There’s probably a reason that most Americans aren’t as crazy about soccer (football/futbol) as the rest of the world. And now that the World Cup is in full gear, I think I have figured it out. To sum it up in a word…commercials! Yes, it’s that simple. Americans are hooked on advertising. I really enjoy watching the World Cup matches from Brazil, but only on the Spanish speaking channels, for two great reasons. Not only does it give me the opportunity to further my Spanish speaking abilities, it gives me a reason to yell, GOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL!!! at the top of my lungs for 15 seconds and not have people in the house look at me like I have lost my mind (well, more than they already do). But probably the best part of watching the World Cup on T.V. is, no commercials. Ah, two 45 minute haves of uninterrupted sporting bliss. No T.V. time outs, no ridiculous halftime tie-ins to the games, nada. All you get is just a little on screen logo that changes with the sponsorships of the game and a quick five second “plug” by the announcer every once in awhile. How great is that? But switch the channel to any American sporting event, and you get the McDonalds pregame show, where you get to find out about the Right-Guard, “Keys to Victory”, with the Nike score “crawler” just below the action, giving you the latest scores. Finally, after a few more announcements of the upcoming official tip off, first pitch, or kick off... right after these “important messages", then we finally get some action. Then, just after about 10 minutes (if there hasn’t already been an injury timeout) we get the barrage of Ford-Chevy-Dodge pickup ads, mixed in with a quick Burger King spot and a Budwieser Ad, just to “wash it all down.” And so it goes until the AT&T halftime segment of the event, where it’s even more commercials. But that’s ok, because this is usually when people aren’t watching anyway (Superbowl not withstanding). At this point we’re usually too busy doing all the things we promised our spouses we would do at half time. Then finally we get to watch the rest of the game (with commercials throughout) until the last two minutes of the game, which in “real time” means another 45 minutes of time outs, personnel changes, injury time outs, and so forth with of course even more commercials in between all of them.
Yup, it’s the commercials I say. We as Americans
are hooked on them. Not only are we hooked on them, we "gotta" have them!
And when it comes down to American sporting events…I don't believe the networks would even
televise them without them like they do soccer. Besides, someone has to pay those
multi-million dollar salaries out on the playing field. Don’t get me wrong, I love my American sports,
but maybe instead of so many commercials they could throw in a cartoon, short documentary, or maybe even a political debate…just a thought.
Oh yeah, I can’t
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Thanks for reading, I'll see you in the groves.