Will Montana Watch The Biggest Sporting Event on the Planet?
Football, Futbol, Soccer, they are all the same game everywhere on the planet outside of America. I know here in Montana soccer is not as popular as "American Football" or any of the major sports, I get it. I was never a fan of soccer myself until the 1998 World Cup when I was traveling in Scotland. Every place we went people were watching the games. I had never seen a country get behind their team like Scotland did. It was infectious.
Couldn't Avoid It
I thought I would give the sport a try, after all, we couldn't avoid it. I remember sitting in a pub and watching Scotland vs. Brazil and the entire bar was so enthralled with everything that was happening it was amazing. People were on the streets wearing jerseys, with their faces painted, and partying all night long. Every news story on every channel had something to do with soccer. All kinds of businesses closed down in the middle of the day every time Scotland played a match. I have never seen anything like that here in Montana. The closest that I have ever seen anything like that was going to the "Brawl Of The Wild" in Missoula and even then that wasn't close. To see an entire country get behind a team was truly amazing to me.
I am a fan
Ever since then I have been a soccer fan. The World Cup is getting underway next weekend and the United States Men's Soccer Team made it to the tournament. The World Cup only happens once every four years and it is the biggest sporting event on the planet. It normally happens in the summer, but since this year it is in Qatar, they are playing in the fall because it was too hot there in the summer.
The U.S. men's team will be playing Wales on Monday 11/21 at noon Montana time. I am guessing no Montana businesses will be closing down for that event. I will be asking my boss if I can leave early at noon to watch the game. There will be billions of people watching these games all over the world. It will be the best players on the planet from all over the world.
Let The Arguments Begin
Soccer is an amazing game and is growing in popularity in the U.S. It is like a chess match. I know there are a lot of people that complain about the low scores, but if you watch an American football game and the final score is 21-7, which happens a lot, that is basically the same as 3-1 in a soccer match. Soccer is continuous: no time outs, no long commercial breaks, the game keeps going. A Wall Street Journal study indicates that an American Football game has about 11 minutes of actual action in an entire game. Soccer has 90 minutes of action, every game. Soccer also can end in a tie, which most people hate, but we have had more and more pro-American Football games end in ties these days too.
I am excited for the World Cup this year and I will be trying to watch as many of the games as I possibly can, and for the first time it will be happening during our holidays. So, I got out my "Soccer Ball" hat that I bring out every World Cup for the past 20 years, a gift from my dad. I will be rooting for the USA as they play the first round against Wales, Iran, and England. I hope you all will root for the USA or at least give the sport a try as they take on the best players in the world on the biggest stage in the world.