I have to agree. US football has an average total amount of 12 minutes of action in every 60. The rest is counting off yards, determining where to place the ball, and then waiting 20 seconds (average) for the ball to be snapped. Since the average number of plays in an NFL game is around 130, that 43 minutes, alone of waithing for the snap. Talk about excitement.
It's not necessary for it to become more popular than American football. I noted that last year, US Hockey surpassed the basketball as the third most popular sport, yet hockey struggles to win the same kind of television contracts that the NBA gets. Those same surveys shows US soccer to be more popular than professional tennis, golf, wrestling and motor sports, all of which get more coverage.
It is conventional media wisdom that soccer will never be popular, and, as usual, that wisdom is wrong.
I have to profoundly disagree about the relative "fun" of watching global football vs US football, David B., although I'm doing this from a point of view that watching any pro sports is a crashing bore.
Soccer is constant action, just as ice hockey is. And it's low scoring, also much like hockey. This compares with the customary trio that US fans find most appealing: US football, basketball, and baseball, where the majority of time, NOTHING is happening on the field or court.
Imagine any game that can last more than 3 hours, with barely one hour's worth of play. And worse, the closer you get to that most-anticipated end of this torture, the more frequent are the interruptions!
As I said, it's a matter of taste.
Oh, I have a suggestion about the low scores. Take a lesson from US football. Give every goal 6 points instead of one! Problem solved!
I disagree. Even if or when the U.S. fields a team that is good enough to make it all the way, Americans for the most part still will not pay attention to soccer, even during the World Cup. I'm not sure it's really a cultural difference as much as it is simply history. We didn't adopt soccer ("football" to the rest of the world) long ago as a top professional sport and instead came up with American football. It's what we are accustomed to, it's the brand of "football" that attracts our best athletes, pays the top salaries & gets the most media attention & TV ad revenue.
Against that backdrop, it's difficult to imagine soccer ever becoming anywhere near as popular in the U.S. as American football.
Yo, Gadgety. Of course I saw the Netherlands-Spain score. Six goals in one match. Zowie. But one high-scoring match does not mitigate the trend of soccer scornig to shrivel a little bit year-by-year as cowardly coaches stack up their defenses and frustrate the other team's gifted attackers.
Let's look back. In 1982, in the only double-figure scoring game in World Cup history, Hungary buried El Salvador, 10-1. That match, by itself, improved the overall goals-per-game average in the 1982 Cup from 2.64 to 2.81. But (like Netherlands 5, Spain 1) it was the exception that proves the rule. Since then, the goals-per game average has steadily diminished, to 2.71 in '94, to 2.50 in '02, and in the last two tournaments, 2.28 and 2.30. In sum, we've averaged the equivalent of a 1-1 tie in 128 games played in the last two World Cups.
I notice that no one has challenged my hypothesis that the absence of scoring frustrates soccer fans to the point of violence. Nor has anyone challenged the notion that more GO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-OALS! would make soccer more FU-U-U-U-U-U-UN.
One of my points is that the crooked fuddy-duddies of FIFA are ruining a "beautiful" game. Who stands with the fuddy-duddies, and who wants to set the players free?