I was listening to a presentation the other day from someone from England. He mentioned preparations for a soccer tournament somewhere. He kidded that we probably all cared about football, but he really liked soccer. I couldn’t help but wonder why.
No, not that I wondered why on earth he liked soccer. People like things I don’t, and that’s fine. But, soccer is weird to me. It is SO popular EVERYWHERE else, but yawned at in the United States. How can that be? It clearly has universal appeal. People from big cities love it as much as rural farmers. Developed countries get as crazy as the developing ones. Each hemisphere of the globe just lives and breathes soccer. But, not the USA. We’re people too, right? Things that appeal to other people should appeal to us, right? How can a sport that is found thrilling and wonderful by billions of people be so ignored by this country? Is a sport interesting, or not? Is it fun to watch, or not? Is it exciting, or not? What is it?
That leads me to think; maybe it’s not soccer. Maybe it’s just the upbringing. Maybe people in Europe are excited about soccer because their parents like soccer. Because their newspapers report on soccer. Because nobody thinks they look weird with their face painted red.
Which leads me to Albert Pujols.
He’s now a member of the LA Angels of A. My first thought when I heard about that is that he’s going to see a pretty drastic change in environment. St Louis is pretty well knows as a rabid fan base. LA is pretty well known as a place where it’s sunny. So, similar to the soccer question, why is that? Is someone the talent of Albert Pujols enough to change that? Is it all about the quality of the product, or is it just a general feeling in the area? If Pujols has enough talent to draw fans in other towns, will he draw them in LA? Is Pujols fun to watch, or will baseball fans just watch anything put in front of them? Are baseball fans in Boston, NY, or St Louis just like European soccer fans? Wildly fanatic just because they always have been?
Are the Boston, NY, and Philly fans so into sports because their talent is better? Is the talent better because the fans are really into sports? Can more talent bring more fans? Can Albert Pujols make baseball matter in LA?
David Beckham couldn’t do it with soccer.