Where is the buzz out here on the biggest sporting event of the world?

I must be missing something. At least that’s the way I console myself when I look around and see the spotty coverage in the US media about the World Cup. The NYT finally printed an article on the fortunes of the English team and there was an article on Landon Donovan. They are bringing out a weekend sports edition that will feature the World Cup (and other sports, so it is not really an exclusive). The Wapo is not much better. The TV coverage from ESPN is non-stop Barry Bonds, Heat vs Pistons, and the Mavs vs Suns. Or the Yankees -Red Sox. Even John Daly and his recent mastication at Hooters restaurant got a profile in the NYT.
And I am in NYC, variously called the center of the universe, the melting pot of the world. The Serbian-Montenegrin cab driver (Sorry, he is a Serbian as Montenegro voted for independence over the weekend) who took me to work yesterday, shook his head and said, ” If it wasnt for my friends over here and back home, I would not know that there was a World Cup on.” He said he had lived in New York for 20 years and each time the World Cup was held, he would become optimistic about soccer becoming big in this country. But that hope has faded away.
If Landon Donovan and the boys were NFL stars or even NCAA football players I would have known the breakfast cereal that they eat, the steakhouse that they go to, their childhood illnesses, the name of their pets, their first heartbreak, the time they went to Yellowstone, and what inspired them to take up soccer. I have to go online to find out. From ESPN Soocernet, or Fox Soccer, or the individual club websites. Because you would not get that in the newsprint or TV media. National Geographic recent issue’s on the World Cup but how many people read that magazine.
Soccer still has this subversive quality to it. I will have to go to the 8 mile creek pub to see Aussie soccer or to the 23rd St and Lex area to the many English pubs to get that soccer fever. Or to Queens amongst the Ecuadorians and Colombians to out my hat on and scream Gooooooaaaaaaallllll!
I really hope Sunil Gulati can do more to bring soccer into the US. Because the time for clinical testing is over.
But like I said I must be missing something. So I really would welcome news that proves that soccer is a big deal where you live.

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One comment on “Where is the buzz out here on the biggest sporting event of the world?
  1. First of all, thanks for the reference to Sunil Gulati and the link to Christian’s MLS development model. I hadn’t seen that, as I hadn’t yet read your blog back in April. I would say that selling promising young American stars to Europe is imperative for the MLS, and not just for the quick cash infusion. I think that the long-run success of soccer in the US is highly dependent on World Cup performance. Americans have little interest in any sport in which they don’t compete well. The best way for us to have World Cup success is by fielding a team with big-time European experience. The feedback effect of a successful WC performance to the MLS would be significant, in my opinion. By all means, sell Freddy.
    Here in Chicago, only our immigrant communities view the World Cup as a “big deal.” We have a large Polish population and their supporters outnumbered ours by 2:1 and nearly filled Soldier Field in a friendly two years ago. We also have a large Mexican community who will fill the stadium when their national team (or one of their club teams) comes to town. Let’s urge our legislators to enact more liberal immigration laws! Hope that’s not too political ;)

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