Watching Sports Around the World
In America, watching football is a national obsession. Nothing illustrates this more than the rabid fanfare and enthusiasm that leads up to the Superbowl. Football takes over the news and airwaves for three months in the fall and winter. There is no escaping the ubiquitous presence of gridiron and pigskin. There is a constant ticker of sport’s analysis, game day strategies and player profiles.
While plenty of countries in Europe and the rest of the world will have access to the Superbowl in February, the game does not mean as much to them. Their news broadcasts and airwaves are filled with the scores and statistics of different sports. However, the fanfare, beer-soaked tailgating and enthusiasm are a global phenomenon and the centerpiece of most sports.
In Europe, the news is structured the same way that it is in America. There is local and national news. The last ten minutes of the local news is always devoted to sports. If a country’s national team is competing in a high-profile event, then it is going to be featured on the national outlet as well. However, if you are sitting around a pub in England or a café in France, do not expect to find any news about sports like (American) football, baseball or basketball.
Soccer is the number one sporting obsession in Europe. From Scotland to Italy and everywhere in between, people follow soccer like Americans follow celebrity scandals. The news is continually filled with acrobatic soccer highlights. Rugby, handball, tennis, hockey and formula one are also popular European sports. There is a greater appreciation for classic sports like track and field. However, soccer is the equivalent of America’s obsession with football.
In the Caribbean, the news is filled with cricket highlights. Some tropical islands also have a fondness for baseball. You would never be able to find a cricket game on American television. Cricket is played in England, Australia and India, but you will never find a baseball game in either place. The type of sports that are admired and the kind of news you see depends on where you are in in the world.
Photo: Gordon Flood