Voices
in
Japan

have your say

How come soccer has never reached the popularity of baseball, basketball or the NFL in the U.S.?

62 Comments

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

62 Comments
Login to comment

zzzzzzzzzzz

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Americans don't like games where the end result after ninety minutes can be a scoreless draw.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Yes. At the same time, I wonder why baseball, basketball and American Football haven't reached much popularity anywhere else in the world.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Actually Bertie, basketball and baseball have both reached rather large audiences in many countries. Europe and Asia both have established professional basketball leagues, while Asia, the Carribean and South America all seem to enjoy baseball.

That being said, I have to agree with the first two posters. A game where 90 minutes go by, no scoring, and then everyone just jogs off rather content does not settle with the American psyche. Either you win, or you lose. Draws are rare to the point of being remarkable exceptions in American sports.

And let's not even get into the recent growth of overly dramatic prima-donna flopping all over the place. Grazing someone with your hand does not entail the other person falling to the ground screaming and rolling around like they just got shot by a sniper (in fact, Youtube has posted such sarcastic videos).

1 ( +8 / -7 )

No place for the networks to insert several minutes of commercials.

On the ground, where people live, soccer is one of the more popular sports in the US. Americans play it in school up through high school because it's cheaper to administer and equip than either baseball or American football; and has more health benefits - 90 minutes of running vs occasionally move (baseball) or possible injury (football). Americans just don't grow up to watch it on TV.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Because it is not a "home-grown" sport. Football, baseball and basketball were all invented in the U.S. Additionally, due to the nature of the collegiate situation in the states, football and basketball are the big revenue-generating sports, so more urban kids, looking for a way to better themselves via a college scholarship, tend to gravitate towards them.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

One reason is a football match has only one break. American sports have been half-jokingly referred to as something people do between commercial breaks.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Do countries outside the US not have commercials?

I read that apart from tickets sold in Brazil, the biggest number of tickets sold for the world cup were bought by US fans, so someone must like it.

There are obviously cultural ties to sports like baseball. As the demographics change soccer is becoming more popular. I expect they'll be the dominant force in world football in a few decades.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Go ahead funny guys. Take your pot shots. At least we don't turn into fanatical violent hooligans terrorizing the other citizens. That's our presidents job.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Americans don't like games where the end result after ninety minutes can be a scoreless draw.

They don't? Does the game, "baseball" ring a bell?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Maybe the U.S wants entertainment.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

why baseball, basketball and American Football haven't reached much popularity anywhere else in the world.

Utter nonsense. Baseball has the WBC (World Baseball Classic) where teams compete from different parts of the world; including Japan. Basketball is an Olympic event. U.S. football has NFL leagues in countries outside the U.S. NFL teams play one regular-season game per year at Wembley Stadium in London.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@Jerseyboy,

Basketball was invented in Canada.

Learned a lot about soccer through my Scottish roommate and began to appreciate the skills of the players. Definately better than basketball.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I thought if a baseball match was tied they had extra innings - was i wrong?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@pointofview Basketball was invented in Massachusetts BY a Canadian.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's mainly because sports are cultural, a little bit like food tastes are. People often like what they grow up with best. If you're from Britain and your team is an underdog, having them hold on for a 0-0 draw against a much stronger team can be exciting. Watching a basketball game where the final score is 122-106 seems too high-scoring for a Brit. Soccer (football) is the world's most popular sport by a huge distance, but Americans prefer the sports they grew up with. There's nothing wrong with that. American Football caught on in the UK when I was a kid and basketball was often on TV. I enjoyed watching and playing both these sports and still do. I am personally bored by baseball, but I consider it cultural and wouldn't knock the sport itself.

Soccer is actually very popular in the USA but is predominantly a ladies sport there. The American women are great at football, as are the Japanese. Women's football in the USA is more popular than women's football in the UK, so the sport did catch on there in a way.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Actually, it was invented in Almonte, Ontario.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The U.S. is incredibly slow. I'm not sure if it's due to the baby boom generation being exposed to all that lead in the environment during its formative years, or what. They are incredibly slow.

Soccer today is vastly more popular than it was when I was growing up in the 60s, but the rate of the growth in its popularity has moved at a glacial pace. One reason trumps all others: NFL football wasn't all that popular in the late 50s and early 60s -- and then someone -- Ed Sabol, to be exact, along with his son, Steve -- got the idea to use the media to produce NFL glorification films known as "NFL Game of the Week." Their technique is studied today and is modeled right after Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will.

To achieve super popularity in America, it has to be sold to us with a lot of myth. We're suckers for it. But Soccer hasn't found its Sabols -- yet.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Americans like games where the individual is praised....

Soccer is (at least until some years ago), basically a team game and the individual feat usually is not enough to win.

Were Baseball (may be less though), Basketball and American Football are in essence, individualistic games one hero and its minions type of game... and that what the Americans love. Also big scores and fast moving is a plus.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Why?

Easy, because soccer is boring.

What is it, like over an hour of guys running back and forth, coming close and not so close towards getting a goal?

Americans like lots of points, or the atmosphere and vibe of baseball.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

@pointofview Naismith was born in Almonte. He studied physical education in Montreal before moving to Springfield in 1891. Basketball is noted in almost all sources as having been invented in 1891 in Springfield (first game in December of same). Splitting hairs, I know, but I actually wrote my thesis on Canadian contributions to sport, much of which focused on James Naismith and his development of the game in the U.S.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Daniel Neagari, I'm sure it's true that US sport needs obvious heroes and Americans admire individual endeavour more than e.g. Brits do. A lot of North Americans who follow "soccer" seem to do so because of a player, not because of a team. When the player changes team, so does the supporter. The Brits would never shift allegiance because a player changed team. Soccer is fast-moving though, far more than baseball is. American football is far slower than rugby with all the stop-starts, measurements and time-outs, so I don't think the speed of the game is the reason for its popularity. I think it's mainly about what we grew up with, plus some British sports have way too many rules and the outcomes are often influenced be controversial refereeing decisions, e.g. rubgy. That may be another factor in their popularity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Where to start with this?

Here's a tip for you Cleo, don't stop reading when something strikes your "sensitive" mind, or do you normally miss the punch line in jokes?

Anyway, very smooth! I though we were commenting about sports, not guns. That was a few days ago. But what I really liked was how you compare soccer deaths "in Brazil?" to gun rights in the US. Have you looked at the crime rates in Brazil in the last 10 years?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@hapton

I totally agree with you... I cannot bear the half times of almost and hour, the mid time of 15 minutes, and the time offs every single moment that makes a 90 minutes game a never ending moaning and umpires chit chat...

But regarding the speed thing... when "finally" the play starts... is like boom there goes the ball.. zoom there goes the runner... pow!! there is the 130 points goal.... After that play, comes the avalanche of time outs and half times...though

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Daniel, I agree, and I like basketball and American football for those reasons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I could take pot shots at all the haters, that would be too easy. It's simple, some sports are more popular than others in some countries. It just all depends what you like, what and how you grew up, socially and worldview. Americans like more competitive hands on what we call real mans sport. We have this Gladiator spirit and we are highly competitive in everything that we do. Maybe that is why Football hasn't caught on, not to mention, we have a lot of big guys out there and that is a sport they can do and are great at it. Most of Scandinavia, Russia and Canada Love Hockey, Brits, Aussies and Kiwis love Cricket (God knows why..) Japanese, South Koreans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans Love Baseball, Europeans and Latin's Football/Soccer, it's all good, I personally love most sports (except Cricket) it doesn't matter, have fun. Soccer is gaining popularity in the states, Basketball is huge in many of the Slavic countries slowly in Germany, Italy. We like fast paced scoring , you Europeans don't and that is OK. Sportsmanship should bring the best out of people, good Lord there is so much hate in this world and even during sports, we can't put our differences aside, get some beers and cocktails, some food, put our frets up and just enjoy the game and enjoy diversity, is it that difficult to do. I can go to virtually any event and have fun and yes, been to a Cricket match, NOT for me at all, having said that, I am just going to sit here and watch all ya'll go back and forth. I will get a Corona...maybe 3 or 4 and enjoy the upcoming game and let the best team win. Yes, I will route for the U.S., I know it's a stretch, but even if the lose and make it past the Semi-finals, I will still continue to watch.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Soccer is a fall sport in most school districts in the U.S.. So the teams have to compete with other fall sports like American football, swimming and cross country for athletes and that reduces greatly the number of kids who would otherwise continue playing after grade school.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The more hispanic the US becomes, the more popular soccer will be. It is moot point, just wait.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How come soccer has never reached the popularity of baseball, basketball or the NFL in the U.S.?

Further proof that 4% of the world's population can't really relate with everyone else.

But who cares, when the Beautiful Game is being celebrated in Brazil! Viva fútbol!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Further proof that 4% of the world's population can't really relate with everyone else.

But who cares, when the Beautiful Game is being celebrated in Brazil! Viva fútbol!

It doesn't matter if the 4% superpower U.S. doesn't like Soccer, believe me, life will go on. Take away Superbowl and you will see a revolution!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The reason is because the best-quality players in the world a) aren't American and b) don't play in America. If the U.S. isn't at the front and center of an event, that event is downplayed. Look at international sports like tennis and cycling, for example. When there are exceptional American talents dominating those sports (the Agassi/Sampras era, the Lance Armstrong era), those sports' popularity goes way up. But now, when there are no serious American contenders in either sport, no one in the States gives a second thought to them. Tennis, for example, has been at an all-time historic point in terms of talent with Federer (Swiss), Nadal (Spanish), and Djokovic (Serbian). Ask the average American on the street, and they may have HEARD of Federer, but couldn't tell Djokovic from Nishikori. Yet 15 years ago, you could have an informed conversation with a lot of people about the merits of the top tennis player, who Agassi/Sampras/Chang/etc. were playing against.

So, since the best soccer is played elsewhere in the world, Americans don't see it on TV. Because they don't see it on TV, kids don't grow up striving to be the best in the world, and are drawn to sports they see on TV all the time (football, baseball, hockey, basketball). Without enough kids getting into it, the overall talent pool stays low, keeping the U.S. from having world-class players, teams and leagues, and thus adult audiences aren't interested in following the sport. It's a big circle.

Imagine, though, what would happen if the top athletes from all the other sports had decided to play soccer. The U.S. would be a world powerhouse. I don't see that happening anytime soon, though.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

They don't? Does the game, "baseball" ring a bell?

You've obviously been watching too much Japanese pro baseball. In the MLB games are played out until there is a victor, there are NO ties in American baseball.

However that being said, I agree with the assumption, that along with the fact that there was a time not all that long ago that kids who couldn't play American football were made to play soccer, at one time considered, at least where I am from, a sissy-sport.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

'We like fast paced scoring , you Europeans don't and that's ok?

Rugby produces as much scoring as American football and is far more 'gladiatorial' than baseball. Also, football is not just limited to Latin America and Europe. Africa? The Middle East? Asia ( the English Premier League makes a great deal if its profits from TV rights in Asia) and as you can see, younger Japanese are generally moving towards football and/or losing interest in baseball. Older salarymen tell me that 'Did you see last night's baseball game?' is now not used as small talk with clients as it was in the past. As for the US, perhaps the best example for me was listening to two American men discussing the Super Bowl and spending as much time giving opinions about the new TV commercials as about the game itself. Maybe if a football game was split into quarters with time-outs, it would become more palatable to US TV.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It doesn't matter if the 4% superpower U.S. doesn't like Soccer, believe me, life will go on

Another self-limiting belief.

Yes, life will go on, much longer than the superpower fantasy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Because, according to learned scholar John Oliver, most Americans think ''soccer is something you pick your 10-year-old daughter up from.''

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Because baseball, American football, basketball etc have all been widespread for a much longer period than soccer there. Soccer is a relative latecomer to the mainstream. That's all there is to it really. Not because people believe some sports to be intrinsically better than any others. Soccer gets more and more popular in the US as time goes on, but the other sports have just been played for longer and in more locations across the US.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Still pushing stereotypes? Got America all figured out?

AYSO. How many states?

We have soccer fields everywhere!

Japan, where are your soccer fields that are FREE to the public?

IT doesn't matter if the sport doesn't turn a profit to Americans. The point is its accessible and free to anybody who wants to organize a league and use public parks. Which is more than I can say for Japan where only the well to do have access to a well maintain pitch.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Bass,

Take away Superbowl and you will see a revolution!

You're dreaming!

Take away Superbowl and INTERNATIONALLY nobody would notice.

Baseball has great moments and those are certainly interesting to watch, but the half hours in between send me to sleep.

American Football starts to get interesting and then they stop and chat for a bit, have a huddle and there's a burst of activity for 30 seconds or so and then it all stops again. A bit like Rugby maybe, but Rugby is much more interesting to watch and GREAT to play!

Basketball is interesting all the way through. Enjoyable and exciting to watch, as several posters have pointed out, this sport has gained popularity in many places around the world.

But good quality soccer is the best. That's why, world-wide, it's the most popular.

Funny nobody mentioned cricket!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

If they rename the MLS the 'World Series of Soccerball' or something maybe they might show some more interest. But I've no idea why Americans dont enjoy the game. Maybe it's because its not their game, or because it's hard to take being worse at a sport than Chile, or Portugal (to randomly name just two). And Americans in bars do seem to get quite angry about soccer being so popular around the world! Fair point on the diving and flopping though - soccer really needs to cut that out, its ruining it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

'Funny nobody mentioned cricket!'

'The English are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.' George Bernard Shaw

Speaking as a Brit, I have to say that baseball is at least an improvement on cricket. Baseball bores you to death for about 3 hours. Cricket bores you to death for 5 days.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Soccer/futbol is actually one of the largest youth sports in the US, but most don't continue playing it as they get older.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Soccer/futbol is actually one of the largest youth sports in the US, but most don't continue playing it as they get older.

This is a good point. Money is a huge factor. There's so much more money in the US for pro baseballers, American football players, basketballers and so on. Similar to the situation in NZ. Soccer is fairly popular at school level but most kids end up pursuing rugby when given the choice because you can go a lot further in it in NZ.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Growing up in a largely Hispanic neighborhood in L.A., I can honestly say every weekend, every park is filled with adults playing soccer matches as well as schools playing soccer at recess time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why? Easy, because soccer is boring. What is it, like over an hour of guys running back and forth, coming close and not so close towards getting a goal?

It may be boring to some - I have little interest myself, these days - but it is far and away the world's most popular spectator sport, watched by more people than any other sport and played at the professional level in more countries than any other. Nothing comes even close to it.

One thing football really doesn't have to do is justify its existence, even if a few countries (and it is very few) are immune to its attractions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wakarimasen,

I thought if a baseball match was tied they had extra innings - was i wrong?

No, you aren't wrong. MLB regulations calls for a game to be played until someone scores, which could last 18 innings, like the one played on September 21, 2013 between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles, resuting in a 5-4 score, lasting from 7:10PM the previous evening and lasting until a little past 2:00AM.

Or it could last 33 innings, or 8 hours and 25 minutes, like the 1981 game between the Triple-A International League teams, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings.

Out of more than 2,400 regular season MLB games in 2013, more than 240 had to be decided with extra innings, the most on record. the 1986 season ended with 220 extra-inning games.

The point is -- clearly -- that Americans being averse to sitting through 90 minutes of a sporting event without knowing a clear victor is patently ridiculous, particularly considering the average length of a MLB game is 3 hours.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wakarimasen,

I thought if a baseball match was tied they had extra innings - was i wrong?

No, you aren't wrong. MLB regulations calls for a game to be played until someone scores, which could last 18 innings, like the one played on September 21, 2013 between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles, resuting in a 5-4 score, lasting from 7:10PM the previous evening and lasting until a little past 2:00AM.

Or it could last 33 innings, or 8 hours and 25 minutes, like the 1981 game between the Triple-A International League teams, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings.

Out of more than 2,400 regular season MLB games in 2013, more than 240 had to be decided with extra innings, the most on record. the 1986 season ended with 220 extra-inning games.

The point is -- clearly -- that Americans being averse to sitting through 90 minutes of a sporting event without knowing a clear victor is patently ridiculous, particularly considering the average length of a MLB game is 3 hours.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The real question is why hasn't women's volleyball reached and far surpassed the popularity of soccer, baseball, basketball or the NFL worldwide?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe because soccer is really boring and its lovers becomes zombies.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I think it's because sports involve the use of the player's hands. Dancing is something you do with your feet. hehehe.

But seriously, soccer has had decades of opportunity to compete with the dozens of the other sports that are available in the USA and the fans simply aren't interested. Can the fans be forced to watch the game? No. Soccer or basketball? Basketball wins. Soccer or football? Football wins. Soccer or baseball? Baseball wins. Soccer or women's beach volleyball?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

bass4funkJun. 12, 2014 - 01:25PM JST Americans like more competitive hands on what we call real mans sport.

rofl Which just goes to show that people in the U.S. have no idea what a real man's sport is like. Try playing a few games of full-contact rugby and then come back here and tell me how "manly" American football is.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@ Frungy!

rofl Which just goes to show that people in the U.S. have no idea what a real man's sport is like. Try playing a few games of full-contact rugby and then come back here and tell me how "manly" American football is.

Both games are very physical as a matter of fact there is a well know rugby player who is trying out for an NFL team now, He specifically said "FOOTBALL" is a very "fast game and very Physical because in Rugby you hit the guy with the ball in football any guy can get hit with or without the ball in terms of blocking! REAL men Play Physical sports! May it be rugby or American Football but if you want to get rich play American football!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What is amusing here is the implication Americans are intellectually challenged because we don't care about soccer. as if the rest of the world had some claim on what is intelligent.

Soccer is what we all played as kids. It's easy to set up, easy rules and anyone can try. All you need is a round ball, empty space and something to designate the goals. The other sports are not so easy to just play. To Americans the question is why I'd the rest of the world so interested in a ridiculous kids game? Worse, what sort of insane person Do you need to be to have massive riots and kill people over a stupid game.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Oh gosh......such vitriol over sports! First of all the games mentioned are great. B-ball can be played by any inner city kid and will never lose its popularity because they have easy access. No field needed. Courts everywhere. Jordan is like a God in the states. American Football ....which came out of rugby but with our rules...started out as a college men's game(not a kid's game) and was very rough. Blood and injuries. Americans have a love of that type of thing. Young big boys may not be good for soccer but their massive strength and power gets an outlet in American football as well as smaller quick runners and catchers or skilled fast athletes. The American Quarterback is the most popular "stud" in American High schools and colleges. (not always but typical.)

Baseball.....not as great to me per se but in the old days it was a way to relax and watch the boys play. It was a pastime as Am-Fbll was seen as a lout sport of brutes. (That changed).

Soccer was starting to grow at the turn of the century. There was a push by those in power to develop sports that were specific to Americans to lower the influence of England and other Euro countries on the populace. Study the history of soccer in America and you will find this out. I have seen the documentaries and articles about it. But in recent years we care so much more. 20 years ago my friends would laugh at anyone into soccer. In 2002 I mover to Japan and was exposed to international players and really watched how great their athletic ability was and I fell in love with the sport at that level. When you follow individuals (as we DO in the states as said) and watch their youtube vids and see the skill you realize how far behind we are because our best athletes make a ton of money to play BBall/Amftbll/basebll/and to a lesser degree hockey. (especially in the eastern and colder regions).

You love what you grew up with. No sport is boring to those who know it and grew up following it closely. Soccer is growing in America but American Football/basketball/and Baseball will dominate for many years to come. Many Hispanics (a growing number of our population) have their bigger boys playing American Football, many play Baseball already with leagues in Mexico an the Caribbean, and a ton of Europeans compete yearly to make the NBA.(Basketball). Soccer will grow but as you can see the typical European names you are used to will get replaced by more Latin sounding names. I guaranty for the rest of my lifetime, our big three sports will still be. Hockey admittedly does struggle to grow an audience though...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All games are pretty fun to play - I like playing baseball, although I find it dull to watch.

The real reason that soccer does not find its way into American culture properly is that the other games are too well established. This can change - sports rise and fall, but only very slowly.

Interestingly basketball is the only genuine sport to come out of America, whereas baseball came out of the English game "rounders", or "base-ball" as it was called in 1744, essentially a peasant pastime. Football only emerged out of rugby in the early 20th century when the rule against passing forward was universally abolished and common rules agreed. The British origin of American sports does not change the fact that these games are loved as staple sports. We should also not forget (ice) hockey, which adds a 4th popular domestic sport. This makes a very full schedule.

Overseas, only basketball has any meaningful following and regular players. It is the only US sport that people play overseas without being seen as a bit weird, apart from in the handful of baseball-playing countries.

To the poster who referred to soccer as a game that can take 90 minutes and still end in a goalless draw, what about cricket - it can take up to 5 days and still often ends in a draw?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Soccer is extremely popular among young kids, both boys and girls, hence the term "soccer mom." In high school, football is much more popular because they get to date the cheerleaders (he he).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Virgo hits the nail squarely on the head.

Might I add, the sport one has a particuarly liking for in no way determines your verility or manliness. So, can we stop spraying the deck with testosterone now and simply accept that different people like different things for different reasons?

Interestingly basketball is the only genuine sport to come out of America...

Actually, volleyball, a consistently popular Olympic sport, was invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895.

If you're arguing on the basis of originallity, even basketball draws from a medieval European children's game called Duck on a Rock.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because the refereeing is so bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd like to add that even though some here are talking about the differences between "professional" Rugby and American football, many teenagers in the US play full contact tackle football with no pads, in fields all across the States. I did. Yes we got hurt sometimes, broken legs, arms, noses, and had to call the ambulance a few times. Never any fist fights or brawls and rules were followed. So spare us the "Rugby is tougher" BS, I'm sure everyone feels just as sore when the games over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Soccer or Football is the game where players try to make out they are injured for 90 minutes, Rugby is the game where players try to make out they arn't injured for 80 minutes.

Soccer is a game for the lower class and the masses, lots of people find it boring, loaded with too many falsehoods by people who are paid way too much money.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@bertie

Take away Superbowl and you will see a revolution!

You're dreaming!

No, NOT if you are an American.

Take away Superbowl and INTERNATIONALLY nobody would notice.

But we would and that's all that matters.

Baseball has great moments and those are certainly interesting to watch, but the half hours in between send me to sleep.

You and me both, could never understand the fascination with Baseball, nor Cricket for that matter.

American Football starts to get interesting and then they stop and chat for a bit, have a huddle and there's a burst of activity for 30 seconds or so and then it all stops again. A bit like Rugby maybe, but Rugby is much more interesting to watch and GREAT to play!

I like and appreciate both, but I like the more chess style of our Football, but I will never say NO to watching a good game of Rugby, after all, our football evolved out of Rugby, they are practically paisans!

Basketball is interesting all the way through. Enjoyable and exciting to watch, as several posters have pointed out, this sport has gained popularity in many places around the world.

Glad to see other countries getting into it. B-Ball is cool, but it would be great if it got to be as big on the international level as Soccer.

But good quality soccer is the best. That's why, world-wide, it's the most popular.

Can't argue with you on that. Just make sure you have some decent minded refs that know what they are doing, then it'll be that much more fun to watch. Nothing is more asinine than having a crappy ref.

Funny nobody mentioned cricket!

That is a sport you either love it or hate it. I think Cricket is the same as American Football or Baseball, it is popular in some countries, but overall it is more or less popular with Brits and most of their former colonies.

@frungy

rofl Which just goes to show that people in the U.S. have no idea what a real man's sport is like. Try playing a few games of full-contact rugby and then come back here and tell me how "manly" American football is.

You think just because in Rugby you don't need to wear padding that makes you guys more manly? I played both in high school and for fun and I can tell you, you need to be a man "period" to play either game, however in American football, getting creamed by a guy who's 185cm and over 127kg at full speed is something you will NEVER forget.

While American football may be a niche interest in the UK, rugby is often seen as similarly dangerous – so should David Cameron be as worried as President Obama? Not according to Jim McKenna, a professor of physical activity and health at Leeds Metropolitan University (and a rugby coach). He points out that American footballers tackle with their heads, butting each other in a way seldom seen in rugby. "They butt the opposition and their head is the tip of the missile, with an enormous body of weight behind them," says McKenna. Meanwhile, the helmets and padding the US sportsmen wear can actually make the situation worse, he thinks, encouraging them to use more force.

In rugby it is spinal injuries from scrums that are the most dangerous (110 rugby players in Britain have been paralysed by playing the game). Allyson Pollock, a professor of public health, says that she is very worried about amateur rugby players, and especially children. Coaches, she says, are not properly trained to look out for the signs of concussion or taught how to deal with it – although it can have serious problems for children's learning and cognitive functions. She would like to see large-scale studies of the effects of such injuries, and says the sport establishment needs to think carefully about tackles. In 2010, she called for scrums to be banned after a study found that 190 rugby matches at Scottish schools resulted in 37 injuries. "Most children are not going to go professional, so why are their bodies being mauled and mashed and battered?"

Pick your poison, both are bad ultimately for your overall health and both can leave you in a wheelchair for life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bass4Funk,

That's probably the most well-rounded, well-reasoned, balanced post I've ever seen from you here. ;-)

Thanks for that breath of calm in what was rapidly becoming a silly debate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites