MrOtter has hit the nail on the head. You have to appreciate how hard it is for the US to get a point in Mexico. While MrOtter's comparison to football is spot on, the thing that gets missed by most people in the US is that point could be the difference in the US playing in the 2014 world cup and them sitting at home. Where the game against Iowa was great, we always know that ISU is going to have a season next year, and most likely will play Iowa again. There is more on the line that just the game they are playing there is what the result means to the rest of their qualification.
This morning I woke up and thought to myself that it was great that US got the win last night, then I reminded myself that it was a draw. That is how huge that point is, it feels like a win. Was it the prettiest game to watch, no. But considering what the US team was going through last week, getting 4 points out of their last 2 games is huge. If they keep that average up over their next 7 games, they qualify. Which is the bigger picture.
I don't think soccer is sport where you can just drop in and watch one game. You have to invest time in it to appreciate it. While you can watch certain games and enjoy it, you don't get the full experience until you learn the point system, the qualification system for international soccer, and promotion relegation for league soccer. Then in Europe you have to learn the champions league system. Every competitive game means something more than just that game, a result one way or another effects what happens to clubs/countries in the years to come.
A world without yoga pants and Planter's cheese balls, is a world I no longer want to live in.
I went to a soccer match in Azteca once. The place is huge...holding 120K+. That day the announced croud was between 5-10K and it almost seemed like the place was empty. Just like th altitude in Denver, the heat and smog in Mexico City are a big deal, thus the night game helps. If that place is packed, it is a truly magnificent thing to behold.
Once, when I was working in Mexico, Jorge Campos their national goalie from the 1990s, was in my same hotel. We had to leave by a side exit as they throng in front was the same as if there was the leading rock group in town. Truly hero worship there.
My wife and I stayed up to watch this game last night and she asked me, having never played soccer, why people would want to see a game end in a 0-0 tie, which basically means (point notwithstanding) that you paid for nothing. I told her that's a huge problem for the growth of soccer in america.
I think that the confusion about the excitement of getting 1 point from a 0-0 draw is what turns off a lot of people who may be watching casually. Nobody scored so on the face it looks like a boring game, but those who know the history of the rivalry and can put gaining 1 point in Azteca instead of 0 can appreciate the tactics and performance.
I think that if the United States had promotion/relegation in any pro sport (MLB would probably work best right now) then more people would understand that the scoreline at the end of each game is not necessarily the most important thing. It is sometimes the # of points that your team receives from a game they should probably lose or the points Team X denies from another team that directly affects your squad that are most important. This tie was definitely a big result for the big picture.
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