Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Team America

Maybe we’re hip and on to something here. Maybe we’re on the cutting-edge, trendy and all the rage, more chic than we ever imagined.

Read this fascinating article by Greg Lalas on SI.com.

American businessmen are buying football clubs in droves for a reason: global appeal. They can make money off these brands, unlike American sports brands, which have little global recognition.

Our beloved sport’s been on the cutting edge for so long. When will it ever break through? Are these purchases a sign of progress, of the mainstream appeal of the sport? Will the arrival of David Beckham begin the Age of Soccer in America?

That’s all well and good.
But it begs a further question: Do we really want it to break through?

Do we really want to see football/soccer become a mainstream American sport?

The Americanization of football isn’t something I want to see.
I like the niche feel of the sport. I enjoy being a football expert in the popular community.
I like how the sport’s an outsider, not all the rage. Do we really want every Tom, Dick & Harry knowing about the allure of La Liga or the beauty of Argentinian football?
I like the foreign flavor, how I can easily relate to people from Albania to Zimbabwe, all because of football.
I like going to the pub and watching the match with 500 like-minded souls.
I like talking about the matches with these like-minded souls into the wee hours, bickering about all the small nuances of the 90 minutes.
I enjoy being stuffed into a dark bar at 2:30 in the afternoon as the world goes on around me, because I can’t live without my dose of the Champions League?

Basically, I want football all for my own.
It’s my child, so lay off.
Get your own sport.

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