many ways, Americans and Europeans do the same things, have the same
interests, have similar lifestyles; but in “team
sports”, America and Europe are two different continents.
football, and Americans play football; but surprisingly they do not
play the same game. American football is played by men (and
occasionally women) wearing helmets
and protective clothing; the ball is oval. European football
played with a round ball, by people wearing just socks, shorts, a
shirt, and football boots.
another popular outdoor game too; baseball - a classic American
game, that is only played seriously in North America. In Britain, a few
people play an "ancestor" of baseball, called "rounders" - but it is
not a popular sport.
village", lifestyles have become international. Often the
American model has spread to other countries of the world. American
sports, however, have not spread all over the world, as American films
and American fashions have. On the contrary, European sports have been
more successful internationally. Indeed European football is slowly
developing in the USA (where we call it "soccer").
too, though it is not really a team sport, the USA is different. In
Europe, South America, Japan and other countries (including Canada),
"motor racing" means "Formula 1"; in America we have IndyCar racing.
500 is like a Formula 1 race, but different. Several famous
Formula 1 drivers - including Nigel Mansell and Jacques Villeneuve -
have won the race. On the other hand, no American IndyCar drivers have
ever been Formula 1 champions. Nevertheless, Americans are beginning to
discover Formula 1 racing, since the first American Grand Prix.
these big sports, America of course has basketball - perhaps the most
successful "export". Invented at Springfield College, Massachusetts, in
1891, Basketball is quite certainly an "American game". Although it is
not as big in Europe as in the USA, basketball has become much more
popular in other countries than any other American team sport.
WHY IS AMERICA
simple. Until the 1960's, team sports were not played on
a global scale. In Europe, people played European
games, and in North America we played American games. The only real
"global" sports were individual sports, such as golf and tennis.
ago, individual rich Americans could travel to Europe on holiday, and
play these two games. But whole teams of sportsmen did not often travel
around the world, it was too difficult and slow!
The first worldwide
sports competition was the Olympic Games; but originally the Olympics were
only concerned with athletics; they did not include
the wide variety of sports that they now cover.
as far as
team sports are concerned, America has grown up with its own tradition;
we love our "football" and our baseball and our basketball. We don't
mind if these sports are not popular in other
countries. That way, we can organise the "World Series" baseball
championship, knowing that a US team will almost always win. From time
to time, a Canadian team wins.... but they're North Americans too,
in addition to - don't mind: are
not worried - helmet: hard hat -
global scale: all over the world - were
only concerned with: only included.
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helmets ..... American football
Baseball ..... Europe
Americans ..... soccer.
Nigel Mansell ..... the Indianapolis 500.
All over the world .... basketball.
The "world series" ... American team..
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