James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rooting for Goliath

I heard on the radio that soccer's Women's World Cup tournament is going on, and that team USA fought South Korea to a 2-2 draw. It's already been eight years since the media decided to make a big deal out of the Women's World Cup. Sports Illustrated even christened the American championship team as "Sportsperson of Year" - ahead of Lance Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer to win the Tour de France.

But America doing well in international competition - any international competition - should come as no surprise. Because we are so populous, even an obscure sport has enough aficionados and participants here that a competitive team could be formed. For instance, since the U.S. has thirty times Sweden's population, the U.S. would only need 1/30th of the participation rate of Sweden in a particular sport and still find a similar pool of talent.

And it makes me wonder. The Iron Curtain has fallen, and professional athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympics, so why should Americans cheer for the USA? It's like cheering for the big school over the tiny one in Hoosiers. The United States is at least 2-4 times larger than almost every one of our sporting rivals, with sufficient wealth to have first-rate facilities. Until the Chinese and Indians climb out of poverty, the U.S. should have the most medals at not only the Summer Olympics, but the Winter as well. And they should do well in most other international competitions. It is hard to believe the U.S. is the "underdog" in anything.

It would be more interesting if the states had their own teams in international competition, just as Scotland and England do in the World Cup. That would make international competition far more interesting.


  1. Lichtenstein 4, Wyoming 3.

  2. The US will never field a competitive cricket team.