America’s first World Cup game drew nearly 2.14 million television viewers, for a 2.4 cable rating for ESPN 2. To put that in perspective, the re-launch of Extreme Championship Wrestling on Tuesday night drew a 3.4 cable rating on the SciFi Network.
So don’t say that Americans are not buying into this whole soccer craze.
The big indicator will be the American’s match against Italy on Saturday. (And we are still looking for Lil’ Dieter. But you know what happens when Germans and Italians get together.) There is a lot on the line here for the Americans in terms of the tournament and for soccer in general here in the states. Now, if soccer were a real sport—like the NBA—the Americans would come out with their best effort ever. All of those old, out of shape Americans would actually play a lick of defense and look like they care for the first time in a championship series. And if soccer were a real sport—like the NBA—the Italians would just not show up at all, mailing in their effort. Because that is what better teams do in real sports like the NBA.
What probably is going to happen is that the vastly superior team (Italy) will show up, give its best effort and probably win convincingly like a good team should. Which, once again shows that soccer really has a thing to learn about being a real sport. Maybe then soccer can get such lofty ratings as the NBA.
Or at least WWF numbers.