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6/16/2006 8:00 PM Eastern

FIFA 1, Lord Stanley 0

“For all the abuse the World Cup is taking in the States, it does have one thing going for it — it ain’t hockey. The Stanley Cup Finals will probably have one of the worst TV audiences in history when the Carolina Hurricanes finally wrap up their championship in the next few days.”

Brian Vernellis, The Times Sports Free For All http://timesfreeforall.blogspot.com/2006/06/world-cup-has-one-thing-going-for-it.html

Football In Any Language

“ESPN.com isn’t good enough for Rick Shaffer, 28, who works for a nonprofit land trust in Washington, D.C., where he doesn’t have access to a television. After considering a variety of options, like purchasing a DVR player, he paid $11.99 for a month of a satellite service that allows him to watch the games, albeit in German.”

Jessica Vascellaro, The Wall Street Journal

Not Offensive Enough

“The U.S. defeat will send soccer’s detractors into fits of smug sarcasm, and plunge enthusiasts into rage and despair at another squandered opportunity for the game to take its rightful place in the sports hierarchy, or at least to pass hockey … Soccer’s problem in America has never changed. It’s a low-scoring sport, and Americans, including this one, like high-scoring stick-and-ball games.”

Joshua Gee, homegame blog http://jmgee.blogspot.com/2006/06/wait-til-next-quadrennium.html

Gooooool to Go

“In the environs of AdFreak’s offices, a number of heretofore TV-free restaurants and cafes have suddenly installed TVs so they can lure in the local soccer fans. But it seems some of them don’t want to bother with the hassle of getting cable hooked up for the tournament’s one-month duration and then getting it unhooked. (Or maybe the cable guy just hasn’t shown up yet.) So, instead of ESPN’s coverage, they’re going with Univision’s, which is available here via an over-the-air TV station, giving that outlet a boost in audience that won’t show up in the ratings.”

Mark Dolliver, AdFreak.com http://adweek.blogs.com/adfreak/2006/06/the_vast_uncoun.html

The Fever Isn’t Spreading

“The 2006 World Cup soccer tournament has officially begun, and you can bet there’s a TV tuned to it in practically every watering hole from Buenos Aires to Bologna. Most of the planet is infected by World Cup fever, a virulent condition considered far worse than Final Four mania or even Super Bowl fanaticism. Either the U.S. has stockpiled a vaccine or there’s a natural immunity. What are we missing? And why does it feel like we’re about to come down with a case of it anyway?

The Baltimore Sun, editorial

September