What would it take to make you a soccer fan?

July 7, 2012, 8:40 pm
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Mark Wolfson

As a bay area soccer fan, last week's European Championships and the Earthquakes thrilling comeback win over the MLS champion LA Galaxy exemplified just how great "The Beautiful Game" can be.

But clearly the great majority of American sports fans have a less than enthusiastic view of the sport. It's vexing that the world's most popular sport has yet to gain a strong foothold in the US. One national morning radio show about soccer bills the game as "America's sport of the future... as it has been since 1972."

Why is that? It's a simple game with the smallest rule book in sports. Unlike the NFL and NBA, soccer is played by people whose pituitaries have not run amok. Normal sized athletes can succeed at the game's highest levels. In fact, soccer's greatest player (and arguably the greatest player ever) is barely 5'5" and nicknamed "the flea."

My non-soccer friends say the game is dull because of the paucity of scoring. He has a point given that the most common score line in professional soccer is 1-0 to the home team. But why is that any less exciting than a baseball pitching dual that results in just a run or two?

Many sports fans complain about the numbers of commercials in televised events. A typical baseball game has 27 minutes of commercials and promotion announcements. But since the clock is always running in soccer, whether the ball is in play or a team is tending to an injured player, there are no commercial breaks during the game - just pre-game, halftime and post game.

So instead of just continuing to scratch my head, I thought I'd ask you - sports fans who follow your favorite teams regularly on television, in print or on the internet.

What would it take to make you a soccer fan? And What would you do to make the game more appealing to you?

Mark Wolfson is producing todays broadcast between the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas on CSN Bay Area

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