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A missed opportunity (perhaps?)

Here I must begin with an admission that by personal choice I watched but fifteen minutes of last night’s Liverpool’s historic victory in the European Champions League Final in Madrid before going to bed and that therefore this piece is largely based upon overnight radio reports to which I have been exposed since re-awaking and coming back to my computer.

To be fair, my aforementioned choice to retire to bed was prompted both by tiredness and the opening exchanges of the game which I found distinctly under-whelming.

However, it would seem that my early view of the quality of the spectacle has been vindicated by what I have heard on the airwaves.

As a matter of fact even those one-eyed supporters of both teams involved who have been interviewed and/or phoned in to the BBC have been admitting that the game was a dud and indeed a poor advertisement for the undoubted and much-vaunted quality of the English Premier League.

More’s the pity, I say.

A couple of days ago – as a potential contribution to the Rust – I had been contemplating researching some US coverage previewing the European Champions League Final and providing a link to one or more representative articles of the same out of potential interest and/or for the benefit of our readers.

I had figured that “How the USA views the premier European League Final” might prove a fascinating window upon the world of US sport – and indeed the state of development of US soccer in the context of its other major sporting obsessions, not least the latest on American Football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, track and field, rugby [and any other examples one might think of or care to mention] in this peculiar North American nation that has traditionally regarded its own versions of sports as “World Series” and/or effectively world championships in every case, when actually – across the Pond, in Europe, Africa, the sub-Continent, in the Middle and Far East … and indeed perhaps anywhere but Japan, which because of its ‘occupation’ by the USA after WW2, has ‘bought in’ to the myth that US sports like baseball are indeed world sports … when in fact we all know that two of the USA’s greatest weaknesses are its inherent self-absorption and arrogance which allow it to believe it is the centre of the world.

Hence the damning statistic that only 20% of Americans own passports. After all, why would they need them, when the good ole US of A is the centre of the universe and the only country that matters?

Ah well.

Looking back now I’m rather glad that I never got around to researching how the USA regarded our great European Cup Final and composing my piece for Rusters.

How disappointing would it have been – had the US media been building it up to its own readers and viewers as an opportunity to behold one of the great occasions of one of the most popular and profitable game in the world – to then watch the extended bore-fest that by all accounts took place.

It might have been a massive self-inflicted own-goal by the supposed elite echelons of world football in their ongoing quest (if they have one) to convince the USA that there is life – and a whole world of sport – beyond the shores of both California and the Eastern seaboard.

And, now I come to think of it – in fact it probably was.



About Charles Thursby

After a lifetime in sports journalism, Charles Thursby continues his immersion in the world of sport by providing the National Rust with dispatches from all points of the compass. More Posts