Saturday, March 25, 2006

US Department of State - Soccer becoming more popular

I noticed something a little strange while looking at the latest news from the State Department. If you look right between, "America a Nation of Immigrants and of Laws, Bush Says" and "State Department Briefing, March 24" you'll notice an interesting headline.

American Support for Football Steadily Growing

When you click on the article, you get this as an opening line: Each year brings increased American interest and new growth to the ranks of U.S. players and fans addicted to the excitement of football, known in the United States as soccer.

The piece continues with examples of football "slowly seeping" into American culture. They talk about the MLS and the US national team plus give information on youth leagues. Even though they make an error by describing this MLS season as the 10th* (I know, hard to believe that the State Department would make a factual error), it is still a good, "look how big we are now" kind of thing.

Still, I must wonder, why is this something the State Department is covering?

By the way, there is another article about US Women's soccer from Thursday. It seems to be mostly a transcript of an interview with Cat Whitehill.

I'm all for good press about soccer, but again, why is the State Department writing this?

Has our State Department become overrun with dozens of known soccer fanatics?

* this is the second article I've read in 2 days that says the 2006 season as the 10th MLS season (it is the 11th). I'm wondering if there was a bad press release put out by MLS or if writers are just copying something they've seen printed elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.


Anonymous Dave said...

I think the idea is to show other countries that Americans appreciate it too - i.e. they're not completely culturally isolated.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous J. Michael said...

Good notice on the State Dept. link. It's something we know intuitively, but I'm glad to see it in "official" form.

4:38 PM  
Blogger D said...

Pseudo Corner Kick picked up on this a few months ago. They had a link to a State Dept press release on the World Cup draw, in which they referred to the US as landing in the "Hammer Group." Interesting it is still continuing.

10:57 AM  
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1:26 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

d, I knew I had read something like this before, but I couldn't remember were. Thanks for pointing out that Pseudo had got to it first.

Dave, you might be right. Look we're one of you.

J, it is good to see the government mentioning soccer, still, it does seem odd to me.

1:49 PM  

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