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Fútbol, America and Other Things

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Here's a list of the most popular sports in the world (obtained from mostpopularsports.net... Go figure):

1. Soccer (Fútbol!)
2. Cricket
3. Field hockey

And here is a list of the post popular sports in America:

1. Football (our version)
2. Baseball
3. Basketball

As you can see, there is no crossover between the lists. I mean, does anyone know what cricket is in America? I mean, I do, but that's beside the point.

So where is all this disconnect coming from? Soccer is the most popular sport in almost every major country, except the ones in North America. In a place with such a diverse culture, I would expect soccer, not football, to be our "uniting sport."

We have all seen the popularity of soccer come and go in American media. Take, for example, the women's world cup last summer. The girls brought home the cup last year, and our interest in soccer was arguably at an all-time high (it always peaks around world cup season). But now, almost a year later, we hardly hear anything about the women on that team. They are still number one but we hardly hear about the clubs they play in now or watch their games to any extent (that might be because it's women playing the sport, but that's another column).

I have no problem with us not being that interested in soccer, maybe our immense interest in football, baseball and basketball comes from the fact that they are truly "American" sports, all originating right at home. Something that American has to appeal to, well... America.

Maybe our cultural diversity has fostered new sports in addition to new food and traditions. The point I'm trying to get at is that there are a few things more American than our sports, but maybe we should take a break from all this Tebowing/Linsanity and watch some more "global" athletics.