Sunday, August 09, 2009

USA USA USA vs. Mexico--a Quick Complaint

Soccer, thanks in no small part to the rapidly changing demographics of the United States, both racial and age-based (I still think my generation of 30-somethings is the first generation to continue to give a shit about soccer after the youth soccer we played) seems to be coming into its own. Never mind that the MLS has averaged more fans per game than the NHL. Every defender of hockey (and maybe basketball, too) will tell you it is unfairly skewed by Toronto and Seattle's new, rabid fan bases.

But--DC United is going to get destroyed by Real Madrid on Sunday, as an exhibition match. Here's the thing--RFK Stadium, the usual home of DC United, holds some 45,000 people. The match isn't being played there, because they sold 60,000 tickets. This exhibition match is being played in the largest American Football stadium in the world--FedEx Field. So there is a clue about how soccer is gaining traction, I think.

Yahoo's Martin Rogers, who seems to me a fine man (with a unfortunate fixation on proving the MLS is for real) is going to be spending the next four days talking about how important the US-Mexico tilt is, and it is hugely important. The US has not won in Azteca Stadium, ever, and they could really really use a win there. Rogers says "Awareness of the national team has rarely been at a higher point." Rogers also says, in another article (I told you he was working hard) "This rivalry has never been bigger, or more significant, than it is now."

And so what better time for NBC/Universal to be a HUGE DICK? Why not now? This game will not be on ESPN. Not ESPN2. Not ESPN Ocho. Not on Fox Soccer Channel. It will only appear on Telemundo, and their English speaking sister channel, mun2. Telemundo and mun2 are both owned by NBC. Presumably, NBC could have optioned off viewing rights, but they've decided to make a power play to get mun2 on more cable networks, using this important game. Luckily, for me at least, Comcast in Minnesota for some reason carries mun2. But only 31 million households in the US have that option. It's a shockingly bullshit manuever. On behalf of all my soccer loving, English-speaking friends who either don't get this game at all, or have to watch it Spanish, with Mexican commentary-Fuck you, NBC, for being such HUGE DICKS.

That's my complaint. I suggested it would be quick. I lied.

1 comment:

Andrew Wice said...

Right now is the slowest time in sports. Nothing on but baseball. But I'm sure they'd still rather show a George Foreman grill commercial.

And the new Cowboys stadium is now the largest in the world.