24 June 2006

Capitalist Soccer and Socialist Football

The 2006 FIFA World Cup begins the round of 16 today. I am not much of a soccer fan, but I definitely tune in and watch as many matches as possible every four years when this epic sporting event occurs. And I have enjoyed immensely the 2006 edition, hosted by Germany, with match start times of early morning or noon time, I've been able to catch a number of matches. All of the contests are being broadcast in HD and look fabulous on the big screen.

In the United States, professional football rules the sports roost, but all over the world, soccer is the premier game. Much ballyhooed is the spectacle of the televised Super Bowl every year, but it pales in comparison to the World Cup. While the Super Bowl enjoys a television audience of close to 100 million people (98% of which reside in the United States), the 2002 World Cup final was watched by 1.1 billion individuals (a sixth of the entire planet population).

Soccer is often derided as a boring pasttime for socialist, drunken hooligan, action deficient European nations, but truth is professional soccer is definitively more capitalistic than the decidedly socialistic nature of the American professional sports.