Soccer fans in America often have a chip on their shoulder about football. And for good reason. Football is the dominant sport in the country, soccer isn’t.
Then again, soccer is boring. Football isn’t.
It creates potential friction where an NFL team also owns a professional soccer team. In New England, the Krafts are getting the brunt of some of that friction via fans of the soccer team the Krafts own.
Julian Cardillo of the Boston Globe (via SportsBusiness Daily) writes that “[i]t appears to many that the Revolution are the Kraft family’s second priority, rather than an equal investment, to the New England Patriots.”
If it appears that way, that appearance would be accurate. The Patriots have become one of the elite franchises in the NFL, the premier professional sports league in the United States. The Revolution are an also-ran, at best, in a league that is an also-ran, at best.
Revolution Brian Bilello seems to think that the griping comes from soccer’s anti-football bias.
“I think both the Kraft family and the Hunt family, because they have NFL sides as well, I think there’s a weird perception,” Bilello told Cardillo. “Both families have been involved with the sport since the very beginning. The fact that they’re involved in the NFL, that hurts them.”
Still, a Sports Illustrated poll of anonymous players pegged the Krafts as the worst owners in the MLS, and players like Thierry Henry and David Beckham have balked at playing on the FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium.
“There’s a lot of great things about having the Krafts as owners,” Bilello said. “They’ve supported this league. They do things behind the scenes not just for the Revolution, but for the sport of soccer in this country.”
None of that matters to the average soccer fan, who can’t understand why Americans haven’t embraced the sport the way the rest of the world has.
Meanwhile, we can’t understand why the rest of the world hasn’t embraced football the way Americans have.