The sparks that the Americans showed in their opening game in the World Cup not only show the hopes they have in the land of unlimited possibilities, but also the high ceiling they set for themselves in preparation for the home World Cup in 2026
The United States is a sports powerhouse. A quick look at the table of Olympic medals will tell the whole story, also at the salary tables of baseball, football and basketball players – North American sports that conquered the world. Absent from this very respectable list is football, a product of the old continent that managed to migrate and take root (to put it mildly) in South America, but did not conquer the large and rich market of the north.
It is tempting to look for ideological-cultural and even religious reasons for this, we will try to skip over them straight to the young and impressive team that was so exciting in its opening match, but it is impossible to exempt nothing: there is a deep reason why football is more successful (with very few exceptions) in Latin countries More than Protestantism, mainly the things are said in the Protestant currents that shaped the American culture, the Wassafite.
We will try to run quickly to the attack: this world, unlike with the Catholics and the Jews, is the introduction to the next world. With the Catholics you can be very poor in this life – and extremely rich in the paradise that awaits you after them, if only you were a good enough person. With the Protestants (in general of course), God’s love and his good look on your actions already in your life in this world is evident. Therefore the more successful you are, the more you glorify God’s name while you are alive.
I’m sure you already see the connection to capitalism, but what is the connection to football? Well (and again by generalization) American sports are an example of rewarding being better: in a basketball or football game, the team that at the end of the legal time was better than its opponent will always win. This is not the case in football, which is a kind of imitation of life itself: in football you can steal a victory, you can win following a referee’s mistake, you can take advantage of a momentary weakness of an opposing player to decide the entire game. Football is dramatic and unfair by nature, more subject to surprises.
As long as this religious-philosophical approach was its own, the “spotter” was relegated to a corner in American sports culture, but with the change in the civic mix, especially the central role played by Americans of Latin origin, the attitude towards football also began to change and soar