Posts about sports

Soccer is a Google beta. Football is a Microsoft release.

I’m an ignoramus about sports so take that dose of salt first. But while watching Olympic soccer, it occurred me to that the sport never took off in America because we prefer results to process.

I twittered that and a discussion ensued:

Richard Sambrook said: I assume that soccer comment was heavy with irony in the light of US football timeouts etc v the fluidity of the beautiful game?

Me: Point taken. But every down is measurable progress. That’s how we run companies: deliverables, metrics, milestones, deadlines.

Mohamed Nanbhay: Admittedly I don’t know much about sport but would think that football was about a result while American football about progress.

Me: Well-said. But I keep focusing on the idea that soccer is a process. On my mind because papers struggle with process v. product.

Mohamed Nanbhay: That makes sense. Football is dynamic, players think of their feet. American football is about planning and execution?

Me: Right. And that’s more American, I think: the belief that things can be planned, then executed.

Ross: Soccer is samba. Football is line dancing.

Me: I like that. Fill in the blanks, everybody: Soccer is ____. Football is _____. Football is American because ____.

Thomas Knuewer: Nice idea. So: Soccer is free trade. Football is WTO. Football is American because it’s over regulated.

Me: By that rule, then chess is the sport of the regulated EU.

Shane Richmond: Soccer is Jackson Pollack, football is Piet Mondrian. I like this game! (But not the word ‘soccer’)

CharlesThomas: I think soccer isn’t big in the US because we prefer discrete units, pitch/snap/24 sec shot clock.

CharlesThomas: Hockey is kind of an exception, but play stops often enough for it to be discrete.

Me: Hockey’s not American. It’s Canadian a heart. And Canada is of the empire. Rule holds.

niltiac: You mean soccer’s slow and boring and the best team doesn’t always win? My thoughts exactly. Rugby – now that’s a real sport.

Mohamed Nanabhay: Do you think the national sport reflects in the way business is done? Strangely, they don’t play test cricket over here.

Ross: Soccer is the world’s game. Football is American because we win in games we invent.

Benroone: Soccer doesn’t take off in the US because you can’t break for adverts every 5 minutes.

ciaranj: Soccer is interesting. Football is boring. Football is American because it’s built around advertising.

Me: Soccer is flow. Football is a PERT chart.

Me: Soccer is a Google beta. Football is a Microsoft release.

Sports ‘journalism’: Top of the 9th?

Full disclosure: I’m no sports fan. So take what I saw about the possible the decline of sports ‘journalism’ with that grain of salt.

Consider: Penn State surveys local TV people in the top 50 markets and finds that sports ‘news’ is heading downhill fast. 76 percent agree that the role of sports in local news broadcasts is diminishing. 55 percent agree that someday sports may not be a part of local TV news. Now see this story about college programs not even trying to get on TV; they’re going to the web. Finally, see this panel discussion with sports bloggers saying they just won’t need sports beat writers because they can see the sports themselves.

On newspapers, the latest readership figures I find show less than half read sports sections, which is a helluva lot more than read fashion and food sections. But fashion and food sections bring lots of endemic (that is, related) ads. Sport sections get tire ads. Sports costs a lot more to produce and is less profitable.

When you think about it, sports is most vulnerable to online, which is up-to-the-minute, highly targeted, multimedia, interactive. Sports scores are a commodity. Columnists are expensive — and, according to my sports-fan friends, generally useless — and, besides, in forums and blogs today, everybody’s a columnist. Local TV sports reports can’t compete with ESPN. And they really get local — down to high schools — in four-minutes on air.

So what happens to sports journalism? Is it replaced by specialty networks on cable and online? Does it go hyperlocal to survive? Does it disappear from some outlets? Whither the jocks?