags far behind the 108 million Americans that watched the last American football championship game, known as the Super Bowl.

Yet, besides watching the U.S. team advance, what’s also really exciting about watching the World Cup for Americans, is that most of us have an immigrant heritage that we are connected to. So while we are all rooting for the U.S. team, most of us also have a second or third favorite team as well. I’m closely watching the Algerian and Mexican teams and I have friends pulling for Argentina, France, Brazil, and Ecuador.

Some say the Americans have a way to go before our passion for soccer will match that of our global neighbors. That while we are enjoying the World Cup, for us it’s like watching the summer Olympics. We do it once every four years, and then mostly forget about it until the next World Cup. However, that may change sooner than you know it. One only has to drive by the parks and community centers across America, to see a growing number of young Americans learning and loving the game of soccer.

How important is soccer (football) to you? How important is it in your home country? Let us know in the comments.

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