Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How I'm going to make football popular in America

I was watching some good Premier League football over the weekend (well, I was actually watching Manchester City play good Premier League football, and Burnley getting the shit kicked out of them) on a channel called FSCN or something like that when I realized "you know what, there's probably plenty of money to be made popularizing football in the US." Before you start to laugh at my face, I've got 3 very good reasons for why I think there is money to be made. Here they are:

1) Hispanics love football, and they are a very large and growing, part of our population
2) Americans love it - in fact we start playing it at a very early age and continue through high school
3) MLS is pretty terrible and leaves lots of room for improvement

(For any of you wondering I'm going to stubbornly continue to refer to it as football, so deal with it)

Okay in order to figure out how I'm going to make it work, I have to figure out why it doesn't work already. I've come up with two big points. Just to try something fresh (and escape my numbered list habit) I'm going to call them a and b:

a) You can't really advertise during football matches. Think about all the breaks, time-outs etc. that other American sports have (baseball, American football, basketball, hockey). All that time where you are in front of the television and the athletes aren't playing brings in advertising dollars. Hundreds of millions of them. This makes other sports much more profitable to broadcasts and football ends up being shown only on specialty channels that viewers typically pay extra for. Think about baseball - they don't play more than they actually do play!

b) There are very few statistics in football, because there simply aren't that many things to keep track of. And Americans love their stats. Any baseball fan will tell you that. In fact, we have entire online leagues dedicated to picking and following players with good stats.

Seems pretty easy to me what the solution is here, folks. First, we'll add a few time-outs per side. The teams can use them to discuss strategy, take a quick breather, and hassle the referee about that yellow card that Guiseppe received for diving in the first half. Perhaps we can give each team a short and a long time-out. During those time-outs, broadcasters can play ads. Second, we'll just make up some statistics for people to track. After all, baseball has some pretty fucking obscure ones - GO/AO, for example, measures a batter's propensity to suck on the ground relative to his aerial suckage. Here are a few possible football stats I came up with:

-Distance travelled while contesting an offsides call
-Scoring percentage on shots that "I would have fucking made"
-Shots taken from inside the box / shots taken from outside the box (the I/O ratio)
-Number of players injured by slide tackling / number of red cards received (the efficiency ratio)
-Number of penalties awarded / number of dives in the box (the Cristiano Ronaldo ratio)
-Percentage of opposing team's fans beaten up after the game (the Chelsea ratio)

I'm giving MLS a call later this afternoon. Who's with me?

Mo out.

PS Also, football produces some AMAZING photos. Here are a few I wanted to share:

1 comment:

  1. I think you forgot one of the major problems for soccer (I'm American, dammit) in the US: we're pretty much saturated with sports. And the popularity of soccer with kids is more about parents keeping their kids from getting fat than anything else, as far as I can tell. It's more of a suburban ritual than any sort of meaningful interest in sports.