(I previewed the World Championships at CBS Sports today if you want to take a look. It’s slightly longish. Also, I wrote about this topic as well, so I’m bringing over some of those thoughts here in case you good people would like to discuss as well. Definitely curious to hear some other thoughts on it.)
This is a question I’ve been thinking about the last few weeks. We’re so good at it and we’re about to compete against other countries… yet we don’t give a flip. Which is so weird to me.
For us Americans, you slap “USA” across the chest of anything and we’re rooting for it. I found myself watching hours of curling in last year’s winter Olympics. We root on Michael Phelps in a sport nobody cares about. We act like we’re soccer crazy during the World Cup. But when Team USA laces up the sneakers and takes things to the hardwood, we just don’t seem to care. And I have no idea why.
Rob Mahoney of Hardwood Paroxysm looked into this and asked it in an even more interesting manner: Why do people like the Thunder so much and not Team USA when they are so, so similar? Rob and I started chatting about this and some thoughts came to mind for me.
One reason is I think a lot is that the perception (at least in my mind) is that players don’t care about these games. Everyone just assume that Kevin Durant saying that he’d rather win a gold medal than an NBA title is all for show in an effort to pronounce some sort of manufactured patriotism through basketball. I don’t think people believe it. We think players are saying it because it’s the right thing to say, not because they actually are playing for country.
Why do we feel such a sense of pride when Team USA performs well in the World Cup? Why do we all gather in bars and restaurants and 9 in the morning to watch soccer every four year? There’s no reason the World Championships shouldn’t be somewhat as big as the World Cup. Obviously soccer is more popular worldwide, but why do people go soccer crazy here in the US and not for basketball, something we’re awesome at? Keep Reading…