Daily Reporter sports editor Brian Harmon and sportswriter Grant Freking discuss the topics of the day.
Brian: Grant, you’re very much of The Soccer Generation. My fellow Generation Xers and I were the last to grow up without cell phones, the Internet and on–demand movies. I could tell you about a trip, back around 1992, to a shady video rental store on the east side of Indy, but we’ll save that for an off the record chat. Back to soccer, youngin’. Seems to me international futbol is kind of like the Olympics. It’s immensely popular in this country for a few glorious moments every four years. But, two months from now, will anyone still be talking about Ronaldo, Clint Dempsey and Wayne Rooney? As a futbol fan yourself, do you follow the sport year round?
Grant: (For the record, I grew up with video stores too, only my usual interest was in the gaming section. Long live Nintendo 64!) Follow may be too strong of a word in regards to my interest in soccer at large, but I do keep an eye on the game – especially the men’s national team, as well as some of the broader news going on in Major League Soccer and the big leagues overseas. As far as your first query, no, soccer will likely be pushed to the backburner by us media types by the time football season hits full stride. The game isn’t going away, however. The fact that there are more outlets covering the sport – Nielsen estimates that total TV adverting forked out for soccer events in 2010 was around $265 million; by 2013, that chunk of change rose to $378 million – and the ever-increasing popularity and adaptability of social media just adds to that exposure. Soccer isn’t going to surpass football, basketball and baseball in America’s Sports Power Rankings any time soon, but by the time I have a head of grey hair and spent my afternoons in a rocking chair, soccer will have climbed into the top three, maybe even top two. Football’s safety issues and the exorbitant length of baseball games will only aide futbol’s rise.