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Mr Ricochet

Why soccer will overtake hockey in Canada

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Mr Ricochet

Ottawa Citizen Link

 

 

Interesting to read, but I can't see this happening in Canada the way the writer thinks it will. Sure soccer will eat away and take some hockey fans but not enough to make it #1 in Canada.

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hydrogyrum

I could see soccer cutting into Canadian football's popularity, but not hockey's. For one thing, it's hard to convert ice arenas to soccer pitches. Football stadiums, however, would be more amenable to soccer games.

 

Also, the author makes some severe logical fallacies and leaps with the "evidence" at the beginning of the article. When soccer displaced the Scottish sport of shinty beginning in the late 1800s, there was also a "cultural war" in Britain, as English culture replaced Scottish culture.

 

World Cup fever is one thing; soccer fever is another. I know of plenty of Americans who became quite interested in the World Cup, but now that America is out of it, things return to normal.

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Mr Ricochet

Good post, Hydro. I agree his article is flawed but at the same time he does provide some sketchy numbers that he could have dug into.

 

 


So, no surprise that in a youth sports report released a couple of weeks ago, soccer was far and away the most popular team sport in the country for those between the ages of 3-17. Meanwhile, according to an annual survey by the International Ice Hockey Federation, hockey enrollment is dropping. The game shed 8,000 players year-over-year

 

 

No doubt hockey is not being played by as many as there once was and soccer is gaining in popularity. But to say hockey will be #2 in 30 years IMO is more than a stretch.

 

 

But what really caught my eye was this.

 

 


On Tuesday, the World Cup wrapped up its Round of 16, with the quarterfinals set to begin Friday. According to CBC, 82 per cent of the country’s population (28.5 million) watched at least some of the tournament’s group stage, with two games — USA vs. Portugal and England vs. Italy – drawing comparable numbers to the Stanley Cup Final.

 

82% of anything when talking about 30+ million is A LOT, especially considering most had no real dog in the fight.

 

 

You mention World Cup fever is one thing and soccer fever is quite another, and I agree. The press pumped the hell out of the World Cup tires. But let me mention this. After watching the US lose yesterday I went through my recordings and found a Liverpool v Chelsea game from December, so I tuned in to see if I could find differences.

 

It was more than stark. In just 5 minutes of that game there was more action than a whole World Cup game. Watching the WC compared to the BPL was like watching paint dry.

 

Soccer can be a helluva sport to watch but if you take out nationalism the WC is waaaay down the totem pole as to what level to watch. My advice to new fans, tune into a British Premier League game in the fall to see incredible soccer played by some of the very best players from around the world in one league.

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hydrogyrum

World Cup fever vs. soccer fever: Here, what I mean is that people who otherwise would never watch a game on TV had it on because it's fun to get caught up in an international competition. My parents are both in their mid-70s, with absolutely no experience playing soccer as kids or interest in watching. But every day my dad would give updates about how the US and German teams were doing in their matches that day. Then on Saturday, I caught my mom watching a game on TV while doing her other things. The World Cup got their interest, even though the game confused them and they certainly won't watch any more games after the Cup is over.

 

It'll be the same with many/most of the people who went to World Cup viewing parties at parks, football stadiums, etc. They really do enjoy themselves and enjoy learning about the game, but they probably won't become diehard fans. In 4 years, they'll get excited again.

 

Numbers from Gordon's article:

 

"On Tuesday, the World Cup wrapped up its Round of 16, with the quarterfinals set to begin Friday. According to CBC, 82 per cent of the country’s population (28.5 million) watched at least some of the tournament’s group stage, with two games — USA vs. Portugal and England vs. Italy – drawing comparable numbers to the Stanley Cup Final."

 

How many games were held in the group stage? Over 30? It would be hard not to catch a glimpse of at least one of the games, considering they were going on at all times of the day. In contrast, the Stanley Cup Final is but one game, going on at one time. Thus for Canada it took 30+ soccer games to equal one hockey game in terms of viewership.

 

It's been brought up by others that there's a difference between participation numbers as far as viewing pro soccer vs. playing soccer (youth leagues, rec leagues, etc.). I'd expect both numbers to grow because soccer is, as I think Gordon noted, it's more expensive to kit up your kid in hockey gear than it is to buy soccer equipment. But, I think there's another number to consider, and that's the number of pick-up games that aren't played in organized leagues or on ice surfaces: street hockey, roller hockey, etc.

 

Gordon's writing for a Canadian audience, so comparing soccer and hockey is sure to get a rise out of his readers. This side of the border, I wondered while reading his article about how soccer will affect American football numbers. If people are getting sick of the downside of football--the injuries to their kids as well as the problems with the NFL right now, they might turn to soccer because it's more athletic and "fresh."

 

Anyway, it's fun to think about. I like to watch soccer more than football. I used to watch Australian Rules Football every week, too, when I had the channel airing it. By far for me, my favorite is rugby!

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Left wing lock

The World Cup is watched by people who aspire to be 'worldly'. By watching it makes people be 'progressive'. Nonsense. Try asking so called World Cup/Soccer fans things about the game and they usually squirm around without anything smart to say. A book that might interest some is called Stuff White People Like, it has a humorous take World Cup bandwagon jumpers.

Rico, you are right, take nationalism out of it and most people want watch. In fact, same goes for most Olympic sports.

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Mr Ricochet

The World Cup is watched by people who aspire to be 'worldly'. By watching it makes people be 'progressive'. Nonsense. Try asking so called World Cup/Soccer fans things about the game and they usually squirm around without anything smart to say. A book that might interest some is called Stuff White People Like, it has a humorous take World Cup bandwagon jumpers.

Rico, you are right, take nationalism out of it and most people want watch. In fact, same goes for most Olympic sports.

 

Lock, what's wrong with rallying around your country once every 4 yrs to root on your national team? I kinda like the idea although I'm as far from a uber-nationalist as you'll find. I also like that people get exposed to a sport and maybe find they like it. A casual fan is the one sports need to stay solvent, and those people aren't "experts", soccer being no different.

 

There is just no downside to it.

 

As Hydro mentioned there is a difference between WC fever and soccer fever, and I agree. But just the same the sport grows and grows. I like the sport so I like that kids/families have as many options as possible to get kids out and moving and learning all that competition can teach a kid.

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Mr Ricochet

 

Numbers from Gordon's article:

 

"On Tuesday, the World Cup wrapped up its Round of 16, with the quarterfinals set to begin Friday. According to CBC, 82 per cent of the country’s population (28.5 million) watched at least some of the tournament’s group stage, with two games — USA vs. Portugal and England vs. Italy – drawing comparable numbers to the Stanley Cup Final."

 

How many games were held in the group stage? Over 30? It would be hard not to catch a glimpse of at least one of the games, considering they were going on at all times of the day. In contrast, the Stanley Cup Final is but one game, going on at one time. Thus for Canada it took 30+ soccer games to equal one hockey game in terms of viewership.

 

 

I think your missing what these numbers mean. The article doesn't give in depth stats, like how long the viewer watched or in your words "glimpsed", but 80% of anything is big, no huge with a sample size of 30 million.

 

And, again not knowing in depth stats, I don't know if Canada had all of the games you speak of on free tv, I know we didn't in the US.

 

Unless I missed something I don't follow how you added in that it took 30 soccer games to equal one hockey game in viewership terms.

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hydrogyrum

 

 

Numbers from Gordon's article:

 

"On Tuesday, the World Cup wrapped up its Round of 16, with the quarterfinals set to begin Friday. According to CBC, 82 per cent of the country’s population (28.5 million) watched at least some of the tournament’s group stage, with two games — USA vs. Portugal and England vs. Italy – drawing comparable numbers to the Stanley Cup Final."

 

How many games were held in the group stage? Over 30? It would be hard not to catch a glimpse of at least one of the games, considering they were going on at all times of the day. In contrast, the Stanley Cup Final is but one game, going on at one time. Thus for Canada it took 30+ soccer games to equal one hockey game in terms of viewership.

 

 

I think your missing what these numbers mean. The article doesn't give in depth stats, like how long the viewer watched or in your words "glimpsed", but 80% of anything is big, no huge with a sample size of 30 million.

 

And, again not knowing in depth stats, I don't know if Canada had all of the games you speak of on free tv, I know we didn't in the US.

 

Unless I missed something I don't follow how you added in that it took 30 soccer games to equal one hockey game in viewership terms.

 

The source article states, "...82 percent ... watched at least some of the tournament's group stage."

 

At least some means a part to all of a game. So if I watched 5 minutes of a game, I'd answer "yes" when the survey was being administered and it asked if I had watched.

 

Group stage means the first round of the tournament. There were very many games in the group round-- there were over 60 teams in the tournament at this time, so there were at least 30 games played in the group round. Plus, each team played at least 2 games in the group round, so actually there were over 120 games in the group stage.

 

Regarding percentages and 80% of anything being huge, this simply isn't so. 80% of a dollar is 80 cents, but 10% of a million dollars is $100,000. I'd rather have the 10% of a million bucks than 80 cents any day.

 

The original article's writer used percentages and numbers to draw conclusions, but he didn't analyze the numbers. Once the numbers are analyzed--even briefly, as I did--his reasoning is shown to be faulty. Now, he might actually be right with his conclusions (they're really projections, or speculations), but his accuracy isn't based on the numbers he used.

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Mr Ricochet

Alright Hydro, ok. I conceded in my very first post following your first one the article is flawed. And I'm not gonna argue, cuz as we both agreed right away the model used is flawed only cuz the writer didn't reveal his methodology, but I'm gonna assume he didn't base his percentages on people watching 2:30 of one game. I guess you are.

 

I'll leave it at that except to say I'm of the opinion that 80% of ANY population base, not as a percentage of a billion dollars as compared to 10 cents, is not a big number it's a huge number. But I understand you don't.

 

 

I see TJHN has a piece that feeds this topic, at least indirectly. Shortage of Canadian youth goalies, with cost being a big issue. Link

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Left wing lock

 

The World Cup is watched by people who aspire to be 'worldly'. By watching it makes people be 'progressive'. Nonsense. Try asking so called World Cup/Soccer fans things about the game and they usually squirm around without anything smart to say. A book that might interest some is called Stuff White People Like, it has a humorous take World Cup bandwagon jumpers.

Rico, you are right, take nationalism out of it and most people want watch. In fact, same goes for most Olympic sports.

 

Lock, what's wrong with rallying around your country once every 4 yrs to root on your national team? I kinda like the idea although I'm as far from a uber-nationalist as you'll find. I also like that people get exposed to a sport and maybe find they like it. A casual fan is the one sports need to stay solvent, and those people aren't "experts", soccer being no different.

 

There is just no downside to it.

 

As Hydro mentioned there is a difference between WC fever and soccer fever, and I agree. But just the same the sport grows and grows. I like the sport so I like that kids/families have as many options as possible to get kids out and moving and learning all that competition can teach a kid.

 

Nothing wrong with rallying except when I hear people talk about how they hate soccer for 4 years but then at World Cup time, develop a passionate embrace for the lovely game as well as seasoned experts.

 

I do think the EPL is a better product (it would be cool to see them ref the games in the World Cup as done in the EPL). Can't say I am terribly surprised when people get turned off from the diving that goes on in CONCACAF.

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Mr Ricochet

 

Nothing wrong with rallying except when I hear people talk about how they hate soccer for 4 years but then at World Cup time, develop a passionate embrace for the lovely game as well as seasoned experts.

 

 

 

I do think the EPL is a better product (it would be cool to see them ref the games in the World Cup as done in the EPL). Can't say I am terribly surprised when people get turned off from the diving that goes on in CONCACAF.

 

 

I guess that's what they call bandwagon fans. I don't like to use that term, even when it fits, but I've always read it's the casual fan that sports targets as they are the difference between making it or breaking. So we as fans of leagues need the bandwagon/casual fan for our sport to prosper, and some might say stay solvent to a degree.

 

The BPL/EPL just rocks, for me the best soccer in the world. Funny you mention people getting turned off by the diving that goes on in CONCACAF. As I watched Brazil melt down v Germany and the following post game interviews with a few Brazilians balling their eyes out like children I thought to myself this can't help attract US fans to the sport, it only feeds existing misconceptions of the sport being played by sissies.

 

The scoreless 120 minutes between Argentina and Holland didn't help either. As I watched the few chances in this game I thought again just how good the soccer is in the BPL and Spain too.

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hydrogyrum

Maybe the crying fans of other countries will make soccer more appealing to US fans because it's fun in an odd way to see them cry! I'm speaking for myself, of course; maybe I'm just hardhearted. I do think it's fun to see the legions of fans all dressed up in their teams' colors.

 

I did get the chance to see the entire Holland-Argentina game yesterday, although I fell asleep for most of the second half. Before the shootout, the announcer called the game "dramatic." It was as dramatic as a basketball game that was only played at center court, with neither team getting many chances to actually shoot a basket.

 

One thing I don't understand is why the goalies play the player and not the ball during a penalty kick. It was crazy watching the Dutch netminder dive left as the ball soared right. They should have the PK player dribble the ball in instead of just kick away.

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ro21

I can fix soccer in a minute , Women soccer play topless, Men's soccer allow biting and fighting then they have a chance to take over in the U.S. and Canada. Also every time a guy goes down and takes over a minute to get back up and able to run full speed he is fed to the lions behind the stadium or stoned either or. Now that would get my attention or just maybe I am heading down the Donald Sterling path of my mind going.

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