Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Fever. Part 2. by violet

As I talked about back in February, I have a crazy obsession with the Olympics. One could venture to guess that I would also feel the same way about the World Cup. And they would be correct. My 9 to 5 schedule keeps me from watching most games in real time. And, unlike the Olympics NBC, ESPN doesn’t hold the games hostage until primetime, so I’m mostly relegated to the weekends and watching my twitter feed during the day.
Soccer is an interesting sport in the US. Our history has been in baseball, American football and basketball. The rest of the world however is obsessed with football.

But a funny thing is starting to happen. Here is Seattle, Sounders tickets are the hottest in town. Traffic is worse than Mariner’s traffic which I would assume means attendance is at similar levels. Of course, Seattle is an ideal market for Major League Soccer. It’s full of a bunch of hippies that probably grew up playing it and certainly their children are playing currently. Plus, it’s full of hipsters that love the European association it has to it. There’s nothing more a hipster loves more than to say, “you don’t enjoy soccer because you don’t understand soccer.”

But I think this just might be the World Cup that finally pushes American soccer over the edge and into mainstream popularity. Not only has the MLS found it footing be there is also:

- The world views this team as a merry bunch of misfits that don’t really belong on their level only adds to whole appeal. We love and underdog don’t we?

- Landon Donovan, who has struggled mightily to meet expectation, is finally playing like the super star of American soccer he has been billed to be.

- Our first match was against England. Nothing like a little Revolutionary War rivalry to get the blood flowing.

- Questionable disallowed goals – rage is also easy to get behind.

- A come from behind tie (should have been a victory).

AND THEN. THEN, yesterday happened. On the brink of elimination, after what seemed like a million chances and another questionable disallowed goal, that former, chronic underachiever Landon Donovan found the back of the net in STOPPAGE time - a concept that for some here in the US still baffles the mind. And all of America cheered. Literally, I heard it. And then, it broke the internet. I’m not kidding – right after Landon’s goal marks the 2nd largest internet traffic of all time – surpassing the 2008 presidential elections. Second only to?

That’s right – a week earlier when the US tied England.

Violet in Seychelles gold flats

1 comment:

  1. I. love. this.

    I heard a funny interview with a British sports commentator, saying how it's not fair that Americans don't even really care about soccer and we still represent well at the World Cup! He said we should continue to excel at all other sports, but he begged us to leave soccer alone. :)

    And while I do like the underdog theme, the U.S. is actually supposed to do well. They were favored before to advance to the round of 16 based on our group (but we all saw how Slovenia did!), and this is definitely the best American team in World Cup history (according to those people who actually follow soccer).

    Ole ole ole!