Seesaw Sports, where Dan Salem and Todd Salem throw down on the NFL, MLB, NBA and more. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate sports.
We are approaching mid June and the 2014 World Cup‘s opening match is this week! Who do you have winning the whole thing, and where do you see the United States fin….oh, who am I kidding. This is not the conversation for us.
There is a much more important question here looming below the surface. What is the bigger bandwagon, American sporting event: the World Cup or the Olympics?
The Olympics has the edge in that it is sort of every two years, with both summer and winter events. However, the winter Olympics don’t seem to generate the hysteria that the summer games do. I don’t know the reason for that. Maybe it’s because many of the winter sports are too similar with men’s, women’s, snowboarding, skiing making every event a quadruplet of itself. And that doesn’t even count the other sports that include skiing or snowboarding, like biathlon.
So what’s the bigger fake fan event, the summer games or the World Cup? While limiting the Olympics to just summer games, it still has the variety edge over the World Cup obviously. However, with soccer, Americans are really just joining in on a thing that the rest of the world already lives and dies over. With the Olympics, every country is in the same boat. I think that gives the slight edge back to World Cup soccer.
But I need another viewpoint here.
The World Cup wins the bandwagon debate hands down. Most Americans will tell you they like the Olympics regardless of when you ask them. Our country is guaranteed to participate in every Olympic games, be it the summer or winter events. So yes, a bandwagon of support forms when the games get going, especially for the summer games, but it never really goes away. People just lose interest in the sports when they are not on the biggest stage. But their support of Olympic team USA is never up for discussion.
The same can not be said of the World Cup and America’s growing bandwagon of support. There are American soccer/fútbol fans, but ask an American whether they care about the sport during a time not coinciding with World Cup competition and the answer will most likely be no. One huge reason for this, team USA has never been a lock for making the World Cup. Our team has had to fight and claw its way into the tournament throughout its history, leaving many Americans in the dark when it came to rooting interest.
So where does this leave the bandwagon of support? Well now the World Cup is about to start and ESPN has the coverage. The bandwagon for team USA in the World Cup is about to explode! Our country qualified and they look damn strong. We have someone to root for, an underdog that is our own. It’s what American sports are made of. Can we beat the world at its own game? Can we steal the stage in the single competition that America can not claim dominion over? Watch team USA get a victory under its belt and this country will be full of closet fútbol fans.
I love how you call the World Cup a fake fan event. Unlike the Stanley Cup where everyone is watching for exciting hockey between Los Angeles and New York but little else, the World Cup puts national pride on the line. Just like in the Olympics, we as a nation get behind our athletes with a real passion. But unlike the Olympics where we are practically a lock take home gold medals, there are no guarantees in this fútbol tournament. In fact, the stakes are much higher and the odds so much more against us that a quick exit by team USA could crush the bandwagon before it even gets moving.
I hope this doesn’t happen. I hope team USA blows up on the international stage. The World Cup is bigger than the Super Bowl for every country but our own and I want team USA to claim their trophy for the world to see.
[Part two – Eye on USA success]
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