5 Ways to Make Soccer More Exciting for Television

Photo by adem80 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Yada. Yada. Yada. There are those who think that soccer is an amazing game for watching on television. But for the other 95.7% of Americans I have five ideas for making it more palatable to the American market.

  1. Make goals worth 7 points. We get that. A game that ends in 1-0 seems pointless. But a game that is 7-0 seems like a defensive battle. But not nearly as good as a 42-35 throw down.
  2. Every time a team scores a goal, they lose a player. With fewer players on the better teams that gives the poorer teams the chance to score more often. That means that the more goals that are scored, the fewer players on the field, and more opportunities to score. Another alternative would be to substitute a small child for a player each time a team scores a goal. About 6 years old seems right.
  3. Add a little hill near the middle line and get rid of the offsides rule. Make the hill reasonable… but it’s important that there is a sightline issue so that a hidden forward can lay low enough to cherry pick for an easy shot on goal.
  4. If a game goes to overtime add an additional ball every five minutes. I don’t mind the idea of playing an extra period. I just don’t want to watch a bunch of tired guys pass it around and wait for a shootout. If it’s still tied inside of 5 minutes in overtime, both managers get to play too.
  5. Eliminate the red card and substitute in a penalty box. All of the weenie flopping is hard to stomach. If there’s a hard foul, give the offender a 5 minute timeout. Americans love the aggressiveness of hockey. But the acting on display at the World Cup reminded us of a soap opera.

These are my ideas for making soccer more interesting.

What are yours?


2 responses to “5 Ways to Make Soccer More Exciting for Television”

  1. Adam Lehman Avatar
    Adam Lehman

    I do like your penalty box rule. I think everyone would love that.

    Soccer is already wonderful and lots of Americans agree.

    While America was still in the World Cup, they had hiring ratings that all of Major League Baseball. And American viewership increased each round AFTER the US was eliminated.

  2. Matt C. Avatar
    Matt C.

    Agree with #5, 2-4 were fun (never gonna happen)… totally disagree with #1. Take basketball for example, the highest scoring sport in America… every point before 80 or so really doesn’t count, it’s just for showing off. In soccer, every goal is a really big deal, and a 1-0 game is a nail-biter… because they could tie at any minute.

    I think Americans have been slow to adopt soccer because we didn’t invent it. There’s no real reason to not love soccer. How can anyone watch bass fishing, or golf for that manner!? But we Americans watch that virtually year-round. But soccer we only watch once every four years!? It’s craziness.

    Soccer is a universal sport because it takes virtually no real equipment to play. It levels the playing field. You don’t have to have amazing equipment or access to a court or club or even coaches. All those things make sports more elitist. But a kid off the street with a head of lettuce can become a star soccer player.

    Viva soccer!

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