It has been with increasing interest that I now notice that ESPN is televising the 8 Regional finals of Little League baseball for U-12. Not being a baseball fan in any way shape or form, I wonder how much of this is driven by my prejudice against the game that I consider gawd-awfully boring. 1) About four 12 year olds play soccer for every kid who picks up a glove (that is conservative). 2) In light of that, how much is this driven by a group of decisionmakers who are out and out baseball fans, and will do anything they can to help promote and prop up the game... To wit, ESPN programming execs.... I STIPULATE THE FOLLOWING: I bet the ratings for these little league games exceed anything else in their timeslots. I also bet that the audience is better than MLS, WNBA, or NHL hockey. Given that, I know that most of you will say that it is simply a numbers game. 3) Having said that (paragraph above), if the ratings are driven by watching children play adult games, than why does ESPN not hook onto the U-17 world youth cup. a) The World Cup, I beleive, has acheived, in the minds of programmers, Major League Sports Status (In other words, the potential to be consider a big time rating event like the NFL, World Series, NBA playoffs, and Major College Football bowls and games. This is backed up historically, and in the right circumstances, can draw big numbers -See WWC 1999, 1994 World Cup) b) Given that premise, why not look for an event that combines the two elements. What do you get.... The Under 17 World Cup. The same event that brought us Landon Donovan and DeMarcus Beasley. 4) Of course, this brings me full circle. ESPN (or whomever "they" are who controls what is put out on the airwaves, whether that be radio or TV) will not go one half inch out of their way to promote soccer, the same way they promote baseball. It is simply not in "their" self interest. It will not change until people whose mindset is similar to mind (and other soccer fans) assume positions of power (e.g. Ansultz and SUM). Thank you for this rant. Let the hairsplitting begin!