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Why do way more people watch football over soccer?
Ethan Fairweather

Ethan Fairweather

Introduction to the World's Two Most Popular Sports

Football, as we call it here in Auckland -- or soccer as it's known in some parts of the world (yes, we're talking about you, America), and American football, the king of sports in the USA -- are constantly battling for global supremacy. On one hand, you have a sport that's adored internationally, and on the other, a primarily American phenomenon. Oh, the intrigue! Both sports have their unique characteristics and appeal, with each boasting millions of die-hard fans. Yet, with a kaleidoscope view of the global popularity chart, you can't help noticing that American football has an impressive clout. Why’s that? Well, step with me into this puzzling realm as we explore why more people watch football over soccer.

The Origins and Spread of both Games

The roots of both sports are rather fascinating, albeit having diverged dramatically through history. Soccer can trace its ancient origins back to China, Greece, and Rome before it was further modernized in England (they've got to have invented something, right?). On the other hand, American football emerged from the bowels of colleges and universities in the late 19th century, as a mishmash of rugby and soccer. Looking at how both sports have spread across the globe is akin to witnessing a riveting game of Risk. Soccer's popularity pulsates across continents, making it a universal language. Meanwhile, football has taken such a strong hold over the American territory that it puts the Roman Empire to shame.

Cultural Appeal That Strikes a Score

What is it about football that captivates so many Americans? Well, for starters, it goes way beyond the allure of the game itself. It's the unique American Fall tradition, mixing the excitement of strategic plays, high energy tackles, and the occasional, awe-inspiring athleticism with all the frills of cheerleaders, marching bands and Super Bowl half-time shows. Football is saying 'Howdy!' and holding the door open for a stranger. It's as American as apple pie and a Texan drawl, while soccer is more of a bag of chips shared in an English pub.

The Complexity and Strategy of Football

How about we delve a little deeper into the gameplay itself? Football is like a thrilling game of chess -- on steroids. A myriad of positions with specific roles, each play meticulously choreographed, allows for an infinite number of strategic permutations. This detailed complexity of football becomes a captivating mental exercise for many viewers who enjoy predicting and analyzing each play. On the other hand, soccer takes on a more fluid approach. It's a beautiful dance of 22 players improvising on the go, where simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. However, some argue that this could make it seem repetitive and, dare I say, dull to the unacquainted spectator.

The Scoring Disparity: Touchdowns vs. Goals

Now, let's address the elephant in the room - scoring! I know what you're thinking. How could anyone resist the raw, explosive excitement of a touchdown? And the icing on the cake? You get six points! Now, who wouldn't like that thrill of instant gratification? Soccer, on the other hand, is more of a slow burner. The rarity of goals in soccer creates a buildup of anticipation that culminates in explosive jubilation. Only, that jubilation is even rarer than a decent cup of Chai in the South Island. Just saying...

Social Events and Commercialism

American football has become a national ritual, with Super Bowl Sunday morphing into an annual celebration where even non-football fans show up for the party. Don’t forget the commercials, which are as much a spectacle as the game itself. Soccer has its own festivals, in the form of the World Cup or Champions League, yet these are a biennial or annual affair, respectively, and don’t quite have that freshly baked apple pie feels of football commercialism.

The Game Duration and Frequency

The last aspect we’re going to talk about is the frequency and duration of games. NFL season is a sprint compared to the marathon that is the soccer season in most countries. Football operates with a 'less is more' approach, with each game having more weight and anticipation. Soccer, on the other hand, often includes multiple tournaments running concurrently and games are held significantly more often. This, in some people's eyes, could dilute the importance of individual games.

Are We Pitching Tents or Building Bridges?

In conclusion, the noble argument of football versus soccer is a tribute to the beauty and diversity of sports around the world. While more people might be tuning in for football, let's remember that each sport has its own unique charm, just like people do. There's no need to pitch tents and take sides when we could build bridges and appreciate what each game has to offer. Like we say here in Kiwi land, it's all good, mate!

Popular Tag : football popularity soccer viewership sports preference cultural influence

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