Americans tune in to the annual sporting spectacle called the Super Bowl. Millions crowd pubs, bars, and living rooms to enjoy food, fun, and being fans. In fact, the 2012 Super Bowl attracted over 117 million television viewers. That is pretty impressive for a country of 330 million people, but association football attracts many millions more around the world.
It is no secret that the world’s most popular sport is football. Versions of the game date back almost a thousand years and, aside from language, religion, and cuisine, sport is a fundamental characteristic of culture. The name of football, however, is like a two sided coin- same name but different games.
Football can refer to any ball game where players use their feet in any portion of the game. In the US, the game of football is played with an oval ball and follows the rules of “American football”. However, Americans know association football as soccer.
Soccer is the most widely played sport in the world. Called “football” by most of the world, millions of people play it for fun and watch multiple games across multiple leagues. Soccer’s biggest draw is the World Cup competition, played every four years. The 2010 World Cup, hosted by South Africa, blasted the American football viewing of the Super Bowl by over 700 million viewers. According to FIFA, the international ruling body for soccer, the final cup match between Spain and the Netherlands was watched by close to 1 billion people worldwide. Now that is truly a super bowl.