James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Why Soccer Never Caught On

Here's my theory why soccer never caught on in the USA. By the time competitive sports really took hold as a pastime in the late 19th century, Americans could afford sports equipment such as baseball gloves, and buy them for their kids. The rest of the world, however, continued to be dirt poor and kids had nothing to do but kick something around the street. This persisted even in Western Europe because of the World Wars. There might be one ball for the entire neighborhood. So kids the world over grew up to be really good at soccer, and by the time sports became associated with civic and national pride, American kids had grown up attached more elaborate games. Even as other nations increased their prosperity, their attachment remained with soccer.

One way for the USA to become a soccer power is for the masses to become dirt poor, so that they can't even afford basketball nets. Maybe that's what our leaders have in mind.


  1. Then our fans could riot, just like theirs.

  2. It is interesting to note that team sports and games are mainly a product of Great Britain and its American offshoot. Many parts of the world have few or no team sports other than those inherited from the British, eg cricket.