Before this devolves into the inevitable flamewar (and it will; it's got Keith Olbermann, and it's about soccer in America, so it's going to be bad), take note of the pains Olbermann goes to to insist that he doesn't have a horse in this race. "I don't care," he says, "whether or not soccer succeeds or fails in this country."
It's the Ray Ratto mindset, but as an intellectual exercise, Olbermann offers up seven suggestions to make the sport work in America—all under the same general umbrella of "make it more American."
- Stop imitating European fandom
- Groom a great American soccer announcer
- Stop being shitheads to new and casual fans
- Remember it's just a sport, not some mystical experience
- Stop imitating European team naming conventions
- Have as little to do with FIFA as possible
- Use video games to grow youth participation
Now let's have a spirited yet couth debate about whether any of these steps are feasible or practical, and whether growing the sport (aside from fielding a better national team) is something that should actively concern fans.