Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Here in America (i.e. the center of the universe) we have been a little slower to the dance than other nations. This is because we didn’t invent it (although maybe in the Book of Mormon we did). And yet, we’re trying to get aboard. There’s a professional domestic league and some teams are doing quite well. In Seattle the Sounders are outdrawing the Mariners. And U.S. children have embraced soccer. Since they’re not allowed to use their hands they can text during games.
But the World Cup has begun to catch on here.
It’s on all the time and GAME OF THRONES is over. But it’s not the huge juggernaut that it is in other countries. And as we all know, for anything in the world to matter, the United States must be suitably excited. So here are some of my minor suggestions for how we could better involve the most important nation in the history of the planet:
And then, for the finals, have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler anchor coverage.
Never schedule a match between two neutral countries. The matches must always be between countries we love and countries we hate. I realize this is difficult because we now like so few countries but there’s always Canada and nations that offer great vacation packages.
Involve Ryan Seacrest. Suddenly the World Cup becomes important.
We don’t have to watch the whole game. Cut away during the slow parts (i.e. 99% of it). Produce five-minute heartwarming profiles on players who have overcome adversity. We root for individuals. So give us a goalie with one testicle and we’re yours.
Invite stars from our various primetime shows and cutaway to them incessantly during the game. There are crowd reactions aplenty as it is, but they’re just rabid fans wearing the bright colors of their country. Who gives a shit? But is Kaley Cuoco having a good time? That’s the stuff that draws us in.
We Americans don’t love low scoring games. Extend the goals another thirty feet. If a team is losing by 6 goals with 2 minutes left but still has an excellent chance to win then we won’t switch over to SAY YES TO THE DRESS.
Cut the game time down from 90 minutes to 9. They kick the ball back and forth. We get it. In fact, why not just skip right to the shootout? That’s when things start happening.
Yes, we know the World Cup is getting massive ratings around the globe, and that’s all fine and dandy, but what good is being in the finals if you can’t get endorsement deals from Nike and Odor Eaters? Why play in a championship game if Bruno Mars doesn’t do your halftime show? Yes, you may have to throw the final game, but we’ll take care of you. It’s so hot in Brazil. Wouldn’t you rather spend summers in Seattle? There are commercials, guest appearances on ELLEN and a roster spot on the Sounders for all of you.
And as for the nations themselves, if the US is watching, you can charge ridiculous TV rights, enough to balance the budget of every country participating. And all you have to do is throw the games, change your format, and cater only to us. I’d say it’s a win/win. Tell Ryan Seacrest to pack for Brazil. Otherwise, it's back to ELLEN in the daytime and WHEEL OF FORTUNE at night for all us yankees. Let us know who really won.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM