Local Media, Americans and the World Cup

As this World Cup comes to a close, I have been watching a lot more than just the glorious display of the Beautiful Game on display here in Denver. Here are a few things to note about my perception of Americans (or people who live in America) and the media in Denver during this World Cup:

1. In the main, supporting the country of one’s ancestors seems to be more important than the country one is born in. This could be a fallacy, but I have seen more Americans in Germany, Brazil, Mexico, France and the other South American country’s shirts than I have the US one. I will say that in a few, rare cases some of this is because of a true love of football as a whole (I myself had a Pele shirt in the 90’s). My prime example is RMB’s own Greg Lepetsos as he shows us all his pain while wearing his Brazil tee during that 7-1 capitulation to Germany!

2. When the US lost to Belgium, the World Cup finished for those who were only supporting the American side because ‘Murica. It’s like they believed the World Cup existed up until they lost, which is a shame, considering the amount of passion we saw from a lot of US fans. Those who have invested time in following a league team, however, have been following the whole tournament and have been treated to an event far better than South Africa, four years ago. This is just an observation of the casual fan who only shows up when there isn’t any American Football or Hockey on. They will disappear as soon as social media dies down and their twitter page isn’t inundated with facts they can repeat as necessary. This is the kind of fan we need to educate more and get on board full time. They know the score, but don’t have the base to stick with it.

3. The 9News Sports department is decades behind the rest of the world and a good section of Denver, too. By only focusing on the World Cup until the US went out they missed a huge opportunity to connect with an already large and continually growing part of Denver’s community. I don’t even think someone of them know that US had to go through a quite arduous qualification process to make it to Brazil, you certainly can’t have a decent conversation with a few in there without getting the usual misinformed rubbishing you get from those who don’t know the game. More importantly, they are missing out on the chance to forge a link with the community, especially seeing as we have live Premiership football broadcast on our station. @nil_nil00 was contrived, cheesy to those already in the Denver football community, but he was a step in the right direction and I hope he returns soon, so get your #savenilnil hash tags ready, my friends. Here I get ribbed by the unidentified reporter for predicting a Brazil win over Germany:

4. Telemundo Denver’s approach to the World Cup has been perfect. They have done everything that 9News should have and I think their general viewer base will grow because of that.

5. I was given the chance to work on air with Susie Wargin on her show with Dave Logan at KOA radio. I enjoyed myself immensely and got to advertise my abilities, but more importantly I thought it was a good step for them to take as it engaged with the community. As football continues to grow, I think it would be a great foot in the door to build and have someone (not necessarily me) on a regular basis to cover the Premiership, La Liga and other leagues and cater more to Denver’s already passionate football community.

And here we are now at half time in the World Cup Final with everything to play for. Just 45 or 75 minutes away from being able to take a deep breath and focus on what’s really important – Chelsea’s pre-season training and our impending campaign to bring the Premiership, FA Cup, Mickey Mouse Cup and Champions League where they belong – the trophy cabinet at Stamford Bridge.

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3 thoughts on “Local Media, Americans and the World Cup

  1. The thing that I have been encouraged by is the way national media outlets have begun treating it seriously. I don’t think some of these wankers have a sincere bone in their bodies, but when your major flagship sports outlets and personalities begin extending their cred to a sport, it establishes it as a reality in the broader landscape.

    As go the nationals, so also will go the locals in time. Four years from now you’ll have that momentum from the top coupled with the presence in those newsrooms of four more years worth of younger broadcast pros, and soccer is the #2 sport in America among 12-24s already.

    I feel your frustration with local affiliates, but the good guys are winning the war, slowly but surely.

  2. For me, I could never wear a shirt other than that of the Czech Republic (mom’s side), United States (birth country) or Spain (dad’s side) and even then I have difficulty wearing United States if it isn’t a Sounder or Spain if it isn’t a Chelsea player. I’m first generation American though and grew up following football in the Czech Republic. There were plenty of teams I liked (including Germany and Belgium) but I could never wear the shirt of a country that I had no affiliation to. I think Americans (and Mexicans) do it to “look cool” just like they pick a club team that they have no connection with rather than their local MLS team.

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