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Soccer Why It Cant Make the Big Time in the USA Soccer or football or foosball or futbol as the rest of the world outside the United States calls it is surely the most popular sport in the world Every four years the world championship of soccer the World Cup is watched by literally billions all over the world beating out the United States professional footballs Super bowl by far It is estimated that 17 billion television viewers watched the World Cup final between France and Brazil in July of 1998 But although soccer has become an important sport in the American sports scene it will never make inroads into the hearts and markets of American sports the way that football basketball hockey baseball and even tennis and golf have done There is one major reason for this Recently the New England Revolution beat the Tampa Bay Mutiny in a game played during a horrid rainstorm Nearly 5000 fans showed up which shows that soccer is indeed popular in the United States However the story of the game was buried near the back of the newspapers sports section and there was certainly no television coverage In fact the biggest reason for soccers failure as a mass appeal sport in the United States is that it does not conform easily to the demands of television Basketball succeeds enormously in America because it regularly schedules what it calls television time-outs as well as the time-outs that the teams themselves call to re-group not to mention half-times and on the professional level quarter breaks Those time-outs in the action are ideally made for television commercials And television coverage is the lifeblood of American sports Anyone who has attended a live football game knows how commercial time-outs slow the game and sometimes at its most exciting moments disrupt the flow of events There is no serious objection however because without television football knows that it simply wouldnt
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