A Difference in Sporting Cultures

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 26: Landon Donovan of the United States gestures during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 26, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

The United States suffered a heartbreaking loss to Ghana in the World Cup yesterday eliminating the Americans. The country is not in mourning. The same would not be true in many other countries. England is a good example. The world will stop for sports fans in that country after the loss to Germany.

You could argue that is because soccer isn't big in our nation. That's partially true. It's more of a symptom of the situation than the answer, though. The sport might not be huge in America yet, but there has been a consistent, steady increase in interest since 1994. The fact is no sport draws the attention of the entire nation.

Think about it. Was every sports fan in America captivated by the Olympic hockey gold medal game against Canada? Did you wake up in the middle of the night to watch the Olympic basketball gold medal game in 2008? Did you open room in your schedule for the World Baseball Classic? I'm sure most of you would have for a big Jets game.

We have different tastes in sports in this country. Baseball is the national pasttime. Football is the most popular sport, but there are still plenty of people watching hockey or basketball only. Some of our cities are built around a team like the Red Sox in Boston. There is no true event that brings us all together, though.

That isn't a bad thing. While other countries will go into a state of depression, those of us following the Americans in the World Cup will get up, dust ourselves off, and see how the Yankees did yesterday or how the Knicks are doing in the LeBron sweepstakes.

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