BILL SIMMONS PICKS ON SOCCER’S LACK OF U.S. SUCCESS: Bill Simmons writes what we’ve been saying about U.S. soccer since before Tony Bruno could be heard below 1690AM on the radio dial: “Every five years, people predict soccer could “take off” in America. Every five years, it doesn’t happen. Why? Because Americans don’t want to watch anything less than the best possible athletes.
“That’s why the USFL and Arena Football failed as TV sports, that’s why the CBA doesn’t have a TV contract, and that’s why ESPN2 doesn’t show minor league baseball every night. Pro soccer can’t become a major American sport when 99.7% of the quality players play overseas. It’s a fact.”
It isn’t that most Americans would know the difference, but pro sports is all about context. Put a better way, how do you think fans would feel about the NBA if games were played on the playground? The venue and context of the game in people’s mind is just as important as the quality of play.
If Americans think they are watching the best, then they’ll come. In other words, soccer won’t become mainstream in our lifetime.
Oh yeah, in the same piece, Simmons also writes “I ate my own boogers.” Who knew he was such fast friends with Chris Berman?