Thursday, May 1, 2008

Soccer makes outcasts cool

I'm not saying I agree with the premise of this paper, and I'm well aware that it's focusing on the growing popularity of soccer in Australia, but I'm curious about how much is applicable to the sport's growth in the U.S.


Dan Haug said...

I don't know... You've gotta remember that the academic writing this paper has a personal stake in cleverly fitting a pop culture phenomena into the theoretical framework de jour.

I think the whole postmodernist/poststructuralist arguments are really nothing new. Essentially what this paper is saying is that mainstream culture is changing, and those marketing soccer in Australia are finding ways to tie into those changes. Something similar may be happening in LA with the "Beckham effect", and with Donovan (who kind of defies steriotypes about professional athletes).

But if you get on BigSoccer it seems that it's the same macho BS that you see in all other sports. As soccer continues to gain popularity in the US, I think it's those fans (in Columbus, Houston, Dallas, Kansas City, San Jose... etc) that are going to be the hot market.

In the end, though, I think only success on the international stage will really secure a niche for soccer in the US market.

CACuzcatlan said...

If success on the international stage brings people to MLS, won't failure (WC 98, 02) push those same people away?

I see myself as a soccer fan akin to someone (like myself) that listens to underground music (ie. indy rock, underground hip hop, punk, etc.). Most people seem to say "that's not my thing, I don't know anything about it, but its pretty cool that you're into it."