The World Cup starts Friday in South Africa. The United States opens the next day against England. (Interesting opening game right?) Most of the planet will spend the next three weeks totally engrossed in this quadrennial tournament. But sports fans here will barely care, if they care at all. The question is -should we?
This is the biggest single sport competition in the world, & next to the Olympics, the most watched (maybe it's bigger I'm not sure). But here more people will watch the NBA finals, or worse Wipeout. OK thats kinda fun, but still.
The problem has always been the US inability to get behind this sport, & produce athletes at the highest level. There are a few American players starting on European teams, but none who are superstars. Whereas the top club teams in Europe are full of players from all over the world. The top league here, the MLS is considered a minor, low caliber league. No where near the level of say, the English Premier League, the Bundesliga (Germany), or Serie A (Italy).
I like to say that Americans have two teams to root for in the World Cup. Team USA until they lose (which they will) & the team representing where their ancestors came from. In my case, luckily, that is Italy & Germany, two of the powerhouses that have won multiple cups. Italy last time. Even if the US had a chance I doubt we would care. Most Americans, myself included, consider Soccer, Futbal or whatever you want to call it boring. I would rather watch Rugby or Aussie Rules. Those have a lot more action, but even those are ignored here.
We Americans are very insular. We only like American sports and American athletes. As the country has become more conservative, the attitude towards "furriners" has gotten worse. Hockey is barely tolerated because its a Canadian game. NASCAR has become the only form of auto racing anyone pays attention to, despite IndyCar being more exciting, because the fans have decided they don't like all the foreigners in that series. (winner of Indy 500 Dario Franchitti is from Scotland, the other top drivers are from Brazil, England & Australia). Boxing has lost it's appeal partly because the top fighters are not American any more.
So, will we watch? Where I work, yes. Because the majority of my co-workers are from other parts of the world. But even USA-England might lose here if there's a baseball game on opposite it.