Urban Eola

What's happening to USA sports?

If you've watched any professional athletic events recently you've probably noticed that the world is beating the USA in just about every competition. It's not just the sports where you expect America to not be as strong like soccer and hockey but it's happening in sports where the US should dominate like men's and women's basketball, baseball, golf and tennis. These are not the backup U.S. squads that are getting beat -- they're the best athletes in the U.S. in their respective sports -- and we're still getting beat.

What's causing a country with 300 million people and all the athletic resources/facilities to struggle against countries with 1/150th of their population? Are American athletes not as intimidating as they used to be? Are American training techniques being copied worldwide? Is the rest of the world simply catching up physically? Are American professional athletes too pampered and spoiled? Do American athletes not work hard enough? Is patriotism an issue? Is the team concept not as important to Americans? Is coaching to blame? Do American kids who have grown up on SportsCenter only want to do the highlights with no interest in learning the fundamentals?

The answer to all of those questions is YES.

Some recent examples:
>> Tennis - Just yesterday, Russia ousted the US (Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan Brothers) in the Davis Cup semifinals
>> Golf - The US, featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, got beat handily by the Europeans for the Ryder Cup trophy
>> Women's basketball - Russia beat the heavily-favored US squad in the semifinals of the World Championships denying the US gold in both the men's and women's competition of a sport invented in America
>> Men's basketball - The US squad, filled with NBA All-Stars, lost to a Greece team that doesn't have an NBA player on its roster. After having dominated the world for the past 50 years, the US basketball team now has finished third at the 2006 World Championships, third at the 2004 Olympics and 6th in 2002 World Championships.
>> Soccer - The US team, despite their highest-ever ranking of 5th in the world, did not win a game at this summer's World Cup losing to Ghana and Czech Republic
>> Baseball - In America's pastime this past March, America didn't even advance to the semis of the first-ever World Baseball Classic losing to Mexico, Canada and Korea in the process. This is despite having a lineup full of some of the biggest names in the majors -- Clemens, A-Rod, Jeter, Griffey Jr.

Good thing there's no "World Football Classic" because I heard Samoa has a good squad.


posted by Michael Tavani @ 2:38 PM |

2 Comments:

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Lukas Bradley said...

But isn't this somewhat of a good thing? Apparently we aren't as good as we think we are, and need to try harder.

Or, maybe international competition itself is more important than winning at said competition. Maybe we just forgot about that.

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger Michael Tavani said...

Agreed. The U.S. athletes are just now realizing how important international competitions are. I guess it takes some that losing sensation to realize that.

 

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