In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “IMHO.”
Link to an item in the news you’ve been thinking about lately, and write the op-ed you’d like to see published on the topic. AMERICANS DON’T CARE ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER, BY NPR’S Frank Deford
It has been over forty years, ago during an elementary school gym class when the ubiquitous gym teacher produced strange black and white soccer balls from a large canvass bag. They were like nothing we had ever seen as they sat on the floor. After a short lesson on how to play soccer, we attempted this game on the asphalt school playground.
Needless to point out this was the first time and last time soccer was used as a new form of exercise. My high school had a soccer team, but, it was completely over shadowed by high school, football, basketball, track and baseball. I reviewed my high school year book for research for this article, and discovered we had more people in the Glee club and flag team than we had soccer players.
Now, before the age of ten, many of my life long friends played pickup baseball, football and basketball games in the streets, alley’s, playgrounds on dirt and asphalt without helmets, or pads. The only tools of the game we needed were the balls and we all shared gloves for baseball.
However, since the raising my now adult children, only one participated in soccer and it was not a pretty sight to see elementary school children kicking away at the soccer ball and one another constantly until someone made contact with the ball and of course with each other.
Thank goodness for plastic shin pads to protect my son’s legs and his first use of a protective cup. He complained about wearing the cup until the game started and when he was involved in the kicking scrum.
Soccer has maintained a foothold in some communities within the US and many colleges & universities provide scholarships for soccer athletes, The sport will not surpass football, baseball, basketball within the next fifty years, unless the World & US Soccer organizations marketing saturates American communities with support for organized games and market the game at the college level with the fervor used for the round of 64 basketball tournament.
Only then will soccer become the power house in the US that it is everywhere else on the planet.