Football Doesn't Need the U.S.

illya mclellanSenior Analyst INovember 5, 2016

After reading several articles which tried to reassure me that one day the United States would embrace football, I started to wonder what all this drivel was about.

I mean, who cares?!

Just because it has not taken off there, I don't think we need to have an extended debate about the whereas and why-fores of this.

All the arguments about what is the superior sport and so forth are equally unfounded. A game is great because people enjoy playing it. Football is not the world wide phenomenon it is because of the big games and the big stars—it is great because people like to get out and kick a ball around.

You can test your own skill, and feel the blood flow and the rush as you slot the ball at an acute angle between the two school bags on the abandoned car-park. You can kick the ball at a stop sign to see how many times you can hit it. The sheer thrill of being able to develop control over the trajectory of an object being hit by the extremity of your body.

But, back to what I was saying about the United States and football.

I thought about it in depth a few years ago. The United States as a nation very much became an island in the world over the last 200 or so years.

They were a strangely isolated culture because though they received large amounts of cultural input from all over the world, they did not send so much out until the latter half of the 20th century.

In effect, a cultural vacuum was created because of the attitudes and beliefs of a lot of the people who decided to make a new life in the U.S. They were, in a lot of cases, disaffected and downtrodden escaping European existence that was not a happy one.

In this situation, it can be seen how the U.S. could have grabbed on to a game like American Football, and had made it its own. In being a cultural island, they had no wish to duplicate the games of other parts of the world, but rather wanted to create their own.

A game they could play that no one else did, and, as far as they were concerned, they did not care.

I admire this attitude in the United States, the "We don't care about your games we play ours." It's great, the sheer arrogance of it is brilliant.

I would like to say that in New Zealand, we have something similar, though in reality, we just copied the English in playing rugby. Rugby seems to be dying a slow death here as football (soccer) takes hold.

But, the thing I am really saying here is this—world football does not need the United States, and vice versa.

Football is, and always will be, a great game because of the reason I gave earlier—it is easy and fun to play. I don't think it matters if the U.S. ever embrace football, because the rest of the world already has.

I think the population of the States is still just over three hundred million, isn't it? So, there are a few more people out there playing football than there ever will be in the States even if everyone in the U.S. did tomorrow.

The U.S. can keep playing their games and I will keep playing mine.