Do US sports fans ever regret the absence of international competition?

I am just about to watch Australia play Scotland at rugby union. Last week they played Ireland. Last week Australia beat England in the Four Nations rugby league tournament having previously played New Zealand and France. The Socceroos beat Oman in their Asian Cup match. Next week the Australian cricket team plays the West Indies and for the rest of the summer will play them and Pakistan.

So how do US fans feel about the fact that all of their major sports are of minor interest to the rest of the world? Do you miss the opportunity to cheer on the national team, because, I must admit, I watch Aussie teams play sports I am not a great fan of, just to cheer “our” side on.

Basketball, baseball and hockey are all huge in many other parts of the world. And all three sports have regular international tournaments (including the Olympics for basketball and hockey). We’re doing just fine, thanks.

But really, regular league play is more than enough for me.

Speaking only for myself, as an American sports fan the lack of international competition in our major professional team sports doesn’t bother me at all.

One issue is that the U.S. doesn’t really have a national team except in the Olympics. Sports-wise, we tend to root for our local teams, and while there’s always Fantasy Football and such, there’s not much desire for a single national team of any sort (amongst other things, they lack character and team spirit). The U.S. is definitely one of the more populous nations in the world, and we have such a huge internal sports market that you’re never really lacking in that department.

Just about every claim you make is off base, so it won’t help much to ask how we feel about them.

“All” of “our” sports are of minor interest to the rest of the world? Really? Where do all those foreign NBA and MLB players come from, then, and why?

And even if that was true, how would that lead to a lack of opportunity to root for our national teams? The United States has way more Olympic medals than any other nation, so it isn’t like there’s nothing to follow. Outside of the Olympics, we’re qualified for the World Cup again, our women won a World Cup (which we hosted), we participate in and host the World Baseball Classic (which go ahead and claim that is of minor interest in Japan, South Korea, Cuba…), the Ryder Cup is always a pretty big deal for golf fans, we’re historically pretty damn competitive in various track and field events, and on and on.

Are you sure you aren’t really asking how Americans feel about the fact that they don’t care about your national teams?

I know I don’t miss it. I can’t speak for all, but I have a pretty limited amount of caring for the Olympics, even.

If the rest of the world was any good, they’d be in the SEC. :smiley:

No I am not being a smart ass. Like I said I watch Aussie teams play in sports that I am only vaguely interested in. I wouldn’t watch club rugby but I am watching Australia play Scotland. I watch Australia play hockey but I have never watched it at a lower level.

I don’t think American sport fans realize how much international sport other nations enjoy. Every cricket playing nation plays a series at home and one overseas every year. Same in rugby. And rugby league. And various soccer competitions. And other sports.

Our best loved performers are those who have turned it on against other nations. And the same is true for Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, West Indians, South Africans, most of Asia and Europe.

I guess it’s a question of what you are used to but with my background I would hate the idea of never seeing the best players play against other nations. Although AFL fans in Australia don’t seem to mind that no-one else plays their sport at any proper level.

Surely it would be fun to watch the US play other countries every year home and away at football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey. Assuming of course that there was effective opposition. And that is the question I was asking - do you miss the fact that you have so little international competition because you basically have no effective opposition in your most popular sports.

I can speak only for me, as someone only paripherally aware of what’s happening in sports in general. But …

The US loves sports. And it’s big. Huge. To me the Midwest may as well be another country and California is practically another planet. I can’t keep track of everything going on in any one sport in this country.

Internationally? Wow. I dedicate myself to watching the Olympics because I respect the athletes and the spirit of the games, but having all our normal sports interact with all these other countries regularly would be … overkill, I guess.

Again, that’s just for me. It would probably good for the sports and fans in some ways.

Mind you you also get things like Scotland leading 6-3 when they haven’t beaten Australia for about 30 years. Agony.

Think of it this way: Say you had a sport which was popular in Europe, but not the rest of the world. A league which spanned all of Europe would be decently big, right? That’d leave plenty of room for the French to cheer on the French team when they play Germany, or the like.

Now consider that the US is about the same size as all of Europe. When a team from Texas plays one from California, that’s about the same for us as it would be for a team from France to play a team from Germany. In a sense, we have our “international competition” all contained within our own borders.

Well…we’ll play you guys in football if you really want.

Not only doesn’t it bother me, I prefer it. I don’t want any regular season NFL games played outside the USA, for instance, nor do I want any NFL franchises to crop up internationally. I do realize that both items on my list are likely to happen at some point.

Tense isn’t it! Mind you the weather is fucking awful. Murrayfield drains really well, but it’s definately having an effect.

And it was way forward.

That Scottish winger with the Italian name looks pretty sharp.

Random thoughts:

  1. Americans are pretty ethnocentric. I’ve heard that in countries with their own pro leagues they follow the US pros anyway, e.g. the 1992 Dream Team, which just makes us more arrogant about our own sports. It doesn’t help that we invented many of the most popular sports today (Baseball, basketball, football) nor that we made other sports wildly popular (golf, competitive eating, professional wrestling.)

  2. Maybe I’m speaking for the minority, but I don’t care about just the game. I want to know the story behind the players and the history of the teams. I can’t really relate to an athlete that grew up in another country, and I can’t follow both US players and international players.

  3. We treat international competition like a 2nd-tier match. The Olympics, for years, was basically the college all-star games, and not even the best collegiate athletes would go. In baseball, we would send the scrubs who weren’t good enough to get drafted out of high school. In basketball, we asked for volunteers. The Winter Olympics was just the Ice Capades tryouts. If a boxer went to the Olympics, it was because they could afford it. Most of them had to turn pro to make a living, and thus olympic boxers were inherently less interesting.

  4. Especially for Olympic sports, there’s no career afterwards. Like Phelps said, they only love you once every four years. Nearly all international sports don’t have a popular pro league in the US. Imho, many international sports are about running fast. In US professional sports, it’s about being the best by beating the best.

Very unlikely, unless you count Canada. The NFL holds virtually no interest outside the U.S.

That really is a random thought! :dubious:

Slight hijack.

Is cricket played in the US?