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Soccer – Why Don’t Americans See the Beauty in it?

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A 50- yard pass, a great ball played down the line to a speeding runner, a cross executed perfectly by the winger with the finale of a calm and collected end headed to the top corner of the net.

This is a typical play in top professional soccer leagues all over the world. 22 players flying around the field, displaying superb control and dexterity with their feet. Excuse me for the pun but this is absolutely a feat that you cannot find anywhere else. Despite the rarity of this athletic achievement, Americans aren't excited or show interest about it. Usually, Americans jump on anything rare. They are appreciative of things they cannot do. But with soccer, we just don't get it. If the game was held in a European or in South American soccer stadium, the reception would be entirely different as crowds would go restless in anticipation building up until the end of the game. The crowds roar and pressure builds up and when the goal comes up, the audience erupts in a thunderous explosion of clapping and cheering. However when the play is done in an American stadium in the United States, there is no build up as excitement only comes towards the end of the game. In the US, either we cheer or don't and it depends on whether we score or not. Because of this, Americans view soccer as boring and a slow- paced game.

Being a soccer fan for 20 years, I ask myself why can't we appreciate what the rest of the world sees as the most beautiful and enthralling game ever. And the answer is: We are an impatient race.

Though the United States have a vast mix of cultures different from one another, but as a whole the US is a low context culture. People are blunt and direct to the point. No need to look for hidden meanings since it is what it is. Aside from that people are used to instant gratification. When you want it, you want it now. Even if we have the saying that patience is a virtue, Americans do not just sit and wait for things to happen but they make it happen. And that applies to sports too. That's why basketball is the most watched sport because of its fast-paced rhythm. The two teams competing can score up to 100 points or more. Same goes for baseball, there are a lot of plays. Strikeouts, homeruns, players running and diving to catch the ball, and double plays too.

Soccer is entirely different from the two sports. You must be an astute audience to notice the intricacies of the game. As Americans, if we focus on the journey rather than the results of the game, we would be able to develop appreciation for soccer and see the beauty of the game just like the rest of the world.

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