So I was on the road last weekend, traveling the 6 hours by car it takes to drive to Omaha, NE. Now Friday was as good as it could be under the circumstances, and Saturday we had a great laugh, but come Sunday the evil minds at the local FOX affilaite, KPTM 42, conspired to ruin my Sunday. I woke up early, made some tea, toast, and a jealously guarded tin of Heinz Beans, which are very hard to come by this far out into the plains, and settled in on the couch with my Scottish mate Andrew to watch the footy. It was going to be a classic, Manchester United and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and I was looking forward to jeering my friend over his support for the misfiring Blues. Instead, we were treated to the unwelcome site of two men in suits and a lady with a hair do like a helmet.
At first, I though this was the pre-match show, or some sort of cruel joke. I mean, maybe CNN finally had it with Piers Morgan and pawned him off to the sports division where he was wearing a wig as punishment for his smug arrogance. But slowly it dawned on me, they weren’t going to show the match, instead they were showing Fox and Friends. Now my immediate reaction to this was to call the station and complain, and when I did, they told me they felt that “soccer just didn’t have enough of a following and wasn’t really relevant.” I was shocked, soccer wasn’t relevant? No one wanted to watch the match at home for the first time in years instead of slogging down to the pub where they have Fox Soccer Channel in the cold? Clearly someone had got it wrong here.
One the great misconceptions about the United States and soccer is that no one in the US really cares about the game or will get up early on a Sunday to watch it. We’re all isolated American football fans who don’t understand the appeal of soccer or don’t want to be part of the biggest game in the world, only foreigners watch soccer and their aren’t enough of those for us to show it on our local TV station. This just isn’t true, and it really annoys me every time I hear this kind of talk. I’m pretty sure Fox Soccer Channel is incredibly popular, and the majority of subscribers are regular red-blooded Americans just like me who happen to love soccer. So to all the programming managers at KPTM FOX 42, I’d like to invite you down to the Brazen Head Pub on Cass Street, across from HyVee any Sunday to see just how many people don’t care about soccer, and won’t get up on a Sunday. I won’t be there, but the people are friendly, the atmosphere is great, the food is good, and the coffee is hot. I’m sure anyone you’d care to ask would be happy to tell you how much they wish you’d show EPL game early on a Sunday, and what an opportunity you’re missing out on.
In the end, that’s where Andrew and I went along with the rest of the local soccer watching community to share our grumbles about the networks decision not to show the game over a cup of hot coffee with some bacon and eggs. And it turns out we weren’t alone, over 20 FOX affiliates decided not to show the game, so if you live in any of these places, I feel your pain:
FOX Stations not Showing Soccer
KHMT Billings, MT—Christian Worship Hour
WXXV Biloxi, MS—Gulf South Outdoors Fishing
WICZ Binghamton, NY—1st Assembly of God
WVFX Clarksburg, WV—Mystery Hunters
WJW Cleveland, OH—Infomercial for pillows
WFFT Fort Wayne, IN—Wall Street Journal Report (Is aired on a MyTV subchannel)
WTIC Hartford-New Haven, CT—Animal Atlas (Note: This is a charter Fox affiliate)
WZDX Huntsville, AL—Whitesburg Baptist Church
WXIN Indianapolis, IN—Live From The Super Bowl (excusable, and aired in Bloomington on the CW)
WGXA Macon, GA—Fellowship Baptist Church
WSVN Miami, FL—Rich Wilkerson Ministry
WITI Milwaukee, WI—Discover Wisconsin
KXND Minot, ND—Sunday Mass
KEVN Rapid City, SD—Main Street Living
WFXR Roanoke, VA—Renewing Cleansing Facial Cream infomercial
KTVU San Francisco, CA—News (Is aired on a subchannel)
KSFX Springfield, MO—Garden Groom infomercial
WFXW Terre Haute, IN—Diet pill infomercial
WTRF Wheeling, WV—Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston
WYFX Youngstown, OH—Crossing Paths Ministry
So please, spare us the infomercials, news programs, and random worship hours, we want to watch the soccer.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
-Credit to Deadspin for the list of station not showing soccer
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