If, like us, you count yourself among soccer’s biggest fans, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that there are certain things about your favourite game that you probably don’t yet know. These are just some of our favourite facts about our favourite game of all time.
No-One Knows Its Exact Origins
Strange, but perfectly true. Even though EPL fans would love to believe in the English origins of the world’s greatest game, and AFL fans in its Aussie beginnings, the truth is that we really don’t know exactly when or when soccer was first played. All indications however point at Ancient China, and to a time roughly 2,000 years ago.
The first soccer ball was thought to have been one fashioned out of animal hide. Soccer sure has come a long way to become the world-class sport it is today.
Soccer Wins The Popularity Prize
It’s true: soccer is the most popular game in the world. Known in many countries as “football”, soccer wins every popularity prize in the book. Soccer has the largest global fan-base, with soccer fans having a reputation of life-long loyalty to their sport and team.
Interestingly enough, this is probably the biggest contributor to the game’s number 1 popularity status, i.e. its tradition. Soccer fans don’t regard soccer to be “just another sport”. Many fans value soccer on the same exact level as what they do or would religion. Soccer is to its fans more than a sport – its also a way of life.
The US Falls In Last
This may be hard for die-hard soccer fanatics to understand, but the United States isn’t all that big on supporting soccer. There exist numerous theories for why this is so, but it’s more likely a combination of things instead of just a single reason or explanation.
Three main reasons tend to stand out in this regard. The first is that the US isn’t all that good at playing soccer. American fans typically enjoy those sports that they are the best at, or in other words, those sports they typically are able to win. Popular US sports include basketball, baseball, and American football (no relation to soccer).
The second reason is that soccer isn’t “big enough” in the United States. And when we say, “big enough”, we mean precisely that: the score. One had only to consider how much Americans love going overboard on everything from food portions to the size of their trucks to understand why a score that hardly ever even as much as makes it into double digits would not exactly sit well with most American sports fans. And while winning has never been this much fun even when the score is 1-0, they don’t see it the same way, which is their loss!
The third reason Americans don’t typically go crazy for the game is that it performs poorly on the advertisement-suitability meter. Which is to say that since it’s a super-fast-paced game, advertisers aren’t really able to make all that much money off of soccer. Football and baseball are better advertising deals thanks to regular “dead” timeslots.