The factors that I see working in the favor of fútbol are:
1 - Its rules are incredibly simple - the FIFA rulebook, including diagrams and decisions on those rules, is a small pamphlet, while you compare that with the rulebooks from both American-style football AND baseball;
2 - EVERY PLAYER on the field has many chances to meaningfully handle the ball throughout a game;
3 - The kids are running up and down the field throughout the game and burning up oodles of energy, something that young kids love doing, and without breaks - the action on the field is continuous;
4 - The simplicity of the game allows kids to develop and hone the basic skills and individual styles and they quickly develop a lifelong true love of the game while doing so.
I see no reason why the sport's popularity won't keep growing here in the USA and there is so much raw talent, MILLIONS of people, running around on those youth league fields nationwide that IMHO, the USA cannot not *WIN* a mens' World Cup within my lifetime.
Soccer has grown in popularity for many reasons. I think TexOkie is right that the shifting demographics has a lot to due with it. I went to several DC United games and it was a 50/50 mix of the stuff white people like and Hispanics.
Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC got 7 million viewers where the CONCACAF Gold Cup match between Mexico and the US got 5 million viewers...on Univision.
Other possible reasons people are watching soccer:
You can now watch Premier, Italian A and Liga League soccer in the US on Fox Soccer Channel. Premier League games are now on ESPN as well as are MLS games.
Soccer is becoming trendy,its very popular with the "Stuff White People Like" crowd. The Seattle Sounders draw 30k people per match which is the highest total in the MLS. MLS averages more fans per game than the NHL.
If you are under 35 then chances are you played soccer as a child.
Soccer is fast. The average match lasts 2 1/2 hours. The low scoring is a BS argument. A 24-17 football game is 3-1/2 scores to 2-1/2 scores...football does not score a lot it just assigns a higher value for each point scored.
Soccer is popular with the female demographic. The mens soccer and womans soccer is played much the same way, which is not true for basketball. The NFL and college football also has a strong female following which is another reason why they are head a shoulders above every other sport.
Although I think soccer will continue to grow in popularity it will still fall short of football and the true rising star of the American sports...MMA.
"If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki
Not sure about the best way to package my thoughts on this - so here it is -
Inasmuch as people can afford to play sports and watch them during the span of their lifetime those sports will remain popular. The continuing trend will be about playing or watching the kids play. It's been that way for many Americans since Reaganomics pummeled the middle class. The moving franchise circus witnessed over the last 30 years isn't exactly an endorsement of a community-mindedness of professional sports teams, nor are the player salaries that also went up astronomically during the same period.
As income disparities among Americans increase, the monopolies of professional sports leagues (and their unions where applicable) will eventually crumble. Sports with low buy-in costs will thrive. Too many regular Americans can't afford to attend pro games, and as intimated earlier have other entertainment options available.
I love ice hockey, but find that Ken Dryden was right - too much structuring of play and facilities makes for disinterest/burnout among kids. Throw in global warming, and El Ninho (for Brazilian futbol fans)...and soccer is the king of accessibility.
"That guy handles the puck like a cow handles a gun!" - Mike Lange
I love baseball. It's too bad people don't like it more...........I kind of got it from my mom, she's Japanese and baseball is ridiculously popular over there. I generally root for all of the Japanese players (though I am a Cubs fan), and would love to get to see a baseball game in Japan someday.
Everyone around here (here being Alabama) is a Braves fan. I just couldn't get into them. The Cubs were good when I was a kid, and their games came on every Sunday afternoon on WGN, plus a few other times during the week. But definitely on Sunday afternoon. They were on just as much as the Braves, despite the fact that Atlanta's only two hours away and Chicago's about a ten-hour drive. I just liked watching them more. I use to fantasize as a kid about going to Wrigley Field, I loved it even then. Always wanted to be one of those people sitting on top of the apartment buildings across the street from the stadium. I've been to Chicago but have never been anywhere on the North Side, much less to Wrigley. I want to go someday before they tear it down.
I get SO much flak for being a Cubs fan, but I don't care. Baseball and the Cubs are one of the very few interests that I've carried over from childhood into adulthood.........I don't care about watching any movie renditions of the shows that I use to love as a kid (Transformers, etc) but I do love watching the Cubs. And I hate it when WGN carries White Sox games instead of Cubs games!!!!!
So yeah........sorry to go off on a tangent, but yes I do still love baseball. But I'm also an avid football and basketball fan. Anything outside of the big three though, I can't get into. Hockey's only good if there's a fight. Soccer is OK. Seems exciting but I just can't get into MLS or World Cup play. Golf and tennis? Forget about it.........I like team sports.
Baseball to me is nice because you can have it on in the background and still be doing something else. For me the minor stats and technical things are why I like it. I like hearing about the last rookie 2nd baseman who scored a double in his 1st at-bat in a new ball park built facing north.
I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.
With all due respect to Giants and Tigers fans, did anyone see the ratings for game 1 of the World Series? A record low for a World Series opener: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/1...n_2019177.html
I don't believe this is an abberation due to the teams in the WS this year, I think it's that baseball is definitely fading in popularity. This is the third year in a row that ratings have dropped for the WS.
People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams
Last night's WS game was a classic pitchers duel. It was very methodical and the pitchers were not throwing fastball after fastball. They were more 'crafty' with their pitches. To me as a seamhead, I thought it was a great game. However I do know people that were thoughly bored with the game last night.
I love soccer too and some people are bored by it. In both cases (and a few other sports too), if you don't know the minute details of a game, you can become easily bored.
There is also alot more tv to choose from and ADHD issues that - Look Squirrel...
"Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
"Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver
I don't think the game is declining, but it is getting very popular, not just in the states, but internationally as well. This world series features 9 Venezuelan players from both teams. While baseball has declined in ratings, it has grown in the international scene. We 'mericans tend to look inwards rather than outwards.
I am sure fox was a little sad to see Detriot make it to the WS, simply because the yanks=ratings gold.
follow me on the twitter @rcplans