Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

July 4, 2014

Morgan: Soccer finally over for USA

Corsicana —

Well, the World Cup is over. OK, it’s still going on, but the US is out of it. We can all go back to ignoring soccer again, and I promise you that’s what will happen. It’s the same thing with tennis. Wimbledon is going on right now, so tennis is getting marginally more attention than it normally gets. Once Wimbledon is finished, tennis will join soccer somewhere on the back page of the sports section alongside rowing.
Oh, I’ve heard all the hype over the last couple of weeks. I know the TV ratings have been good this year. I’ve seen all the watching parties at all the bars. I’m aware of the hoopla surrounding the world’s most popular quadrennial event. But, as far as the predictions that soccer will gain popularity by quantum leaps is about as likely as Sarah Palin replacing Whoopie Goldberg on the View.
We’ve heard this all before after the success of the American women in the World Cup several years ago. Even with cute young American soccer players yanking off their jerseys, soccer faded back into relative obscurity until the next World Cup. 
You don’t have to take my word for it. The best explanation I’ve seen came from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The master of the sky hook said, “American audiences see people kicking the ball to a teammate, only to have it intercepted by the other team,” he wrote in a Time.com essay. “A lot. To the average American used to the hustle of basketball, the clash of titans in football, the suspense of the curve ball in baseball, or the thrilling crack of the slapshot in hockey, the endless meandering back and forth across the soccer field looks less like strategy and more like random luck.”

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