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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 1, 2010 / 19 Tamuz 5770

Still looking to score

By Glenn Garvin



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After an exciting World Cup rolled up record TV ratings, Sports Illustrated declared that soccer, its hour come round at last, is slouching toward the United States:

"American soccer now has its greatest opportunity. If those who control this burgeoning game in the U.S. have the good sense and the enlightened self-interest to discipline themselves and to take a decent posture toward soccer, we may yet have a shot at international recognition in a game that, thanks to an accident in sporting history, passed us by."

The only catch: Those lines appeared in Sports Illustrated in March 1967. The two new professional leagues the magazine ballyhooed — surely you remember the National Professional Soccer League and the United Soccer Association — were stillborn a month later. Certainly they still loom large in the memories of TV cameramen, who every week had to come up with breathtakingly acute new camera angles to disguise the vast expanse of empty seats at the games. If you're one of the 870 fans who attended the match between the Chicago Spurs and the Los Angeles Toros in Chicago's 61,500-seat Soldier Field in June 1967, bring your ticket stub to me and I'll buy you an ice-cream cone.

If Sports Illustrated was the first to sample the soccer Kool-Aid, plenty of others have guzzled from the same pitcher over the last four decades. As the joke goes, soccer is America's sport of the future — and always will be.

From carny hucksters trying to make a quick buck selling franchises to earnest assistant professors who are morally certain that world peace would be achieved if only Americans could be made to appreciate the intricacies of the corner kick, we've been endlessly bombarded with predictions that any day now we'll feel the sudden urge to throw away our baseball gloves and football pads to chant our new allegiance to the scoreless ties and incomprehensible offsides calls that make soccer so enthralling. My personal favorite came from a Baltimore sportscaster named Charley Eckman, who once said, "Indoor soccer will be the game of the '80s. Bet your cherries on it." And you wonder why you never see cherry orchards in Baltimore.

Here's the cold blunt fact of the matter: Americans hate soccer, and we've been hating it for a century and a half. The British brought the game when they settled their American colonies, and we played it for a while ... and then, like their damn tea, we threw it overboard. Soccer's precipitous decline in the United States came in the 1870s and 1880s, when three made-in-America sports — baseball, basketball and football (real football, the kind played with helmets and massive doses of steroids) — surged in popularity.

Soccerphiles have been trying to reverse the trend ever since. Every decade or so, a new swarm of pro soccer leagues hatches like pestiferous insects, only to be crushed to a bloody pulp by the heavy hand of American indifference, unmourned except by fans of unspeakably weird team names. (The Lone Star Soccer Alliance's San Antonio XLR8 is widely considered the champion by this audience, though my own preference is the Ohio Xoggz of the Southwest Independent Soccer League.)

With so much practice at discerning hope in the face of impending oblivion, soccer fans are the world's most skillful self-deceivers. Their favorite good omen is increased TV ratings for the World Cup — and with the Nielsens up 50 percent for this cup, they're giddy with optimism.

But it's easy to boost your ratings 50 percent when you start from next to nothing. The average match has drawn a million or two viewers, and even the most-watched, between the United States and Ghana, had 19.4 million viewers — about 20 percent fewer than "American Idol" on a bad night.

And most of those viewers were there for the spectacle (and the beer) rather than the soccer. The Coral Gables, Fla., bar where I watched the U.S.-Ghana match was indeed packed — but a third of the customers walked out when the game went into overtime, the moment at which real soccer fans should have been atingle with anticipation. And let's not start on the guy sitting beside me, who kept asking me which team was which.

A better indication of the ongoing U.S. interest in soccer — or, more correctly, the lack of it — is the attendance and TV ratings of Major League Soccer, the latest professional league to bang its head against the American wall. The 17-year-old league claims an average attendance of 16,000 per match — less even then indoor pro sports like basketball and hockey, and a mere flyspeck compared to Major League baseball (30,000 a game) or NFL football (68,000). And anyway, the key word in the last sentence is claims — the San Diego Union, a couple of years ago, got hold of internal Major League Soccer documents that showed that the league was giving away twice as many tickets as it was selling.

As for TV ratings, ESPN's coverage of Major League Soccer has fewer viewers than bowling or poker. I bet my cherries it's going to stay that way.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald

Previously:


06/22/10:Ripe for fraud and abuse
05/25/10: Big Brother picks your pocket
11/04/09: Have conservatives scored a stealth prime time drama?
08/27/09: Left's been out for blood, too
08/13/09: What's not being celebrated
07/31/09: Pay-or-play means more lost jobs
07/16/09: OAS turns a blind eye to violations by left
07/02/09: Nothing so shocking about this coup
06/22/09: Libs' darling strikes out
06/03/09: Yes, America should read Sotomayor's speech in context
05/20/09: ‘Bloody’ mission goes awry
05/07/09: The problem is they aren't just goofin'
04/30/09: Why can't students say ‘guns’ in school?
04/08/09: When non-U.S. citizens vote
03/2e/09: Of course the AIG bonus boys — the ‘best and the brightest‘ — deserve their loot
03/12/09: No choice in Free Choice Act

© 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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