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Some fun Football Facts


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#1 GottaGetTheWin

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

A fun article I read about how much football is actually played.   My personal favorite sport is baseball(although FF is where my heart is).  I've heard the argument more than I can count from football fans that baseball is too slow of a pace...  Well here is a fun little fact on football games.  

In the average broadcast there is only about 11 minutes of actual gameplay going on.  11 minutes for all our fantasy players to score points.  11 minutes of fun.   The rest is replays, commercials, and standing around for injuries, timeouts, calling plays, ect...   I think this goes with a point that I've been making that the explosion of football popularity over the last 15-20 years can be directly attributed to fantasy football.

http://online.wsj.co...2055561406.html

Edited by GottaGetTheWin, 01 February 2013 - 11:04 AM.

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QB: Cutler,Big Ben
RB: Gerhart, Sankey, B.Pierce, Terrance West, James White, Chris Polk
WR:Calvin, AJ Green, Julio(Flex), M. Floyd(Flex), J. Hunter, D. Baldwin
TE: Kyle Rudolph

#2 Patrick Bateman

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

View PostGottaGetTheWin, on 01 February 2013 - 11:03 AM, said:

A fun article I read about how much football is actually played.   My personal favorite sport is baseball(although FF is where my heart is).  I've heard the argument more than I can count from football fans that baseball is too slow of a pace...  Well here is a fun little fact on football games.  

In the average broadcast there is only about 11 minutes of actual gameplay going on.  11 minutes for all our fantasy players to score points.  11 minutes of fun.   The rest is replays, commercials, and standing around for injuries, timeouts, calling plays, ect...   I think this goes with a point that I've been making that the explosion of football popularity over the last 15-20 years can be directly attributed to fantasy football.

http://online.wsj.co...2055561406.html

The problem with your theory is that football had already passed baseball as the National past time before the proliferation of fantasy leagues.  Has fantasy helped the NFL?  Absolutely, just like it's helped MLB, but there are a multitude of reasons why football is more popular including TV, the population migration to the south, better branding, the violence, and better season set up.

The estimation is that there is 14 minutes of "action" in baseball but most of that is pitching.  Estimate of ball in play in baseball (batter gets his bat on the ball in play or foul territory) is about 4 minutes.

Basketball is a more kinetic game and that may be why it appeals to other countries, although branding has a lot to do with it.  Still, a lot of pro basketball is bringing the ball up the court and dribbling around the perimeter.  But it inherently has far more "action" than either baseball or football.  Still, soccer is by far the most popular game in the world and it's not how much "action" but the intensity of that "action".  The ball is almost always in play but the intense action plays are few and far between.  You want the sport with the most "action", probably hockey....
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#3 GottaGetTheWin

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:53 AM

O don't get me wrong.  I love Football as well.  I'm not bashing the game.  I would say my rankings are 1) Baseball 2) Football 3) Everything else.  

That's obviously just a personal opinion and one not shared by everyone(obviously a majority of the country).  I should have worded my  original post different since as I re-read it it seems like I'm bashing football.  It should have been more to the point of it being interesting that the actual action of the game(what people pay hundreds of dollars for) is not even 15 minutes.  (same for baseball)  Doesn't mean I love the sports any less.

It's also interesting as you bring up basketball and hockey that it's almost like we as a country like the sports with the most downtime more than ones with the most action.

I think as a whole its fair to say the popularity goes like this....

Football
Baseball
Basketball
Hockey

The two sports with "the most action" are the bottom two and as you also pointed out soccer, which would seem to have the most time in play(still boring as all hell, again another personal opinion) would be at the bottom of that list in a overall sense.
Team 1: 12 Team Keeper 1pt PPR. 5 per TD. 1 per 20 passing

QB: Cutler,Big Ben
RB: Gerhart, Sankey, B.Pierce, Terrance West, James White, Chris Polk
WR:Calvin, AJ Green, Julio(Flex), M. Floyd(Flex), J. Hunter, D. Baldwin
TE: Kyle Rudolph

#4 rraayy3

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

I cant get into baseball. I think a 162 game season is absolutely ridiculous.

I'm also a Mets fan, so yeah.

#5 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

It probably also explains why football is a North-American only sport, by and large.

The rest of the world are used to kinetic, action-oriented sports.   As mentioned, soccer (or futbol, as it's known to the rest of the world), is all about constant movement & action, same with hockey.   Basketball also fits, which also explains why it's more marketable across the world.   The expectations of constant motion and actual action, and no down time, is probably why people accept 1-0 and 2-1 matches in soccer, as superior to football/baseball (I think otherwise, but I get where they are coming from - they certainly are more complete athletes, since endurance matters there, less so here).

The overwhelming reaction when American football is shown in its entirety to non-NA fans - shock at how much downtime there is (because they have been watching mostly highlight reels before seeing an actual game).   You will still have hardcore NFL fans abroad - but I think that's the one key obstacle that will prevent its uptake across the pond, or beyond.   Baseball got to embed a fair amount of worldwide following due to historical reasons (it was the only game in town for decades, the NFL was basically in obscurity until the 70-80's, globally speaking), which explains the worldwide uptake of baseball (but even then, limited to the Americas & Asia).  I don't think the NFL's plan for global NFL will ever work, given this very different mindset of expectations.
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#6 Patrick Bateman

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:16 PM

View PostGottaGetTheWin, on 01 February 2013 - 11:53 AM, said:

O don't get me wrong.  I love Football as well.  I'm not bashing the game.  I would say my rankings are 1) Baseball 2) Football 3) Everything else.  

That's obviously just a personal opinion and one not shared by everyone(obviously a majority of the country).  I should have worded my  original post different since as I re-read it it seems like I'm bashing football.  It should have been more to the point of it being interesting that the actual action of the game(what people pay hundreds of dollars for) is not even 15 minutes.  (same for baseball)  Doesn't mean I love the sports any less.

It's also interesting as you bring up basketball and hockey that it's almost like we as a country like the sports with the most downtime more than ones with the most action.

I think as a whole its fair to say the popularity goes like this....

Football
Baseball
Basketball
Hockey

The two sports with "the most action" are the bottom two and as you also pointed out soccer, which would seem to have the most time in play(still boring as all hell, again another personal opinion) would be at the bottom of that list in a overall sense.

I didn't take your post as you were hating on football at all.  I think it was important to point out that football surpassed baseball a long time ago.  Fantasy Football just took football to an entirely new level.  I mean think about this....The sorry, no account Pro Bowl gets better or even ratings with the World Series.  That's crazy.

I think Football and Baseball are the two most popular sports in the good ole' USA, because they're inherently American.  Now football is an offshoot of rugby and baseball is a re-interpreted form of cricket and a game called rounders, but they truly are American, so there is a touch of patriotism going on.  The fact that the USA is the preeminent (and richest per capita) country in the world means our tastes will naturally permeate into other country's, to a degree, similar to the entertainment industry (cinema and music).

BTW, if here is a new list of most popular sports.  College football (if you consider it a separate sport) will soon be 2nd, probably by the time that the Playoff system gets it's footing in the next decade, which shows how crazy this country is for football.  Baseball is still in 2nd for the moment and then.......NASCAR.  Now NASCAR has sort of stalled out in the last decade after booming in the 90's, but it's still more popular (by this article's metrics) than basketball.  Let that sink in.   The fun thing is that all three major sports (football, baseball, and basketball) are extremely healthy overall, even if there are inherent or looming problems for each.  Also, remember that American tastes are ever evolving.  In 1950, the three most popular sports?  Baseball, Boxing, and Horse Racing.....In 50 years?  Health concerns may make football a falling star....
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#7 rraayy3

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

50 years from now, we will look back and realize NASCAR marked the beginning of the end of mankind as we know it. I understand the thrill of racing, i'll never understand slapping stickers on a bunch of cars and going in a circle for hours.

Edited by rraayy3, 01 February 2013 - 01:33 PM.


#8 Timmah!

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

My interest in soccer is no secret, and I couldn't help but chime in here.  I'll try to do so without bias (and no, I'm not going to try and convert anyone!).

This article, I think, does the best job of trying to quantify how much a player runs over the course of a match and also goes into trying to assess how much a player exerts themselves while doing that running: http://www.active.co..._a_soccer_game_

Long story short, the average player runs about 6 miles each match and exerts themselves most when in possession of the ball.  There are, though, two things either not mentioned in the article or this thread or only loosed touched on that I want to expand on:

First, no team sport comes close to having the substitution restrictions that soccer teams have.  Unless you're playing an exhibition match (or "friendly"), you get three subs, period.  That means at least 8 of the 11 players on the field will play the full 90+.  I say plus, of course, because any time lost to stoppages gets added on to the end of halves.  If it's a tournament knock-out round, and the game demands a result, extra time is added, meaning they're now on the field for 120+ minutes.  Yes, baseball comes close, but a manager still has the entirety of his roster to work with...it's not the same.

And don't assume that just because the ball is at one end or side of the field that the other guys are loafing around.  There's positioning and tactical challenges going on.  Watch a match some time and see how often they'll volley the ball clear acros the field to find an open man.  That doesn't happen if players aren't moving without the ball and staying mentally involved.

The other thing is that the score of the game and the comparative talent levels of the teams can play a large role in how much a player has to work.  When a team is losing, or is at decided talent disadvantage to their opponent, they are going to spend more time without the ball, and in effect, "chasing the game".  Instead of controlling the tempo and dictating the flow with passes, they're trying to keep up with the play, and inevitably, wearing themselves down.  Watch someone like Manchester United take on Wigan Athletic; even though they're both Premier League clubs, there's probably not a single Wigan player who would start for ManU.  You're going to see possession percentages of roughly 70/30 in favor of ManU, and you'll see the effect in the subs.  Wigan will need reinforcements by the 60 minute mark, while MU will hold theirs back until they want to start wasting time in the final moments.

As for the overall competitiveness and excitement level, well, I'm not going to go too deeply into that, as I think the previous cover it fairly well.  I will say that if you can grasp and appreciate the basic elements to hockey, then there's no reason why you can't get soccer.  Each have counterattacks and wing players trying to center passes.  Both incorporate the idea of retreating the implement of play back into the defense or midfield/center ice before setting up attacking runs.  Both have set plays that can give teams scoring opportunities (what else is a face off in the offensive zone?).  In hockey, the captain wears a "C"; in soccer, they wear an armband.  No, soccer doesn't have boards and hitting and fights, but I've seen plenty of matches where players had to be separated, where both teams' captains were shown cards because they refused to shake and move on after a dustup.

FWIW, both soccer and football have "halfbacks" and "fullbacks", but their roles are so different, the name of the positions is where the similarities end.

Again, I'm not trying to convert anybody to soccer or talk it up as the best sport in the world, but I hope that I helped illuminate some aspects of the game.
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#9 predator_05

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

That's a great summary, Timmah.

I have watched and played soccer my whole life, and i honestly feel that there is no other sport that provides more 'excitement'. The main reason why most people would find soccer boring is because of the lack of 'scoring'. My friends would tell me that i don't need to watch a soccer game that finished 0-0 because i haven't 'missed anything', which is wrong on so many levels, but there you go. I find this attitude a bit strange, because if you were to change the scoring in the NFL from 7 pts a TD to 1 pt, you would probably end up with 'soccer-like' scores of 4-3, 5-2, etc. Maybe that's what it would take for soccer to become more popular here, just make every goal worth 10 or something...haha. I honestly don't know what kind of 'action' people expect to see.

Even with the lack of perceived action, soccer is probably more popular than the NHL and i would argue that its well established as the 4th most popular sport in the country. It could be even more popular but it just isn't commercially attractive like the lengthier, stop & start, commercial-time maximizing NFL, MLB or NBA games.
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#10 GottaGetTheWin

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:57 PM

I like sports in general.  While I may not be an avid fan of soccer, hockey, basketball I do enjoy sometimes watching a game.  I think soccer loses attraction in this country for a few reasons...

1) The lack of constant action opportunities...  Football there is the potential for a 80yrd run of a 56 yrd TD pass every play.  Baseball, there is the opportunity for a 400 ft homerun every pitch, NBA there is the opportunity for a monster dunk every play, even hockey there is a chance for a one timer that blazes into the net.  Soccer it seems has way to much play in the middle of the field away from big play potential and even when they are close, more than likely there will be a clearing kick 70 yards down the field to start the process over again.

2) Flopping.  If people think the NBA flopping is bad just watch a soccer game.  It's comical to see a player drop in agonizing pain because a players jersey brushed up against him.  The worst part is that most of the time it results in a yellow card.

3) Lack of talent.  Soccer is the only sport where the best of the best leave the country to play.  MLB, NBA, NHL the best of the best in the world come here to play. (I didn't include football because..are there even any non american football players that aren't kickers lol...for all the smart asses I'm being sarcastic).  Take Major League Baseball for example....The best players from other countries strive to come here and when they get old but still want to play they go to  Japan, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, or one of the thousands of pro leagues.  The MLS is soccers Japan, when the greats in the world get defeated by Father Time they come and play here.  All of the home grown talent in the US goes oversees to play in the top of the top leagues.  With 4 leagues where the best of the best play I don't see Americans as a whole dedicating themselves to 5th rate and players way past their prime.

4) Lack of media attention.  The 4th and final nail is the lack of media attention.  The major sporting networks will never give soccer mainstream coverage because of the lack of interest in the general public.  It's a vicious circle because the general public is influenced so much by what the media puts on TV.  TV won't put it on due to lack of interest and the public can't get an interest because of lack of TV exposure. (this doesn't include World Cup time).
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QB: Cutler,Big Ben
RB: Gerhart, Sankey, B.Pierce, Terrance West, James White, Chris Polk
WR:Calvin, AJ Green, Julio(Flex), M. Floyd(Flex), J. Hunter, D. Baldwin
TE: Kyle Rudolph

#11 predator_05

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

I don't think there is a lack of interest. Do you really think that soccer is less popular across the country than the NHL or Nascar? The only reason why those sports get pushed by the television channels is because those sports are more 'stop-start' - and therefore allow more commercial time. How many commercials do you see in a soccer game? Maybe 7-8 minutes worth at half time, another 7-8 in the pre-post game show. That's not enough for it to be commercially viable. Soccer matches sell out during the summer when you get the big clubs from Europe coming over, i think that is a fair indicator of interest. Average attendances at MLS games are pretty decent as well.

MLS clubs could easily retain their most promising players if the sport was commercially successful. In terms of on-field success, Mexico isn't any better than the USA, but their players never feel the need to move to Europe because the Mexican clubs are wealthy enough to keep them.
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#12 GottaGetTheWin

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:51 AM

View Postpredator_05, on 02 February 2013 - 08:58 AM, said:

I don't think there is a lack of interest. Do you really think that soccer is less popular across the country than the NHL or Nascar? The only reason why those sports get pushed by the television channels is because those sports are more 'stop-start' - and therefore allow more commercial time. How many commercials do you see in a soccer game? Maybe 7-8 minutes worth at half time, another 7-8 in the pre-post game show. That's not enough for it to be commercially viable. Soccer matches sell out during the summer when you get the big clubs from Europe coming over, i think that is a fair indicator of interest. Average attendances at MLS games are pretty decent as well.

MLS clubs could easily retain their most promising players if the sport was commercially successful. In terms of on-field success, Mexico isn't any better than the USA, but their players never feel the need to move to Europe because the Mexican clubs are wealthy enough to keep them.

Nascar is absolutely more popular than soccer.  I'm not sure what part of the country you live in but in the south and mid-west it is huge.  They have 160,000 seat stadiums and they are always sold out.  I would say with hockey it varies from city to city.  In NYC the Rangers are 100 times more popular than the Red Bulls but I'm sure that isn't the case in other places.  

As for soccer matches selling out when big teams come over, the star power is what draws as well as immigrants from that country getting the chance to see their team.  When Brazil comes to the NY area it's not even close that there are way more fans for them than for team USA and a majority of them are people from Brazil.  

As for TV, other networks across the world don't see to be having trouble showing soccer matches simply because soccer is more popular there.  Their TV breaks might be few and far between but the cost for those spots must be huge as well as other sponsorships(logos on jerseys, ect...)  Your 100% right that soccer doesn't command the commercial money in the US and that's because the general public isn't interested.  There's a reason it costs 4 million for a 30 second spot at the Super Bowl or why those ads behind home plate sky rocket during playoff games.

There could be 100 different reasons why soccer isn't popular here but in my opinion it never will be unless they are able to have some true star power... not Beckam and Henry when they are way past their prime while they lose marketable guys like Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey to clubs overseas.
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QB: Cutler,Big Ben
RB: Gerhart, Sankey, B.Pierce, Terrance West, James White, Chris Polk
WR:Calvin, AJ Green, Julio(Flex), M. Floyd(Flex), J. Hunter, D. Baldwin
TE: Kyle Rudolph

#13 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

As a Canuck, I can offer a NA perspective that isn't racing-crazy...FWIW, soccer as a global sport is #1 and it's not close.  When international teams come over they sell out.  But local allegiances do not exist.  It's why the World Cup, Olympics  & events like Euro Championships are so popular, but local products haven't succeeded (along with lower quality of play).

NASCAR, much like hockey, is a sport that is endemic in local regions as GGW mentioned.  Ironically, I think that's why it succeeds - concentrated target audiences that will spend for local events & subscribe to cable packages. They also offer people to root for/against that are more identifiable than soccer players.  

And most importantly - soccer, because of the team game emphasis but few goals, it is not gambling-friendly.  Football, baseball, hoops,and even hockey (because only 5 guys on the ice, and 1st/2nd line & power play guys easy to ID) enable both fantasy leagues and betting to a much wider scale.   It's also why the NFL rules the roost - it didn't suddenly become a better game, it became more accessible to viewers, and the fantasy/gambling aspect pushed it over the other sports (and it's been smart enough to keep leveraging its strengths).

I respect soccer as the #1 global sport - it's well earned.  But until it can generate people to root/for against locally, or enable the gamblers to create buzz, I think it stays in the NA back burner.
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P.S. My passion is primarily FBB - you'd LOL at my football track record!

#14 rraayy3

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:30 PM

I wish everyone was required to watch a hockey game live. TV does not do the game justice and I think the sport would be a lot more popular if people realized how big and fast these guys are flying around.

It's an expensive sport to play, probably why it hasn't truly blown up. It's a lot easier to play soccer/bball/football than it is to organize a hockey game with friends.

Hockey is the most exciting sport to watch live, in my opinion.



#15 Timmah!

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

View PostRotoRaysfan, on 02 February 2013 - 10:48 AM, said:

As a Canuck, I can offer a NA perspective that isn't racing-crazy...FWIW, soccer as a global sport is #1 and it's not close.  When international teams come over they sell out.  But local allegiances do not exist.  It's why the World Cup, Olympics  & events like Euro Championships are so popular, but local products haven't succeeded (along with lower quality of play).

Um, that's not entirely true, and I wonder if the situation in Toronto is playing into that.  TFC hasn't been around for very long, but in that time, they've instituted rules and policies that have disenfranchised their most ardent supporters and leave their attendance figures lagging.  Similar things have happened in other cities as MLS tries to continue to evolve and find ways to draw in both die hards such as myself and the soccer families who got into the game because their kids play.

The fan base of the Union in this area started with the Sons of Ben, which led to us getting the team.  They draw, on average, just as many fans as the Sixers and Flyers, sometimes more so.  My seat in the supporter's section is surrounded by people from elsewhere in PA, south New Jersey, northern Delaware and Maryland.  The fan bases of the Pacific Northwest teams in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver are right up there as being some of the most devout on this side of the earth.

In fact, their rivalry led to this advertising campaign in Seattle when Portland was elevated to MLS: http://sports.yahoo....?urn=sow-268883

Quote

NASCAR, much like hockey, is a sport that is endemic in local regions as GGW mentioned.  Ironically, I think that's why it succeeds - concentrated target audiences that will spend for local events & subscribe to cable packages. They also offer people to root for/against that are more identifiable than soccer players.

But there's one key difference: NASACAR is not a true team sport.  Yes, there are car "teams" that include a crew chief and mechanics, but it's not the same thing.  Also, that sport taps into the American ideal of fast driving, loving your car, and epic crash scenes (unless they involve your favorite driver).

Quote

And most importantly - soccer, because of the team game emphasis but few goals, it is not gambling-friendly.  Football, baseball, hoops,and even hockey (because only 5 guys on the ice, and 1st/2nd line & power play guys easy to ID) enable both fantasy leagues and betting to a much wider scale.   It's also why the NFL rules the roost - it didn't suddenly become a better game, it became more accessible to viewers, and the fantasy/gambling aspect pushed it over the other sports (and it's been smart enough to keep leveraging its strengths).

If soccer isn't gambling friendly, why do I see so many gambling websites advertise during English matches?  Some teams even have them as shirt sponsors.  People may not gamble on MLS matches because they simply aren't considering the sport.  They dont understand it, don't follow it, and therefore, wouldn't be able to make an educated guess on an outcome.  Putting your money on something you don't understand or teams you aren't familiar with is a sucker's bet.

As far as the fantasy angle is concerned, well, that's the same thing.  I play fantasy soccer, have been for years.  My starting strikers and midfielders in the hope of goals or assists is no different than hoping a wide receiver or running back gets 100 yards and a score.  We look for clean sheets and saves from our goalkeepers and defenders.  Our designated captains get double points.  I've played in points, roto and head-to-head leagues.  The only thing holding gamers back is their willingness to embrace the game.

Quote

I respect soccer as the #1 global sport - it's well earned.  But until it can generate people to root/for against locally, or enable the gamblers to create buzz, I think it stays in the NA back burner.

You raised some good points, but I think that ultimately fan interest comes down to what they're willing to accept.  It's true that the business nature of soccer often requires fans to be more fans of a team than of individual players.  We here in Philly are facing the prospect of our first ever Homegrown player being one who only ever played a handful of minutes in a Union uniform.  He's in Germany on a year-long loan, and doing well enough that you can foresee him not coming back.

NBC has paid big bucks to get MLS and US Men's international matches for the next few years as part of their trying to expand their sports offerings.  Jon Tannenwald did a thorough analysis of how that went in it's first year (there was good and bad): http://www.philly.co...gue-Soccer.html

As I've said in my posts, the elements are there for fans, but in the end, it's up to them.
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#16 predator_05

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

View PostGottaGetTheWin, on 02 February 2013 - 09:51 AM, said:

Nascar is absolutely more popular than soccer.  I'm not sure what part of the country you live in but in the south and mid-west it is huge.  They have 160,000 seat stadiums and they are always sold out.  I would say with hockey it varies from city to city.  In NYC the Rangers are 100 times more popular than the Red Bulls but I'm sure that isn't the case in other places.  

As for soccer matches selling out when big teams come over, the star power is what draws as well as immigrants from that country getting the chance to see their team.  When Brazil comes to the NY area it's not even close that there are way more fans for them than for team USA and a majority of them are people from Brazil.  

As for TV, other networks across the world don't see to be having trouble showing soccer matches simply because soccer is more popular there.  Their TV breaks might be few and far between but the cost for those spots must be huge as well as other sponsorships(logos on jerseys, ect...)  Your 100% right that soccer doesn't command the commercial money in the US and that's because the general public isn't interested.  There's a reason it costs 4 million for a 30 second spot at the Super Bowl or why those ads behind home plate sky rocket during playoff games.

There could be 100 different reasons why soccer isn't popular here but in my opinion it never will be unless they are able to have some true star power... not Beckam and Henry when they are way past their prime while they lose marketable guys like Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey to clubs overseas.

I am from Long Island and worked in NYC for most of my life. The Rangers are popular and i have been to plenty of games myself but i could easily point out the other hockey team we have, the Islanders - who nobody gives a damn about. I don't know what goes on in Jersey, but i don't see a whole lot of Devils fans either. The Rangers definitely have a great fan-base, very loyal but they are also a very prestigious hockey team so i'm not so sure if they are a good barometer for the overall popularity of the sport in this region...i definitely wouldn't put them up against the RedBulls, who are a brand new franchise.

You are wrong about the composition of the crowds at soccer games, not everybody attending is an 'immigrant' (LOL), majority of people are regular people that like soccer. Some are fairly knowledgeable as well. I can easily find a soccer game to join when i am in Central Park or in Flushing. I guess this is a regional thing, i have absolutely no idea about Nascar and couldn't name a single driver if the names didn't show up on the ticker. What can't be disputed however, is soccer's popularity in a certain age group; in terms of participation, its a popular sport all across the country. That is a good indicator of interest.I am sure that all those kids would find it easier to sustain an interest in the game if the it was pushed by the TV networks and advertisers, but that is not the case right now. Most kids play 'til a certain age and just switch once they get older...and who can blame them. Public interest is more business driven; that's where the commercial and promotional aspect makes a difference, and that's where the MLS clubs miss out and are thereby forced to pay chump change to most of their players.

I also disagree with the point made on gambling. Soccer has a huge gambling market, you can get as many props/futures/in-play bets in soccer as you can on most other sports. Last time i was in Vegas, i had no problem getting a book that had the prop bet i wanted. Check out the section on bovada.lv. The fantasy game isn't the same though, so that's a fair point...

Edited by predator_05, 02 February 2013 - 01:50 PM.

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#17 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:02 PM

View PostTimmah!, on 02 February 2013 - 01:42 PM, said:

View PostRotoRaysfan, on 02 February 2013 - 10:48 AM, said:

As a Canuck, I can offer a NA perspective that isn't racing-crazy...FWIW, soccer as a global sport is #1 and it's not close.  When international teams come over they sell out.  But local allegiances do not exist.  It's why the World Cup, Olympics  & events like Euro Championships are so popular, but local products haven't succeeded (along with lower quality of play).

Um, that's not entirely true, and I wonder if the situation in Toronto is playing into that.  TFC hasn't been around for very long, but in that time, they've instituted rules and policies that have disenfranchised their most ardent supporters and leave their attendance figures lagging.  Similar things have happened in other cities as MLS tries to continue to evolve and find ways to draw in both die hards such as myself and the soccer families who got into the game because their kids play.

The fan base of the Union in this area started with the Sons of Ben, which led to us getting the team.  They draw, on average, just as many fans as the Sixers and Flyers, sometimes more so.  My seat in the supporter's section is surrounded by people from elsewhere in PA, south New Jersey, northern Delaware and Maryland.  The fan bases of the Pacific Northwest teams in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver are right up there as being some of the most devout on this side of the earth.

In fact, their rivalry led to this advertising campaign in Seattle when Portland was elevated to MLS: http://sports.yahoo....?urn=sow-268883

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NASCAR, much like hockey, is a sport that is endemic in local regions as GGW mentioned.  Ironically, I think that's why it succeeds - concentrated target audiences that will spend for local events & subscribe to cable packages. They also offer people to root for/against that are more identifiable than soccer players.

But there's one key difference: NASACAR is not a true team sport.  Yes, there are car "teams" that include a crew chief and mechanics, but it's not the same thing.  Also, that sport taps into the American ideal of fast driving, loving your car, and epic crash scenes (unless they involve your favorite driver).

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And most importantly - soccer, because of the team game emphasis but few goals, it is not gambling-friendly.  Football, baseball, hoops,and even hockey (because only 5 guys on the ice, and 1st/2nd line & power play guys easy to ID) enable both fantasy leagues and betting to a much wider scale.   It's also why the NFL rules the roost - it didn't suddenly become a better game, it became more accessible to viewers, and the fantasy/gambling aspect pushed it over the other sports (and it's been smart enough to keep leveraging its strengths).

If soccer isn't gambling friendly, why do I see so many gambling websites advertise during English matches?  Some teams even have them as shirt sponsors.  People may not gamble on MLS matches because they simply aren't considering the sport.  They dont understand it, don't follow it, and therefore, wouldn't be able to make an educated guess on an outcome.  Putting your money on something you don't understand or teams you aren't familiar with is a sucker's bet.

As far as the fantasy angle is concerned, well, that's the same thing.  I play fantasy soccer, have been for years.  My starting strikers and midfielders in the hope of goals or assists is no different than hoping a wide receiver or running back gets 100 yards and a score.  We look for clean sheets and saves from our goalkeepers and defenders.  Our designated captains get double points.  I've played in points, roto and head-to-head leagues.  The only thing holding gamers back is their willingness to embrace the game.

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I respect soccer as the #1 global sport - it's well earned.  But until it can generate people to root/for against locally, or enable the gamblers to create buzz, I think it stays in the NA back burner.

You raised some good points, but I think that ultimately fan interest comes down to what they're willing to accept.  It's true that the business nature of soccer often requires fans to be more fans of a team than of individual players.  We here in Philly are facing the prospect of our first ever Homegrown player being one who only ever played a handful of minutes in a Union uniform.  He's in Germany on a year-long loan, and doing well enough that you can foresee him not coming back.

NBC has paid big bucks to get MLS and US Men's international matches for the next few years as part of their trying to expand their sports offerings.  Jon Tannenwald did a thorough analysis of how that went in it's first year (there was good and bad): http://www.philly.co...gue-Soccer.html

As I've said in my posts, the elements are there for fans, but in the end, it's up to them.

Re: gambling & fantasy, fair enough that the industry exists & does well globally and with its fans.  I should have said it's not AS gambling-friendly as the big 3 & even hockey for the casual fan to get into.  And yeah, a big part of that is the fast-twitch, instant-gratification nature of NA fantasy sports.  

I do agree that NA fans could indeed change - but the love of immediate results & lots of scoring to track (purists love a 1-0 game in all sports, but fantasy owners want the shoot outs) is a deeper cultural barrier.  It's not impossible, but it's the obstacle I see in terms of gambling/fantasy appeal (the same way FBB is losing more & more to FFB, but that's another discussion).



View Postpredator_05, on 02 February 2013 - 01:48 PM, said:




I also disagree with the point made on gambling. Soccer has a huge gambling market, you can get as many props/futures/in-play bets in soccer as you can on most other sports. Last time i was in Vegas, i had no problem getting a book that had the prop bet i wanted. Check out the section on bovada.lv. The fantasy game isn't the same though, so that's a fair point...

Better put than my original assertion...
TBD Baseball 2011 League Champion - 20 team, 7x7 (5x5 plus 2B+3B, BB, QS & Holds) Dynasty - Division winner, and squeaked through playoff finals!
AL-only 5x5, Roto - 2010 & 2011 league champion
RotoWood 2011 League Runner-Up - Mixed Roto regular season / H2H playoff 5x5 format - 3rd place reg. season, lost in finals

Been a blast everyone - take care, and remember to abide by the CoC, and to help your fellow community out - it's what's made the Forum community great!

P.S. My passion is primarily FBB - you'd LOL at my football track record!

#18 predator_05

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

Well, what i meant is that its played in a different way - you have a salary cap, your players have a price which changes in relation to their performance/popularity (almost like a stock), and you always play in a points league format. Our fantasy football is typically a draft based, H2H thing which is the exact opposite. The MLS hasn't got a fantasy league, at least not one that i know of, although i have played the English Premier League fantasy game since it started in '03. Fantasy in America has become an industry on its on since people started using the internet, that hasn't happened around the world yet.

I would love to play fantasy football with some fantasy soccer rules, especially the player prices. That would make trading so much fun...
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#19 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

View Postpredator_05, on 02 February 2013 - 02:19 PM, said:

Well, what i meant is that its played in a different way - you have a salary cap, your players have a price which changes in relation to their performance/popularity (almost like a stock), and you always play in a points league format. Our fantasy football is typically a draft based, H2H thing which is the exact opposite. The MLS hasn't got a fantasy league, at least not one that i know of, although i have played the English Premier League fantasy game since it started in '03. Fantasy in America has become an industry on its on since people started using the internet, that hasn't happened around the world yet.

I would love to play fantasy football with some fantasy soccer rules, especially the player prices. That would make trading so much fun...

I got your earlier statement - it's precisely due to the differences that it has a harder time.  Much like how Roto has been passed by H2H, points & salary cap - they appeal to a more hardcore crowd (I play in total points FFB along with H2H and my FBB 1st love will always be auction Roto).  Not impossible to overcome - but against the grain of fast-twitch, insta-results culture that dominates the current NA fantasy world.
TBD Baseball 2011 League Champion - 20 team, 7x7 (5x5 plus 2B+3B, BB, QS & Holds) Dynasty - Division winner, and squeaked through playoff finals!
AL-only 5x5, Roto - 2010 & 2011 league champion
RotoWood 2011 League Runner-Up - Mixed Roto regular season / H2H playoff 5x5 format - 3rd place reg. season, lost in finals

Been a blast everyone - take care, and remember to abide by the CoC, and to help your fellow community out - it's what's made the Forum community great!

P.S. My passion is primarily FBB - you'd LOL at my football track record!

#20 Patrick Bateman

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

I'm not really sure how this spiraled into a conversation about soccer but it's nice to see the passion that Timmah brings.  First, I agree with you that gambling isn't the issue.  Soccer is widely gambled upon in other countries.  If a piece of entertainment is understood, embraced and marketed towards, a market for gamblers will arrive.  In fact, soccer and cricket are widely considered 2 of the 3 biggest sports bet upon in the world, despite the ties in soccer.

Second, I somewhat agree with the point that soccer isn't set up well for TV advertising as there is no natural break in the action that would allow for commercials, although the same charge can be brought against NASCAR and hockey, so I think that argument can be somewhat diffused.

Soccer has been given multiple opportunities to flourish as a professional sport in the US and really has failed at every turn, unable to gain traction beyond being a fringe sport from a popularity or TV perspective.  Why?  A large percentage of Americans play soccer as youths.  Myself?  I played soccer starting at 6.  My niece and nephew started at 5.  Almost every person I've met with some sense of athletic prowess in the United States (especially the warmer climates) played soccer as a kid.  So why does soccer turn from mass children's activity to fringe adult sport?  A lot of different reasons can be bantered about and have been in this thread.

One compelling thesis I've read is that soccer doesn't match the masculinity ranks of the United States.  In short, it's seen (fairly or unfairly) as too wimpy for Americans.  Now trying to discern someone's "toughness" is a silly prospect at best, but it made a case more directly at the inherent core of the game and not the players themselves.  Take for example, "ties".  For other cultures, a well played tie can be rewarding.  For Americans, a tie is like kissing your sister, as the saying goes, they appreciate zero sum games more.  It's simply unsatisfying and almost unconscionable (ironic b/c pro football can end in a tie but it's few and far between) that a game would end in a tie.  Ask Bud Selig about ties.

Another measure that builds into this perception (and somebody mentioned it) is the rampant flopping in soccer.  Flopping is considered effeminate and for lack of a better word, cheap.  The NBA had such a problem with flopping that they inserted a rule that you can actually lose money for flopping.  That's how wholly cowardice it's seen.  The United States, especially for men, is built upon popularized mass caricatures of cowboys, fast cars, big trucks, guns, etc.  Soccer has been, fairly or unfairly, pigeonholed as a sport of weaker athletes.  Again, individually this is a ridiculous premise but it resonates in American youth to the point that as kids mature into adolescence that their playing habits are changed.  Soccer is considered too "Euro" and not in a positive context (look at the way the great Euro players in basketball are treated) for Americans to really embrace.  Football encompasses the ideal that Americans look for, often to their detriment.  Baseball players are considered cool b/c of the whole ideal of them (chewing tobacco, hard drinking, and hard living, basically Babe Ruth) but even the popularity of baseball in kids is on the downswing, only being supplemented by it's popularity in Asia and the Latin American countries.  Basketball satisfied the nuevo thought process.  Amazing athletes playing an exhaustive and kinetic sport and then partying all night.  It appeals to kids that worship nuevo fashion, music, and lifestyles (brilliantly marketed by the NBA this way) although it holds it's roots in the Midwest (again ironic).

To me, soccer isn't popular for three basic reasons in the US:  1.  lack of scoring.  2.  Perception of weakness  3.  Difficulty of playing in the inner city (need too many folks).

I enjoyed playing soccer and even get out there with my niece and teach her, but I doubt very much that soccer will ever be more than a fringe sport in America....It just doesn't appeal to the perception of what being a tough and true American is all about.  Personally, I blame John Wayne.  Can you imagine John Wayne playing soccer???  :lol:
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