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Cause and Effect

             Soccer: Hasn't Made The Big Time In The US.
             Soccer, or football (futbol or foosball), as the rest of the world outside the US calls it, is surely the most internationally renowned sport. Every four years, the World Cup is watched by literally billions all over the world, beating out the United States professional football's Superbowl by a large amount. In fact, it is estimated that 1.7 billion television viewers watched the World Cup final between France and Brazil in July of 1998, far more viewers then any Super Bowl has seen. This world championship of soccer involves teams from 32 countries in the final rounds, unlike the much more parochial and misnamed World Series in baseball. Although soccer has made an effort in the American sports scene with the starting of the MLS (Major League Soccer), it will never make it into the hearts and markets of American sports the way other American sports have. I believe there are many reasons for this.
             In a game played not long ago, the New England Revolution beat the Tampa Bay Mutiny during an unpleasant rainstorm. About 5000 fans showed up, showing that soccer has some popularity in the United States. However, you wouldn't find much information about the game since there was no news coverage, and you'd only find something about it in the newspaper near the end of the sports section. In fact, the biggest reason for soccer's failure as a mass appeal sport in the United States is that it doesn't conform easily to the demands of television. Basketball conforms a great deal in America because it regularly schedules "television time-outs", as well as the time-outs that the teams themselves call to re-group; not to mention half times, and on the professional level, quarter breaks. Those breaks in the action are ideal for television commercials. Despite the commercials some people love to see during their sporting events, the main point is that television coverage is the heart of American sports.

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