Why Is Soccer Making Headlines Now?

Animated soccerToday the 2006 World Cup Soccer tournament starts, in case you’re dead and haven’t noticed. The news of it is everywhere, but why? I don’t remember this event garnering so much publicity last or previous years. Well, I discovered today that the championship occurs only every four years. Also, 32 countries are participating, and they’re being played in 12 or so stadiums all across Germany.

Another interesting aspect of this soccer stuff: despite the Canadian team not being involved (we’re rated 83, according to Ten Things You Should Know About Canadian Soccer, which isn’t good enough to be in the tournament), every male Canadian has a favorite. Except me. Soccer bores me silly, like most other sports.

CBC’s The Hour had an interesting segment about it last night, asking soccer fans about their favorites and, more interestingly, if they’d support the Canadian team if they were playing; most said No, favoring their native country (if they were immigrants) or traditional favorite, like England. The conclusion: Canada simply doesn’t have a soccer identity, unlike hockey or curling. I suspect it’s because Canada’s team sucks (from what I’ve read; again, I don’t follow soccer).

3 Replies to “Why Is Soccer Making Headlines Now?”

  1. they’re actually being pretty clever about promoting the sport on TV now. Sportsnet has at least 2 games every saturday morning/afternoon, so the hardcore sports fans are getting a lot more exposure to it. There are a lot more canadians now who know the names of all these famous players, from watching them play in the EPL(english premier league), or other bigtime soccer leagues every weekend. The HUGE amount of grassroots soccer doesn’t hurt either. The amount of kids playing Codiac Soccer here in Moncton all summer is just massive, you wouldn’t believe it unless you’ve seen it. it’s such a family event for all the suburbanites these days. I think the game’s popularity will steadily improve through our lifetime, not just because of the steady influx of immigrants, but the amount of exposure the non-immigrants are getting to the game now.

    it’s really a fantastic sport once you get into it, although non-sports fans like yourself will likely never “get it”. :)

  2. Playing and watching it are two different things. My daughter plays, too. I enjoy practicing with her, but I couldn’t watch it on television; I’ve tried.

    Yet I CAN watch golf and curling on TV. Go figure.

  3. The last and only time Canada made it to the World Cup in 86 (The only reason they made it was because Mexico had a bye because they were the host). Most of Canada’s team were Scottish or English.

    In Canada, when your kids are being coached, they are being coached by parents who may or may not have played hockey before. Unless you know how to play soccer, you cannot relate hockey strategies to the game.

    I have opted not to coach because I can’t stand parents. So I sit on the sidelines and watch. Most of the time I am rolling my eyes because of what my son is doing on the pitch. Most of the other time I am rolling my eyes because what the soccer coach is doing with them.

    What usually bugs me is that for kids under 12, they do way, way, way too many drills were kids do not touch the ball. Kids that play soccer should play ever day! Kicking a ball against a wall, juggling, heading, little things. Coaches should be teaching fundamentals about the game and good habits.

    Things that you will here a coach say:
    1. keep the ball moving.
    2. One and Two touch play.
    3. Play the ball into space.
    4. Stay goal side.

    If an amateur team can do those simple 4 things right, they will be successful.

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