Do you believe in miracles?

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by photar74, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    I think that perhaps the most interesting thing that can be taken from the BBWC is that, as far as national teams go, in the USA the men's and women's soccer teams are now clearly the most popular national teams around.

    I mean, its not even close. The USAMNT sells out every single WC qualifier, and averages around 40,000 fans just for friendlies. The five USAMNT home WC qualifiers, when combined, outdrew the entire BBWC several times over.

    Further, the WC quarterfinal against Germany actually had a larger amount of TV viewers in America than either the USA-Russia semifinal or USA-Canada final in the most recent Winter Olympics (ice hockey). And the USA match was on cable, very early in the morning, compared to network primetime for hockey. And we all know that the USAWNT numbers in 1999, at least when they were on network TV, were even better.

    And we're not even talking passion here--every American watching USA-Germany actually wanted the USA to win. More importantly, there ain't no Sam's Army equivalent for any other national team.

    The '92 Dream Team is a distant memory, and Americans don't even seem to care that much that the current team lost. Team USA in ice hockey is still followed, but its popularity seems to have declined right along with the Cold War. As far as national teams go in the USA, soccer is far and away number one.

    Hell, El Tri is probably the third most popular national team among US residents. Maybe we really are a soccer nation now.

    And Gallup had the gall to not even include soccer in their poll.

    Do you believe in miracles?
     
  2. seahawkdad

    seahawkdad Spoon!!!

    Jun 2, 2000
    Lincoln, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think support for our national teams ebbs and flows based upon the 'big event'.

    Winter Olympics--go US team! Do our men's and women's Alpine teams get that following the rest of their competitive seasons...no.

    Summer Olympics--Go US track, gymnastic, wrestling, etc. teams. Who follows the men's gymnastic team (the women have television--so we remember them) or our track stars as they compete in Europe.

    My guess is that our mens and women's national teams are off all but soccer fan's radars right now.
    However, you are right, I think, about what our soccer teams have going for them that no one else has--us.

    Soccer fans are not just pushing the teams, but pushing the nation for respect. Our own egos, hopes and dreams are wrapped up in it. Thus Sam's army. I've certainly never done for any of our other teams what I've done standing as part of Sam's Army. Wouldn't even consider it.

    But as for the rest of the nation--only for the big events is my opinion.
     
  3. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Part of it is also that the national team is an integral part of the soccer culture while other sports in the US with a major pro following don't have that concept.

    If playing for the national team were an integral part of basketball or baseball, those teams would have huge popularity, IMHO. Hockey doesn't get much help when they sometimes schedule the worlds during the NHL playoffs so they can't fully commit either.
     
  4. dark knight

    dark knight Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 15, 1999
    Club:
    Leeds United FC
    Most Americans root against the U.S. basketball team.
     
  5. empennage

    empennage Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    I think a really strong argument could be made that Mexico's national is actually the most popular. Afterall, how many times has the US played Mexico and the Mexican fans have out numbered US fans 10 to 1?
     
  6. WarrenWallace

    WarrenWallace Member

    Mar 12, 1999
    Beer and Cheese
    I did the two nights that they lost.
     
  7. copaantl98

    copaantl98 Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    That includes me.
     
  8. seahawkdad

    seahawkdad Spoon!!!

    Jun 2, 2000
    Lincoln, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great point. You're very right. Kids from the beginning realize that there is, if they want to and are good enough, a long soccer ladder to climb, from rec to travel to college and/or pro teams, and all the time there are also state, regional and national pools at several age levels that are something to strive for outside of whatever team structure they regularly play in.

    It's part of the structure and is there from the start.

    Good insight.
     
  9. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Re: Re: Do you believe in miracles?

    I dunno. How many times have we played in LA? At Foxboro it's been 50-50 at best, but more likely 60-40 in favor of the home team (USA, guess I need to mention that).

    Take the game to Columbus or KC or Atlanta and you likely have wall-to-wall Yanks -- although Atlanta locals might not choose to call them that.
     
  10. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Re: Re: Re: Do you believe in miracles?

    'm not sure, but I think that there's a pretty big Mexican population in Atlanta now. (Isn't that where Univision is headquartered -- that's what I've been told, correct me if I'm wrong), so I'm not so sure about the wall-to-wall Yanks scenario (unless of course I've been misled about recent demographic changes in Atlanta).
     
  11. blacktide

    blacktide Member

    Feb 25, 1999
    I believe Univision is HQed in Miami.
     
  12. empennage

    empennage Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    Re: Re: Re: Do you believe in miracles?

    Yeah, but I've never seen the US team fill a 90,000+ seat stadium without the help of Mexico, so that's like filling two stadiums. As you said there are locations where the US has strong supporters, but at the same time there are locations other than LA where there is strong Mexican support. Denver, Texas, Florida, and DC to just name a few.
     
  13. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    You know why? Between Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz, Elton Brand, Jay Williams, and most of the rest of the team, there's nothing to root FOR.

    I can but hope that the the best players can be bothered to get out of their gold-wheeled SUVs and stop cutting their rap CDs for a long-enough period of time to stand up for free-born Americans everywhere.
     
  14. John Galt

    John Galt Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Atlanta
    Hmm, someone from College Park dissing Elton Brand and Jay Williams? Sounds like a member of the Terrapin Riot Squad to me.

    As to how Atlanta would draw, it'd be pretty terrible since currently there is no true soccer stadium to play in. However, hypothetically speaking, there'd be a strong Latino population that would be there for a Mexico game. In Birmingham for the U.S. v. Ecuador friendly there was a sizable Ecuadorian contingent.

    Back to the original post, I like the theory that the USMNT is the most popular national team, and it probably is true by attendance numbers, but probably untrue by television ratings (given that you'd have to factor in Olympic competitions). What will be most interesting is to see what kind of TV coverage the USMNT gets in these first two pre-WC qualifying years. Hopefully improved promotion and interest on ABC.
     
  15. FootyMundo

    FootyMundo New Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Minneapolis
    Big thumbs down to those who root against our national team in hoops. You'd piss in your cornflakes if some journalist roots against our soccer national team. Don't do the same thing. They are still OUR team.
     
  16. bmurphyfl

    bmurphyfl Member

    Jun 10, 2000
    VT
    Club:
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Do you believe in miracles?

    What was the attendance at US-Brazil on 7/4/94? I think it was pretty close to 90K.

    Murf
     
  17. EdTheRed

    EdTheRed Member+

    Feb 6, 2001
    Loose On The Town
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Cook Islands
    DC doesn't really have strong Mexican support. I don't have census numbers on hand to back this up, but I'm pretty sure there are more Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Bolivians, and Hondurans in DC than there are Mexicans.

    If the Mexican national team were to play the U.S. at RFK, the crowd would probably be about 50-50 (at least in numbers, I refuse to predict how vocal either group of fans would be), but a lot of the Mexican fans would likely be from other parts of the eastern seaboard.
     
  18. boydreilly

    boydreilly New Member

    Jun 15, 2001
    It has happened. In 93 for a friendly. I think about 25k showed up and there were some Mexican fans, but they seemed outnumbered to me (1-1 tie.)

    Then in 95 for a US Cup game. I can't remember how showed - I want to say about 40k. There may have been some Mexican fans there. If they were there they were mighty quiet. US wion 4-0.
     
  19. DoctorJones24

    DoctorJones24 Member

    Aug 26, 1999
    OH
    Did you SEE the way these guys "played" against Argentina? I turned to the game for five minutes and caught Jermaine O'Neal retaliate against some guy for a legal stuff by knocking him down and stepping on him with both feet. Not a minute later, Reggie Miller seems to forget what he's doing and does a full two handed shove on his opponent for no apparent reason.

    Basically, cheering FOR these guys would have been about as un-American as you could have gotten...unless you see Americans as cheating bullyish thugs who whine when things don't go their way.
     
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Great point. I lost interest in rooting for the Dream Team during the first version when I saw pampered millionaire Charles Barkley repeatedly elbowing some guy from Angola.
     
  21. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, but what was worse, after the game, he joked, "what was he [the Angolan player] gonna do, throw a spear at me?"

    Can you imagine the uproar if this was said by someone whose ancestors came from any of the other continents 300 years ago? Of course, the media laughed it off, basically saying "that's Charles, always outspoken, always good for a quote."

    Or imagine if a white rich-spoiled-pro-athlete type made an equally disparaging stereotypical comment about one of his European opponents?

    Tom
     
  22. webster

    webster New Member

    May 18, 2002
    NYC
    Charles Barkley elbowed an Angolan player once, not repeatedly.

    Why should USA basketball players have to play in this tournamet? There is no cultural history of it in the US, the way that an Olypmics (or a World Cup) would be. These guys play long, grueling schedules and should every right to take it easy if they want.
     
  23. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Oh. Well. That's just so much more sportsmanlike of him.
     
  24. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    At least Arena had the best soccer players with which to work. And our soccer players -- male and female -- are not arrogant selfish moneygrubbers with cellphones and agents with cellphones.
     
  25. webster

    webster New Member

    May 18, 2002
    NYC
    I think it's important to correct blatant exaggerations where I find them. And yes, elbowing a player once (and if you saw the incident, it certainly was was no big deal, just Sir Charles getting a little physical after a post-basket run in) is far less unsportsmanlike than repeatedly elbowing players.
     

Share This Page