"Who the heck cares about a bunch of guys playing footsie with a little ball?"
"Ah, you speak of the World Cup. The fact is BILLIONS care. It's the most-watched sporting event in the world."
"Yeah, well we Americans aren't watching much. According to a Rasmussen poll, only 6 percent of Americans are following it closely."
"Perhaps if we knew more about football what we Americans refer to as soccer we'd understand why so many countries are so
passionate about it."
"Why do I sense a lecture coming on?"
"According to about.com, soccer has been played in various forms around the world for 3,000 years. Organized soccer dates back to England
in 1863, when an association was formed that began to standardize the rules of the game."
"Each game is referred to as a 'match.' A match is comprised of two 45-minute halves. The field is called a 'pitch.' And cleats are referred to as
"How the heck do they insult each other? 'Your mother wears army cleats?'"
"Each football team has 11 players, with ten on the field and one protecting the goal. Players may use any part of their body but their hands
and arms. The object is to kick the ball into the other team's goal. The team with the most goals wins."
"No kidding? I thought the team that put the most people to sleep was the winner."
"Because of the sport's beauty and simplicity all you need is a ball and a makeshift field and you can play anywhere it quickly spread
all over the world."
"Kind of like the Bird Flu!"
"In 1930, the World Cup was born. It's an international competition that takes place every four years. During the three years leading up to the
event, teams compete to qualify for 32 World Cup spots."
"OK, you educated me on the World Cup. But I'd still rather watch third graders playing badminton."
"Perhaps you're disinterested because you're angry about America's poor performance this year? After making it to the quarter-finals in 2002,
hopes were high for this year's event. But Americans were eliminated quickly."
"They got beat so bad, I was embarrassed to have them associated with our flag. The French should have let them use theirs."
"I know there are other reasons the sport hasn't caught on in America. With football, baseball, basketball and hockey, there's simply no room
to fit in another sport."
"You left out roller derby."
"Michael Mandelbaum, author of The Meaning of Sports, says a key reason Americans do not embrace soccer is because it is so similar to
basketball. Both are simple games that seek to put a ball into a goal. He believes it's not possible for both to prosper in the same place."
"At least there's lots of scoring in basketball. And you don't have to walk as far to get a beer."
"You raise an interesting point. Mandelbaum says Americans are very results-oriented. We like lots of activity and scoring. There is very little
scoring throughout the World Cup event, yet another reason we don't like it."
"Yeah, and what's with the falling down and writhing in pain every two minutes? I'd rather spend 90 hours watching Jerome Bettis pound
through a bunch of beefy guys to score six points than 90 minutes watching a bunch of skinny, crafty guys cry every time somebody touches
"As an American, then, you prefer force and power and lots of action and results in your sports?"
"Now you're talking. In fact, if the World Cup people want more Americans to tune in, they ought to turn their cameras away from the field and
point them to the stands."
"Yeah, you ever watch a bunch of hooligans trying to brawl after sucking down a dozen Heinekens? Now that's a sport Americans would go