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Saturday, July 30, 2011

America and International Sports

America and International Sports

First I want to say that I have played American football, football, volleyball, and water polo throughout my life and I know the rules of the other world sports that I am going to reference. I’ve started off this way because what I have to say you may not agree with and I encourage people to watch these other sports, try them out, and talk with others before writing in disagreement.

In the United States, especially in the Mid-west men are told as young boys to concentrate on “American” sports. These are your basic American football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring and summer. Although these sports are popular and difficult in their own respects, I have watched other sports throughout the world that don’t get as much face time in the United States and if there was more media attention on them I feel they would gain almost immediate popularity.

Today’s post is about the international sharing between countries of sports like Football (soccer), Rugby, and Water Polo. I’ve picked these sports because our viewers are from the UK, Australia, and EU countries. As these viewers know and most people are now aware football is the most popular sport in the world. Other than the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s most popular spectator’s events. The best football, in this writer’s opinion, is played by EUFA’s Champions League teams. For those of who do not know, the Champions League is a league within itself that encapsulates the best clubs in the world. These clubs are from the English(Barclay’s) Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, the German Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, et cetera. Although football (soccer) in the United States is quickly gaining a large fan base, we need to start calling it by its’ name, football: because of its original name and rename American Football something more universal that refrains from stealing the name of other sports. As football is growing in the United States, American football is also gaining an international fan base as clubs are popping up in Europe. Also, Wembley Stadium wants to host an NFL Super Bowl in the next 10 years to expand the sport’s popularity and gain a foothold in the international community.

The second sport I would like to bring to light is Rugby. This year will be the first year in which an American TV broadcasting company, NBC, will broadcast the Rugby World Cup LIVE. This sport is one of the roughest games on the face of the planet. For those who have never seen a game, imagine it being like American football, without ANY PADS, and the only way to advance the ball forward, is by running and passing it back. Furthermore, each time you are downed, there is no huddle, you grab the ball from the ground and continue your charge to your opponents’ goal line then touch the ball down. This is actually where American Football gets the name of the phrase “touchdown”. My high school did not have a rugby team but my college does. It is a brutal sport that I think if the young men in the mid-west started playing it at a young age, it would catch on and we would be a top competitor on the world scale. As of now The Eagles, the American Rugby team, are certainly one of the best as they qualify for most of the World Cups, however; just like football (soccer) in America, to be great in these sports, children need to be exposed to them early, and honestly, I wish I was exposed to Rugby as a kid, I would have loved it.
Another sport that I would have loved even more than I do now is water polo. Although USA water polo is large in the world venue, inside the US boarders it’s only respected as a sport in California. Growing up in the mid-west I didn’t hear of water polo until my senior year of high school and that was when I found my true calling. The United States is a great power house in Water Polo especially in the women’s field. The USA men’s team hasn’t done poorly themselves, but when there are more people to choose from that enjoy the sport, there is a greater chance of winning. Water polo is huge in eastern European countries such as Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, etc. These entire countries adopt this sport as a national icon, something to aspire to do every 2 years whether at the FINA world’s tournament or during the Summer Olympics, to win.

As Americans in a ‘super power nation’ we are taught at a young age to win. If we want to REALLY win, I think we should invest more time in sports that are in the global spotlight so that our wins are more impressive as we could be the best in the world, not just the best at a sport based upon others and accomplished with padding.

your international writer,

Matthew

5 comments:

  1. Water polos not a sport! Just kidding, but seriously this is good stuff, I'm going to continue to read your blog dude. Good shit

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  2. Thanks for reading, and water polo ISNT a sport. (Kidding, don't tell Matt I said tha) and thanks for the input

    -Andrew

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  3. Great idea for a blog and a good article/post. Definitely will continue to read.

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  4. Just realized that this blog as a whole resembles Bill Simmons' (ESPN Columnist) Grantland.com in that there are not only sports articles but also pop culture and news as well with a number of different reporters/bloggers. As I said before, great idea and I love the fact that it takes the rough format of one of my favorite columnists from ESPN.

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  5. Well thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I'll have to check out Grantland.com. Thanks for reading, We'll have to have Garbo write something on here again soon.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

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