an article by : Richard Greener.Novelist and award-winning essayist I,m an American, and honestly, I don,t like soccer. I admit, perhaps I just can,t appreciate the finer points of the game. Regardless, I do not enjoy watching it, especially on television. I am also not caught up in the nationalization of sport -- the flag waving -- the mindless chants of "USA! USA!" Utter nonsense as far as I,m concerned. The World Cup hype seems much the same as the phony patriotism perpetrated by the Olympics. The other day, the U.S. "side" at the World Cup tournament was eliminated by Ghana. But it,s not just that loss that accounts for the lack of American fan interest. The teams played for more than two hours and only three goals were scored by both teams combined. Low scoring games don,t help, but even that alone is not the reason either. Here,s why I think Americans don,t like soccer -- not enough action. For fans, there,s little to no anticipation of a goal during the game. When a goal is scored, it almost always comes quickly and unexpectedly. Frequently, it appears the players are as surprised as we are. Making matters impossibly worse is the blatantly incompetent officiating that disallows some of the rare goals which are scored. Television technology shows the whole world that these goals are good, but they don,t count, and the game goes on with even less meaning than it had before, and no justice in its final result. The four most popular team sports among American fans are: football, baseball, basketball and hockey. The action of each of these games brings the possibility of a score to virtually every moment of play, from the beginning of the contest to its final second. In MLB Baseball there are between 200-300 pitches in every nine-inning game. Each and every time a pitcher throws the ball to the hitter there is the real possibility of an instant score via a home run, or the beginning of a run scoring rally with a base hit, or a run batted in if men are already on base. Fans hang on every one of those pitches as they account for an average of almost 11 runs per game. That was the average game score way back in 1929. And today, more than 80 years later, nearly the exact same number of runs per game are still being scored in major league games. In the National Football League, and also in college football, each game has about 125 offensive plays from scrimmage. Like baseball, not every play results in a score, but also like baseball, every play carries the potential for one. And uniquely in football, every play can result in a score for both teams -- either the offense or the defense. Some 42 points are scored in the average pro football game. The average NBA basketball game has about 90 total team possessions. After subtracting for turnovers, the result is about 80 attempted shots per game. And here, quite literally, every shot can score, even though we all know as many as half will be missed. Why are we intensely fixed on the action of every attempt? The answer is simple. We don,t know which half of the 80 shots on basket won,t go in. We think they all will be good. And the average NBA game has about 190 points scored. Anticipation rewarded, time after time. Even the lowest scoring team sport supported by American fans, NHL Hockey, is still packed with potential scoring action. In the season just completed, shots on goal for NHL teams ranged from Chicago,s 34.1 to the league low of Minnesota,s 27.6. Hardly much difference there between the most and least aggressive teams. In the average NHL game, about 60 shots on goal are taken. So, even the lowest scoring hockey games have many scoring attempts. you can read the full article at usa vs ghana usa vs england usa vs algeria usa vs slovakia lendon danovan

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