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I grew up in Pakistan. Although, Pakistan is a part of the world where craziness for soccer is very common, it was never so popular in Pakistan. The popular sports in Pakistan were Hockey (Field Hockey in American terminology), Squash and Cricket. To a lesser extent, Athletics (Track sports in American terminology) and rowing. Field hockey is the sport in which Pakistan has won more titles than any other country in the world. In Squash, Pakistan’s Roshan Khan, Jahangir Khan and Jan Sher Khan, single-handedly dominated the world stage for decades. In Cricket, Pakistan is one time world champion and has always been one of the best in the world. I played all three games, plus Soccer and Tennis, but Hockey was my game of choice and I played All Pakistan Fon Gas Hockey Tournament, representing United Club, Mirpurkhas, Sind Pakistan.
I also remember that when pakistan’s Mohammad Younus won a gold medal in 400 meters race, there was suddenly a surge in track sports in Pakistan. When Pakistan’s Byram and Gospi Awari won a silver medal rowing, there was a sudden surge of rowing sports in Pakistan.
When I came to United States (Briarwood, Queens NY) I found Football. I knew and liked Rugby, but didn’t know much about Football. Soon, I started to love Football and became a huge New York Giants fan.
I was introduced to baseball, when went to ST. Bonaventure’s Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind Pakistan, one of the very few places where Baseball was played, but I never played baseball, probably because I was always too short for Baseball bat.
I used to hear from my mom that she played Basketball during her school and college years, but I never met any other Basketball player. So, my perception of Basketball was that it is girly game. Being a boy I never took any interest in that girly sport.
I grew up in warm part of Pakistan where Ice-hockey (Hockey in American terminology was almost non-existent). With passage of time, I started to like Baseball, Basketball and Hockey, not as much as Football, and became Yankees, nicks and Rangers fan.
When I compare the sports world in Pakistan with sports world in United States, and try to find the reasons for more or less popularity of a sport, there appears one common cause. The popularity of a sport depends on the success and ability in that sport. Hockey, Cricket, Squash, Track sports, and Rowing more popular in Pakistan than Soccer or Tennis and Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey being more popular in U.S. appears to mainly because these countries are good in  sports. Like United States, Pakistan was never able to make winner team in soccer. In Tennis couple of Pakistani players have been able to get lower International ranking and that’s it. Same is the case with U.S.scenario, while Americans re outstanding in Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey, U.S. has never been able to make winning soccer team.
The argument that Europeans have built their own pop culture appears to totally lame nd ignorant,= for two reasons. One, Europe existed long before United States of America, so it is United States, which built a unique and different, pop culture. This is clear in many other things, too. For example, when most of the world have M.K.S. system of weights and measurements, we still have Pounds and Gallons; while most of the world has right hand drive cars that run on left side of road, we have left hand drive cars the run on right side of the road; while most of the world has standard voltage of 220 volts, we still have 110 volts. Plus, contrary to United States, Football, in rest of the world, is not a game of elites. It is commonly known as the game of commoners or poor people. Tennis is the sport os Elites in rest of the world.
You may have also observed that as the U.S. soccer team is improving, the popularity of Soccer in United States is on rise as well. In general, sports are very competitive and sports fans, as well. Sport fans do not like to lose. I always want new York Giants to win, even if the team doesn’t look like a winner. So, we don’t like Soccer as much as Football, Baseball, Basketball or Hockey, because, we do not like to lose. We desperately want our team to win. I am sure, when U.S. team will start to win Soccer world cup, Soccer will be a very popular game, as well. Another reason is that, like any thing else in United States, there as lot of money and stakes and interests are involved with already well established networks of Football, Baseball, Basketball and hockey. Very expensive players, teams and their tickets, media and sponsors, all have their interests tied up with continuous craze of these games. It’s very hard for another game to beak in these monopolies. Supply and demand of money is another reason. The consumer (Sport watcher) in already so much consumed in terms of time and money that there is little or no room is left for another sport. I, also agree, that Soccer seasons are short.


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