Forums - Sports Discussion - How to make football (soccer) popular in North America

What do you guys think of these changes?

Good idea. It would help ... 10 27.78%
 
Bad idea, football doesn't need any changes. 17 47.22%
 
Don't care/Whatever 9 25.00%
 
Total:36
Moyu said:

Colombia, Chile and Belgium all have a nice chance to achieve it, depending on how their young players develop.

I fail to see how this huge variable applies to them, but it becomes impossible for the US.  I would argue those three countries and the US all have equal shot at winning a World Cup in next five cycles. All being low, but also pretty close.



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"How to make football popular in North America"

You must first grasp why it is so popular in the rest of the world. There are two reasons:

The first reason is simplicity... the lack of rules. When I was young we used a bottle cap as a "ball" and two trash cans as goalposts. We played on cement and didn't have gloves or special shoes. We didn't play with any rules like offside or a fixed amount of players on each team. But we grew up loving the game. Now I realise that in NA, every school/college has it's indoor gym and there are state/national champioships but in the rest of the world very few have that courtesy. In latin america, for instance, where soccer is king, kids grow up playing soccer in the dirt and there aren't any other alternatives. No baseball teams, no hockey teams, no basketball teams, no school tournaments, no state championships, just football with your friends. This brings me to my second reason: when you grow up playing and loving the game on football, you relate to other great players either of your national team or of the club you support. Now these ties to a team or individual players go much deeper than in NA. Soccer personalities become more important than political figures in less developed countries and kids dream of one day becoming great football players and playing in the CL final or the Mundial final. In NA one cannot relate the same way to football players because they are not of the same level an their european and latin counterparts.

Having said that I realise that american sports are more advanced than football and the matches are much more entertaining to watch. Teams in american leagues are much more balanced than in any other sports league in the world due to the implementaion of rules like the salary cup and the draft. I hate it when teams like R.Madrid go spending hundreds of millions each year to go buy the best players in the world. Moreover, all these sports are more offensive and faster paced than football and have frequent timeouts (which allows more commercials in between the action), so they are more suited for television.

Personally I am a HUGE fan on football, I would rather quit my job than miss one of my team's matches, but if I was born in the USA I wouldn't have any reason to watch football. I would watch NA sports who offer a greater spectacle. Not having a team to support or relate to wouldn't justify spending those boring 90mins 0-0 draws on your couch.

So in conclusion I thing that N.Americans cannot enjoy football like other countries because they have better alternatives and Europeans/S.Americans/Africans etc. love the sport because they are born into an environment where it is already popular and grow up playing and loving it...

Now would adding more rules help the sport in NA? I think it wouldn't. The main reason is that players would adapt to the new rules, making the USA/ Canadian national teams even weaker in international competitions (which would alienate even more possible fans of the sport). Furthermore, these rules would require dramatic changes in the football (as well as it's referees) causing it to be esencially a different sport. On the other hand FIFA and UEFA try to keep football as simple as possible (one example is not allowing camera assistance for the referees, instead just accepting the ref's error as "a part of the game"). They reaslise that in order to keep football as popular as it is worldwide you need to somehow relate to the kid that's playing barefoot in the dirt. Finally, I think that your rules would just lead to more hasty attacks and more posession turnovers which would in fact make things more difficult in offense. Especially the shot clock rule... you can't force an attack in football like you do in bascketball, you must first find an opening. Cutting down the time to 30min halfs would just be negated by the fact that you reduced the players in the field so they'll just do more running in less time (which i think is too low, every match would end 1-0 or 0-0). Not allowing passes to your GK would be an interesting change (even in the rest of the world) but I don't think would change much (once keepers were allowd to grab the ball with their hands after a teammates pass but they changed the rules so that they could make the sport more offensive so this is I think the only rule that could possibly me implemented).



Augen said:
Moyu said:

Colombia, Chile and Belgium all have a nice chance to achieve it, depending on how their young players develop.

I fail to see how this huge variable applies to them, but it becomes impossible for the US.  I would argue those three countries and the US all have equal shot at winning a World Cup in next five cycles. All being low, but also pretty close.


hahaha don't make me laugh

The only reason I mentioned those 3 countries is because their current best players are on their prime right now and for the next WC depending on how good their young players develop (e.g Belgium's Curtois is already World Class) they might get a a chance to do something in 2018.

Altidore was a failure in the EPL, Tim Howard plays for fucking Everton and the rest of the US players who are in thier prime play in weak leagues like the MLS (which btw is a league with no real footballing passion as a relegation system has never been implemented).

They US have no culture with regards to football, they will never achieve a World Cup because the US youth simply doesn't love or care about the sport as much as countries who really do.



Roberto10 said:
"How to make football popular in North America"

You must first grasp why it is so popular in the rest of the world. There are two reasons:

The first reason is simplicity... the lack of rules. When I was young we used a bottle cap as a "ball" and two trash cans as goalposts. We played on cement and didn't have gloves or special shoes. We didn't play with any rules like offside or a fixed amount of players on each team. But we grew up loving the game. Now I realise that in NA, every school/college has it's indoor gym and there are state/national champioships but in the rest of the world very few have that courtesy. In latin america, for instance, where soccer is king, kids grow up playing soccer in the dirt and there aren't any other alternatives. No baseball teams, no hockey teams, no basketball teams, no school tournaments, no state championships, just football with your friends. This brings me to my second reason: when you grow up playing and loving the game on football, you relate to other great players either of your national team or of the club you support. Now these ties to a team or individual players go much deeper than in NA. Soccer personalities become more important than political figures in less developed countries and kids dream of one day becoming great football players and playing in the CL final or the Mundial final. In NA one cannot relate the same way to football players because they are not of the same level an their european and latin counterparts.

Having said that I realise that american sports are more advanced than football and the matches are much more entertaining to watch. Teams in american leagues are much more balanced than in any other sports league in the world due to the implementaion of rules like the salary cup and the draft. I hate it when teams like R.Madrid go spending hundreds of millions each year to go buy the best players in the world. Moreover, all these sports are more offensive and faster paced than football and have frequent timeouts (which allows more commercials in between the action), so they are more suited for television.

Personally I am a HUGE fan on football, I would rather quit my job than miss one of my team's matches, but if I was born in the USA I wouldn't have any reason to watch football. I would watch NA sports who offer a greater spectacle. Not having a team to support or relate to wouldn't justify spending those boring 90mins 0-0 draws on your couch.

So in conclusion I thing that N.Americans cannot enjoy football like other countries because they have better alternatives and Europeans/S.Americans/Africans etc. love the sport because they are born into an environment where it is already popular and grow up playing and loving it...

Now would adding more rules help the sport in NA? I think it wouldn't. The main reason is that players would adapt to the new rules, making the USA/ Canadian national teams even weaker in international competitions (which would alienate even more possible fans of the sport). Furthermore, these rules would require dramatic changes in the football (as well as it's referees) causing it to be esencially a different sport. On the other hand FIFA and UEFA try to keep football as simple as possible (one example is not allowing camera assistance for the referees, instead just accepting the ref's error as "a part of the game"). They reaslise that in order to keep football as popular as it is worldwide you need to somehow relate to the kid that's playing barefoot in the dirt. Finally, I think that your rules would just lead to more hasty attacks and more posession turnovers which would in fact make things more difficult in offense. Especially the shot clock rule... you can't force an attack in football like you do in bascketball, you must first find an opening. Cutting down the time to 30min halfs would just be negated by the fact that you reduced the players in the field so they'll just do more running in less time (which i think is too low, every match would end 1-0 or 0-0). Not allowing passes to your GK would be an interesting change (even in the rest of the world) but I don't think would change much (once keepers were allowd to grab the ball with their hands after a teammates pass but they changed the rules so that they could make the sport more offensive so this is I think the only rule that could possibly me implemented).

A big part of the sport's growing popularity in the US among young people (yes, it is popular regardless of any anecdotes you have) is that the spectacle is far superior to other US sports.

NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL all suffer from corporate culture.  You are a bunch of strangers who show up together and like trained seals told to "Make some noise" and buy merchandise.

MLS is authentic with supporter groups has people working on songs and tifos with real sense of community.  You stand and sing for 90 minutes and know your brothers and sisters.  

This is 100% fan made. Dozens of people spending their weekends working on something because they love their club.  At best in other leagues I see some club sponsored crap the fans did nothing to make.  To me there is no greater spectacle than seeing passion.  Passion cannot be replicated in jumbo trons and speakers.  It comes from within and a big part of why I frimly believe the league and sport will only grow in the coming years.



Moyu said:
Augen said:

I fail to see how this huge variable applies to them, but it becomes impossible for the US.  I would argue those three countries and the US all have equal shot at winning a World Cup in next five cycles. All being low, but also pretty close.


hahaha don't make me laugh

The only reason I mentioned those 3 countries is because their current best players are on their prime right now and for the next WC depending on how good their young players develop (e.g Belgium's Curtois is already World Class) they might get a a chance to do something in 2018.

Altidore was a failure in the EPL, Tim Howard plays for fucking Everton and the rest of the US players who are in thier prime play in weak leagues like the MLS (which btw is a league with no real footballing passion as a relegation system has never been implemented).

They US have no culture with regards to football, they will never achieve a World Cup because the US youth simply doesn't love or care about the sport as much as countries who really do

1. Equal as in all are long shots

2. How would I prove to you I care? That others care? Could I spend hours playing and watching? Spend thousands on travel and tickets? Spend hours on tifo? Sing and jump for full 90 with sore throat and aching muscles?

3. Based on your assessment of the US it must be baffling to see them do better than a England or Portugal or Italy last year.

What is clear to me is so many people here and aborad are set in mentalities built up over decades.  You think very little of us, so be it.  I'll just enjoy the sport I love and my club and country with it.



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outlawauron said:
Honestly, you can make arguments that MLS is rapidly encroaching on NHL's popularity in the US.


Yeah, although NHL is growing in the States, I could see MLS surpassing it for #4 sport after football, baseball, and basketball in the future. Maybe even more popular than baseball if it starts to decline. 



Moyu said:
OP your rules will never come true and they are pretty horrible to be honest with you.

If you want football to become one of NA's biggest sport I think the USA National team need to win a world cup.

But of course that will never happen.


Yeah the US winning a world cup anytime soon is a pipe dream haha. 

But what rules would you suggest? I know mine would never come true, but I'm just trying to think how soccer could become a more watchable sport for people in countries where soccer isn't automatically the main sport you need to watch. 



Barozi said:
so you'd like them to play another game then.


Well, a variation of the same game.

Nothing I suggested changes the core mechanics of the game of soccer. I just want it to be a faster paced game with more shooting, than a tactical game where you might not see a shot for half an hour. 



WolfpackN64 said:
You can't just change the rules of soccer to make it more popular. On the other hand, I wish basketball was more popular in Europe.


Well it's not that I'm trying to change soccer in general, I'm jus thinking the MLS could be a league where rules such as the ones I suggested exist, to make it more appealing to North Americans. 

Kind of like how the UFC isn't a sport itself, the sport is mixed martial arts, but UFC is a brand that operates under it's own set of rules and regulations. I know nothing as drastic as what I suggested would ever happen, but I'd love some sort of rule change to encourage faster play. Nobody here wants a game where it can end in a 0-0 tie, or 1-0 with the lone goal coming after 80 minutes. 



ohmylanta1003 said:
It doesn't matter what you do, soccer will never be popular in the U.S..


Yeah it'll never be as big as American football or basketball, but I could see it getting like NHL type viewership if it was faster paced.