This article, IMHO, is a disgrace and reflects the generally uninformed quality of soccer coverage by correspondents who live an American life. http://espn.go.com/page2/s/halberstam/020802.html First he provides the life context in which he's experienced soccer, to provide his column with some seeming authenticity. Then he goes on to submit that given all that "authentic" exposure, when the World Cup is over, the game still holds no interest for him. He continues this crap anecdotal nightmare by quoting the phoniest hack of all time, Tony Korn-hole, thereby nullifying, in my mind, anything of any relevance that Halberstam might have been trying to say. How many times will the gluttony of editors of sports columns force themselves to slip in a disparaging column about soccer, written by some hack who simply DOES NOT GET IT, in order to both stem the rising interest and requests for coverage in world football, and justify their own love for globally marginal sports that are without question on the wane? Halberstam has the nerve to join Korn-hole in suggesting that the "low scores" in soccer lead to boring or inequitable types of play on the field. PLEASE. When was the last time that any of us had to watch anything but the last quarter of a NBA game to know the story of that game? And what, in reality, is a hard-fought 14-10 NFL game? Its basically 2-1. Just because a sport decides to call a goal 6(7) points doesn't mean a significant amount of scoring is going on all the time. I am tired of the concerted effort among editors of sports publications to seek out articles that will disparage soccer, written by folks who don't really know anything about the sport, but rather have had the sport pass through their lives. the fact that world football events penetrated the crania of some of these slack-jawed Troglodytes is a miracle in and of itself. Any and all feeble attempts to show that "plus ce change, plus ce meme chose" must be continually met by the world football community in America with the finger, and cold hard facts. The reality is that MLS draws about as well as the NBA, on average, and that's damn good when every editor who wants to justify continuing coverage of his favorite sports rips into soccer for no other reason than playa-hatin'... Halberstam: if, while being possessed with such copious amounts of on-the-job free time that you had the wonderful chance to cruise the Paris cafe set and watch, among true fans, the 1966 World Cup you failed to become enamored of the sport as a whole, that's okay...you're just an abberation, a freak of nature. But your experience and reaction to it is solely yours, and not one that would have been most other globally-traveled sports fans' experiences/responses, I'll tell you that. As popular as Jordan was (and as much money as he made you writing a book about him), his popularity was much less than Pele, or even Zidane, or Figo, or even Ronaldo during his two years away from the game...don't, like Americans do so often on so many issues, think that your view holds any water outside the area around your kitchen table, let alone out here in the world...it doesn't.