AHC: Make Soccer the most popular sport in the USA

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by sirjackalot, May 13, 2019.

  1. sirjackalot Active Member

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    With a POD no earlier than 1900.
     
  2. Son of Sphinks Well-Known Member

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    I would start with TR seeing through a ban on football (American football) due to violence in his administration and follow it up with a much greater shock to the system from the Black Sox scandal in 1920. With soccer taking the place of football on college campuses and then filling the void for the working classes in the cities, you can start to see soccer in ascension. It will take time, especially with baseball having a 50 year plus head start, but certainly by today, soccer could be the major spectator sport in the US.
     
  3. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    Maybe second to baseball, the national league try to kickstart a winter soccer league in 1880, maybe here they sucess and soccer is seen as baseball winter little bro?
     
  4. JDF_01 Perra condescendiente

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    If the US wins the 1930 World Cup, i think that could help, after all the US earned third place in that competition
     
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  5. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    The best way for this to succeed is if they allow the teams to import English players. IIRC the League failed because the best teams were "cheating" by bringing in foreign nationals who knew the game. If professional soccer succeeds in the 1880's it has an outside shot of being taken seriously in the US, but even so its a hard sell.

    If I remember correctly the United States won the Olympic Gold in Rugby in the 1924 Summer Games and that did nothing to launch rugby in the United States. I will admit there are say a good history of collegiate rugby in the United States, but even today Rugby is a developing sport.
     
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  6. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    Please don't...
     
  7. 1940LaSalle Member

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    Two words: good luck.
    Five more words: you're going to need it.
     
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  8. NOMISYRRUC Rostrum Camera Ken Morse

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    Stranger things have happened...

    Derby County Football Club used to play at the Baseball Ground.

    The first baseball world cup, played in 1938, was won by Great Britain. The USA came last. However, to be fair they were the only nations that competed.

    The USA beat England in the 1950 World Cup.
     
  9. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    That is a way,a model to keep 'parity' and slowly introduce the sport and to train players, that way football-soccer is baseball winter lil bro, played on the same grounds when is too cold for baseball
     
  10. fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Isnt Association football already the biggest sport in the USA (if you include women playing and viewing) in terms of players and viewers. If it isnt yet it very soon will be as the Latin population overtakes the white european.
     
  11. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    Here is the issue. Today you have the North American Soccer League, Major League Soccer, Major Indoor Soccer League, and more. So the sport has interest, but it is fragmented between leagues.

    With football, it's the NFL. With major league baseball, it's two leagues that culminate the season with a world series. For soccer to have taken off, it would have needed to do so early in the century, and the example of concussions in tackle football being a good issue. The NFL and NBA are fed by colleges. MLB uses a farm system and this arrangement could feed soccer leagues. For instance, have a National Soccer League and American Soccer League with a limited number of teams, organized like baseball. An advantage is the sport relies on agility and not physical size.
     
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  12. Ramontxo Believes San Mames is Heaven Donor

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    Well you know some of us white Europeans do like football (the real one of course not the American oddity)
    Edited to add that San Mames is Bilbao's famous football Cathedral...
    Why is San Mames Stadium called the cathedral of football? - Visit San Mames
    https://visitsanmames.com › blog
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  13. Colonel Zoidberg Well-Known Member

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    That would make it a warm climate sport from the get-go. I know soccer can be played in the snow but how the shit do you expect it to catch on in places like Chicago where it gets, how do I put this, really buttfucking cold in the winter? Not to mention the snow.

    Basketball and hockey are North America’s winter sports, and they have one thing in common - they are both typically played indoors. Fans tend to prefer not to freeze their royal Rastafarian nay-nays off to watch a sporting event, at least on a regular basis.

    You can overcome the interest gap with early success and a void to fill. You can overcome it by, say, a bunch of soldiers bringing it home from WWI after playing it in the trenches or during truces, presumably while soldiers are busy telling their superiors to go fuck themselves (and that happened a LOT in WWI but mostly before the Doughboys arrived.)

    A good POD involves Theodore Roosevelt deciding that football (the American variety - Tackle, Handegg, Gridiron, whatever you want to call it) is too dangerous and needs to be done away with. This leaves a gap, most likely filled with soccer and rugby. Soccer takes off big time when soldiers play it with their comrades in WWI. This would especially be increased if the US enters the war after the Lusitania, which maaaaaaay happen if, say, Taft has a health scare and America runs TR in 1912 and makes an exception to the whole two-term rule juuuuuuuuuust this once.

    Of course, this has a shit-ton of repercussions unrelated to sports, but for purposes of sports, the big team sports would be baseball, soccer, rugby, basketball and hockey in no particular order, likely with baseball at the top at first and soccer being king now.
     
  14. Byzantion Well-Known Member

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    Isn't soccer very popular among Hispanic American demographics ?
     
  15. Jimbo808 Well-Known Member

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    I think within the next generation the USA could win the world cup, as poster above says there is a large number of Hispanic players which could help to lift the MLS up. Do American clubs play competitive football against central American clubs?like the European Champions League
     
  16. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

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    European goes all well into snow and seems fine
     
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  17. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I think American high school football has a huge built-in advantage because it’s a Fall sport and takes place every Friday like clock work.

    change that . . .

    * meaning it’s the beginning of the school year when everything is new and fresh and people are trying to get involved.
     
  18. FlyingSquirrel Well-Known Member

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    True, but MLS is generally seen as a second-tier league compared to the likes of the Premier League or the Bundesliga. The best players do not flock to MLS unless they either (a) are American or (b) are in the twilight of their careers (e.g. Beckham or Zlatan). Even a lot of the best American players go elsewhere for at least part of their careers.

    I suppose one could still argue that the other leagues' presence cuts into MLS attendance - thus limiting MLS's profits and their ability to sign better players - but I'm not sure I'd quite buy that explanation. The non-MLS leagues are pretty small in terms of fandom, and the NHL has done OK despite the existence of lower-tier North American hockey leagues like the Central Hockey League or the infamous Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey.

    The U.S. winning one of the first few World Cups might do the trick, though you'd perhaps need some other PODs before that for that to be possible, plus a lot of European countries didn't participate in 1930 and it was the first one, so I suspect some American sports fans and journalists didn't yet know what to make of it. I think part of our problem is that we think of ourselves as a country that isn't that good at and/or doesn't like soccer, therefore the best athletes (at least on the male side) gravitate towards other sports where there's more glory and money to be found, with the result that we *aren't*, in fact, that good at soccer and the interest level remains below where it is for other sports.
     
  19. Mark E. Well-Known Member

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    That would do it. There would be no NFL. College football would be reduced to rugby. Soccer would be called football the way it is elsewhere. An issue is the schedule timing. Baseball is played about 6 games per week. Soccer is also a warm weather sport. The American season would likely be shifted forward into the autumn to replace football. Currently, college baseball (or high school where applicable) is played in the spring; same with soccer. The current tradition is for the collegiate football season to wind up at the end of November and move into December postseason "bowls" or championships. NCAA football is a very lucrative money-making venture; just look at the size of the stadiums. But then, with no knowledge of OTL football, new traditions would evolve with soccer.
     
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  20. Mort the Reaper Well-Known Member

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    I think so, but there's a caveat. IIRC, this is mostly because the Hispanic and Latino American population has a lot of immigrants who bring their love of soccer with them to the US, and they generally stay loyal to the teams they followed in the old country.
     
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