Someone said they don’t like soccer because it’s such a low-scoring game. And it’s true, many games end up 1 to nothing or 2 to 1. But what if you only got one point for a touchdown in American football? Instead of 12 to 6, the score would be 2 to 1. Instead of 18 to 12, the final score would be 3 to 2. It sure would make the office betting pool simpler.
So why isn’t soccer a huge sport here in this sports-loving country? I’ve heard a lot of reasons, but I’ve never heard the right one. The right one is: television and advertising. A soccer game has very few commercial breaks. Let’s see, a football game lasts an hour on the clock. With commercials, it lasts four hours plus. A soccer game lasts an hour and a half on the clock, and most games are done in two hours. A baseball game has no time limit, but it still has plenty of breaks for commercials. Boxing used to be a huge sport on television, with every round a commercial.
Soccer? Forget it. Two halves, and the only real break is at halftime. How much money can you make on that?
Don’t worry, soccer will come to America. As soon as they figure out a way to stop the game every 10 minutes or so to sell us some beer.
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life,” “Baby’s First Tattoo” and “Now in Paperback.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.