2010 World Cup: Americans Care?

Brittni MichaelisContributor IIMay 24, 2010

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 23:  Goncalo Brandao #24 of Juventus FC trips up John Wolyniec #15 of the New York Red Bulls fighting for the ball on May 23, 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bull)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The World Cup is like no another tournament in the World. It pits nations against other nations, families against other families, and friends against each other. With billions of fans worldwide, teams are looking to make their country proud, and win a World Cup Championship.

In just under three weeks the 2010 World Cup will start in South Africa. Never before have I seen so many Americans pumped up for a soccer tournament. The last World Cup, which happened back in 2006, had 715 million viewers tune in for the final match according to FIFA. The prestige of the tournament is astounding, and Americans are finally starting to get excited about soccer. 


Sure the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL will all come first in the U.S., but the fact is that soccer is becoming a more prevalent sport in this country. I mean how could it not. Just looking at this http://vimeo.com/11896489, makes me want it to be June 11th more than anything. 


The U.S. has had many devoted, and die-hard soccer fans in the past, don’t get me wrong. But this is different, this World Cup could be something we have never seen or experienced as a country. We have never been the country to shut down businesses, and essentially pause our lives for an entire month because of a tournament, no less a soccer tournament.


Yet, things are changing. There is a different dynamic, and atmosphere to this years World Cup that Americans are starting to embrace, not just a few of us, but all of us, as a nation.  


The World Cup only comes once every four years so it’s about time we start to care. This years viewership might very well surpass what we saw in 2006 when Italy won. Soccer is a sport, it's an exciting sport, it's a physical sport, and it's a sport that Americans are enthusiastic about, once and for all.


The fact that it has never really been an aspect in our culture does not help. We are always mesmerized but the Super Bowl, World Series or the Stanley Cup, but lately soccer has become apart of our society. The MLS has expanded, created new teams, and opened a lot of peoples eyes to a sport that once was not on anyone’s agenda.


ESPN is now showing World Cup commercials daily, during various broadcasts, Nike is also releasing commercials that are glorifying the World Cup, and lastly the official World Cup song, Wavin’ Flag by K’naan, has been played more and more recently.


Whether the United States wins the Cup or not, Americans seem generally excited for this years tournament. 

Just as the lyrics to the Wavin’ Flag song go, “And everybody will be singing it, and we all will be singing it,” Everybody will be watching it, and we all will be watching it.