With the 2010 FIFA World Cup well underway in Cape Town, South Africa the entire world is rejoicing and grimacing(mostly over the sound of the vuvuzela) together at last, including college students here at the University of Oregon even though it means getting up before the sunshine because of the 9 hour time difference.
UO Senior Ryan Bordeaux has been keeping up with the games throughout the day mostly via live streaming video on ESPN3.com, “My laptop sits by the side of my bed, my alarm goes off (at 4 A.M.) and I turn on the game.”
Getting up early isn’t for all people though, “I know it’s happening, I haven’t been watching though,” says Lyle Ming on his way to his afternoon summer class.
However, one thing for sure is the fact that Americans seem to be finally catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to being fans of soccer. The recent match between the United States and Slovenia broke the ratings records for ESPN and became the most watched Soccer telecast ever for the network.
While Bordeaux and Ming are two extremes, it is the Internet fan that stands out when looking at the growth in popularity of the World Cup in the United States. These fans are the ones that have been keeping up to date via the Internet, Twitter.com has been subject to outages because of high rates of tweets concerning the games and a Google search for “World Cup Web Traffic” reveals several articles concerning the spike in Internet traffic since the games have begun.
The World Cup has been a once every four year worldwide event since 1930, with the first matches being kicked up in Uruguay (the home country was also the champion). The United States hosted the tournament for the first and only time in 1994, which acted as a catalyst for the rise in popularity for soccer in America when World Cup attendance records were set due the larger stadiums in the U.S.