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  #11  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:50 AM
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Both the Olympic Games and the World Cup have tremendous appeal on a global scale. Unlike such sports as the NBA or the NFL, which are hugely popular in their respective areas, both the World Cup and the Summer Olympics are truly international events which capture the interest of the entire world unlike any other athletic endeavor.

If I had to choose between the two, though, my vote would go to the Summer Olympics. A lot of the reasons for my choice have already been stated by others. The 32 countries featured in the World Cup are passionate about the event. The participants in the tournament, as well as their nation's fans, bring such emotion and nationalism to the event, sometimes to the point of being out of control. Even soccer enthusiasts from other countries tune into the World Cup with energy and fire rarely seen in many other sporting events.

But the Olympics exceed the World Cup in terms of broad appeal and national unity. Over 200 countries are represented as opposed to 32, and while many of the 200+ countries will win few or even no medals, that isn't even the point. The opportunity to represent your country on the greatest international stage of them all, draped in your flag with your anthem playing, means as much to a smaller country in a less prominent sport as soccer would to a football powerhouse such as Italy or Brazil. It isn't only about winning the medal; that's the icing on the cake. It's about representing your country and having a nation watching you in pride while you represent your country in front of the world.

Soccer is a part of the Summer Olympics anyway. So participation in the Olympics gives you a chance to win and achieve international glory in soccer, totally devoid of the World Cup. Granted soccer is a small component of the total Olympic experience, but I would imagine it is still a source of national pride for any country to win an Olympic gold medal in football.

As popular as soccer is on a global scale, it isn't the only sporting event out there. While it goes without saying, and is not arguable as some of you have suggested, soccer is the most popular team sport in the world. I don't think can even be debated. But having said this, there are still millions of people out there who are not soccer fans, but who are passionate sports fans and are interested in seeing other sports being contested at the highest level by the world's premier athletes. Maybe this is my personal bias creeping in here again, but some of us enjoy sports whereby the end result of a 90+ minute contest is not a scoreless draw. The Olympics allows those who like to watch a game which may only feature a shot on goal every five or ten minutes to be satisfied, while still offering other sports to follow which are more exciting than watching paint dry.

Some countries will not be competitive in the World Cup. They either will not qualify in the first place, or if they do, they won't be a force once there. As a Canadian sports fan, I can relate to this. Canada will not win a FIFA World Cup in my lifetime, hell we're lucky if we even qualify to be in the tournament. So watching the World Cup will have less appeal for me because my country is not there. Maybe I would rather watch gymnastics or track and field, where we will be represented, rather than watching other countries battle it out for the ultimate prize. Even you Americans on here should be able to relate to this viewpoint. Sure, your nation is typically represented at the World Cup, but I wouldn't be holding my breath about winning it anytime soon. At least you can follow the Summer Olympics and see success from your country and enjoy a little national pride, something you aren't likely to see at the World Cup in our lifetimes.

Of course, this may be beyond the discussion here, but the Olympic Games have a Winter component as well. This introduces even more sports, even more countries, and even more appeal for even more people. Unlike the World Cup or the Summer Olympics, Canada ca n go to the Winter Olympics and expect to achieve a relative degree of success. This may be separate and distinct from the question at hand, but it still boils down to the prominence and perception of the Olympics in general as opposed to the World Cup.

And of course, at the Summer Olympics, we typically don't have to endure the incessant buzzing of those vuvuzelas
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2011, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LSN80 View Post
So because people decide to act uncivilized, that somehow equates to meaning and pride? Somethings awfully skewed if that's the case. And yes, you do see countries brag about who won the most medals, as well as about their individual athletes. Its a rediculous argument that because people act uncivilized that somehow this equates to pride and attaches some sort of meaning.

But to placate your argument, look no further then the incident between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding. The attack took place during a practice session for the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, hired a goon named Shane Stant to break Kerrigan's right leg so that she would be unable to skate. Stant followed Kerrigan to Detroit after failing to find her at her training rink in Massachusetts, and struck her on the thigh a few inches above the knee with a collapsible police baton. Kerrigan's leg was only bruised, not broken, but the injury forced her to withdraw from the national championship, and prevent her selection from the 1994 Olympic team. Again, does that attach more meaning or pride to the sport because of her actions? On the converse, its disgraceful. There's no pride in the fans that riot, loot, and assault during the World Cup either, nor does it bring more meaning to the event.

A more recent example is the 2008 Olympics, where despite the presence of 10,000 troops and riot police, riots abounded following a soccer match between Japan and China. The same occurred after the USA-Canada gold medal hockey game in Vancouver in 2010. But to argue that rioting, assault, and murder equates to patriotism and meaning is a ludicrous statement. When my Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009, people rioted in the streets. People use sporting events to justify this, but really, the sporting event is just an excuse for people to act like immature idiots. People riot when their teams win AND lose.
I don't condone or glorify the actions of those people. I think it ridiculous to say that those actions don't come out of some sense and pride for their country. You know how one fan can get in America over one football team. It's a much different animal when you have thousands investing so much in their country.



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That wasn't my argument whatsoever. My argument was that the sheer size of the Olympics is evident in the amount of television coverage that it provides. With the Summer Olympics, there's something for the fan of individual accomplishments such as tennis, boxing and gymnastics, and for the fan of team sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, along with men's and women's soccer. There's far more events and participants for a country to feel prideful about in the Olympics then there is in the World Cup.
You said this.

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Size and Visability:

While the World Cup runs four weeks as compared to just three weeks for the Summer Olympics, the World Cup offers only 64 games over 4 weeks. This averages out to just over 2 games, per day. As for the Summer Olympics, they have over 15 hours a day of continuous coverage. It's easy to miss a World Cup game due to work or life. But in the 2008 Summer Olympics, there were 305 events that took place over it's 18 days, involving 10,500 athletes. It's hard to miss an event your country is involved in due to the massive coverage provided by the various media outlets that cover the Olympics. There's no question that the Olympics provide more comprehensive visability across the globe then the World Cup does as well.
So essentially you're saying it's harder to miss an event that runs for 15 hours a day? In the World Cup, your country may not even advance past the group stage so it's much more important because if you miss a day, you may miss your country's exit from the World Cup.
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  #13  
Old 01-17-2011, 02:25 PM
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I don't condone or glorify the actions of those people. I think it ridiculous to say that those actions don't come out of some sense and pride for their country. You know how one fan can get in America over one football team. It's a much different animal when you have thousands investing so much in their country. .
But that animal is contained to a small portion of the world. No matter how passionate a small sector, or country may be, it's a large leap to make to say that because one or two countries riot that it indicates some type of overall meaning. Again, the overall basis of this debate is which event is more important to the World. The Summer Olympics, as Ive stated before, is host to over 200 countries. The World Cup involves 32. How can an event be more important to the World when only 18% of the world is involved? The Olympics gives each and every country the opportunity to have something to feel pride in. The World Cup does not.

Ive already provided instances where riots and other attrocities have taken place outside and independent of the World Cup, so to say that the riots at the World Cup equate to "more pride" in one's country is a large stretch, at best.

Quote:
So essentially you're saying it's harder to miss an event that runs for 15 hours a day? In the World Cup, your country may not even advance past the group stage so it's much more important because if you miss a day, you may miss your country's exit from the World Cup.
Essentially what Im saying is that the Olympics offer something for everyone, as Ive said before. The evidence for this is that it's broadcasted all day long. The same argument of missing a day could be applied for the diehard fans of one's baseball team in the Summer Olympics to someone's favorite wrestler.

Importance is subjective to the viewer, and it's easy to see that the Olympics provide far more sports that can be viewed as important then the World Cup does. Adding to that, the Summer Olympics provides the same sport that the World Cup does, and so much more. The World Cup is simply too one-dimensional and non-enclusive world-wide for it to allow the overall emotional investment that the all-inclusive Summer Olympics provides. Again, it's fairly obvious that the Summer Olympics provides much more value and importance to the World then the World Cup does.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:03 PM
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Let me jump in real quick. Not going to go post by post at this point, but the whole quality vs. quantity argument seems to be the issue. The Olympics may have a ton of sports and countries, but many have no meaning. Even as an American, I don't give a shit about our archery team or anything like that. It just doesn't matter.

The best of the World Cup is better than the best of the Olympics (which I guess would be track? swimming maybe?) by far. It doens't matter if your country is not in the final, people still watch. Like it was stated earlier in this thread, 700 million watching the final match of the World Cup. 700 Million. Show me numbers similar to that pertaining to the Olympics.
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  #15  
Old 01-18-2011, 01:47 AM
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Let me jump in real quick. Not going to go post by post at this point, but the whole quality vs. quantity argument seems to be the issue. The Olympics may have a ton of sports and countries, but many have no meaning. Even as an American, I don't give a shit about our archery team or anything like that. It just doesn't matter.
The big issue is which means more to the world. How is there a lack of quality within the Olympics when each nation sends the best of the best in each sport, and only the top three teams medal? So of the 100 that may compete in any given sport, only 3 medal. Id say that's providing a great deal of quality, regardless of the sport. Just because it's not your cup o' tea doesn't mean that it doesn't hold significance in other areas of the world, or even to your own countrymen.

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The best of the World Cup is better than the best of the Olympics (which I guess would be track? swimming maybe?) by far. It doens't matter if your country is not in the final, people still watch. Like it was stated earlier in this thread, 700 million watching the final match of the World Cup. 700 Million. Show me numbers similar to that pertaining to the Olympics.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the number of people that watched the Olympics, in total, was 4.7 billion. 211 Million people alone watched the men's track and field final in and of itself. Again, this is an argument of the whole being greater then the sum of it's parts. The five sports that were watched most in the 2008 Summer Olympics were Track, Basketball, Swimming, Gymnastics, and Baseball, in that order, again according to Nielsen. Even if the World Cup numbers are more when totaled, the largest factor one has to consider is that the World Cup spread out across 31 days, while the Summer Olympic events only encompassed 17 days. That's a 14 day difference which could certainly affect viewership numbers by the whole.

What your breaking this down to is a popularity contest, and this debate is about what means more. While popularity is equated to something that is sought after or admired(or in the case of sports, watched) meaning is equated to significance. It's easy to make the mistake that something is more significant because it's popular, but that's simply not the case.

Popularity is only one factor that weighs into significance. In the case of the Summer Olympics, there's far more significance in a country being able to send representatives to participate in an event, as well as the nearly 44%(88 countries) of countries that medaled in them. There's the significance of knowing your country is participating, and pride when your country medals. There's far more worldwide significance to that then the 18% of the world that gets to send their best in one sport, as is the case with the World Cup. So in terms of the Summer Olympics, there's far more meaning and significance equated to the event then there is the World Cup.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:35 AM
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I think without a doubt it has to be the football world cup. How can the worlds sport not be more important on an international scale then the summer olympics?

To counteract what seems to be the most common argument towards the olympics in this thread, the quantity of nations competing. Out of the over two hundred nations competing only 80 gained a medal, and out of those 80 only 50 managed gold medals. I highly doubt the olympics was of any significance to the 120+ countries that didn't achieve a medal. Also to people saying only 32 nations competed in the world cup, that isn't strictly true there were 205 teams who attempted to qualify which shows there is at least as much interest in competing in the world cup as there is going to the olympics.

Also the olympics are really only popular based on name value and the history behind it. Look at some of the sports that are at the Olympics, the two most popular are probably track events and swimming, outside of the olympics those aren't popular sports by a long shot it is only based off the fact it is the olympics that people actually care. Soccer on the other hand is a popular sport worldwide, the most popular sport actually it means a lot to people be it at the world cup or elsewhere, it is important to people. That can't be said for olympic sports, they are not popular sports and are no where near being so most people don't give a fuck about them but they watch purely based on the name value. of the olympics.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:58 AM
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To counteract what seems to be the most common argument towards the olympics in this thread, the quantity of nations competing. Out of the over two hundred nations competing only 80 gained a medal, and out of those 80 only 50 managed gold medals. I highly doubt the olympics was of any significance to the 120+ countries that didn't achieve a medal. Also to people saying only 32 nations competed in the world cup, that isn't strictly true there were 205 teams who attempted to qualify which shows there is at least as much interest in competing in the world cup as there is going to the olympics.
The thing is, in the actual World Cup, only 32 teams get shown. It doesn't matter how many teams attempt to qualify since a great percentage of them aren't seen attempting on television. In the Olympics, medal or not, you WILL see a countrymen apart of some type of event. Thus, it meaning more to the World, because its not just 32 countries being seen on television, but instead over 200+ nations (which means a good chance you'll see at least one of your own athletes) who would be happy just to see a bronze medal for pride to their country.

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Also the olympics are really only popular based on name value and the history behind it. Look at some of the sports that are at the Olympics, the two most popular are probably track events and swimming, outside of the olympics those aren't popular sports by a long shot it is only based off the fact it is the olympics that people actually care. Soccer on the other hand is a popular sport worldwide, the most popular sport actually it means a lot to people be it at the world cup or elsewhere, it is important to people. That can't be said for olympic sports, they are not popular sports and are no where near being so most people don't give a fuck about them but they watch purely based on the name value. of the olympics.
In basketball at the 08 olympics, there were only 3 of the countries (Iran, Greece, and Angola) that didn't feature at least one NBA talent. Basketball is quite popular over the world. People are watching that (at the Olympics) because of the talent featured, not because of it's name value. Soccer, as well, is featured at the Olympics, and is in the same boat as Basketball. Baseball was featured there and is a top 5 sport in popularity. There are many popular sports, you just are ignoring them.

Besides, who cares if people aren't watching track and field or swimming any other time? It's never shown consistently on television in the first place, but it does do quite well in the ratings for the Olympics because people want to see their country represented and see some good entertainment. That should be all that matters.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:09 PM
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But that animal is contained to a small portion of the world. No matter how passionate a small sector, or country may be, it's a large leap to make to say that because one or two countries riot that it indicates some type of overall meaning. Again, the overall basis of this debate is which event is more important to the World. The Summer Olympics, as Ive stated before, is host to over 200 countries. The World Cup involves 32. How can an event be more important to the World when only 18% of the world is involved? The Olympics gives each and every country the opportunity to have something to feel pride in. The World Cup does not.

Ive already provided instances where riots and other attrocities have taken place outside and independent of the World Cup, so to say that the riots at the World Cup equate to "more pride" in one's country is a large stretch, at best.
There's pride in actually competing to get into the World Cup. You always want to see the best teams play and that's what you get with the field of 32.



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Essentially what Im saying is that the Olympics offer something for everyone, as Ive said before. The evidence for this is that it's broadcasted all day long. The same argument of missing a day could be applied for the diehard fans of one's baseball team in the Summer Olympics to someone's favorite wrestler.

Importance is subjective to the viewer, and it's easy to see that the Olympics provide far more sports that can be viewed as important then the World Cup does. Adding to that, the Summer Olympics provides the same sport that the World Cup does, and so much more. The World Cup is simply too one-dimensional and non-enclusive world-wide for it to allow the overall emotional investment that the all-inclusive Summer Olympics provides. Again, it's fairly obvious that the Summer Olympics provides much more value and importance to the World then the World Cup does.
Summer Olympic soccer and World Cup soccer are two different things. For starters, Summer Olympic is soccer U-23 so 90-95% of the time, you're not even going to see the best players which you do at the World Cup. By that account, Olympic soccer is "one-dimensional and non-enclusive" as you so eloquently it. Nobody is excluded from the World Cup because they all have a chance to qualify and what other dimension do you want for the World Cup? Do you want to mix a little rugby in now?
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:07 PM
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The big issue is which means more to the world. How is there a lack of quality within the Olympics when each nation sends the best of the best in each sport, and only the top three teams medal? So of the 100 that may compete in any given sport, only 3 medal. Id say that's providing a great deal of quality, regardless of the sport. Just because it's not your cup o' tea doesn't mean that it doesn't hold significance in other areas of the world, or even to your own countrymen.
By quality I don't mean in talent, I mean in the quality of the product that's being shown. I'd rather watch 50 or so soccer matches that are all super important and give me almost 2 hours than entertainment then a bunch of mundane Olympics events in which the actually exciting and important parts may add up to 20 minutes for the entire 2 weeks.

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According to Nielsen Media Research, the number of people that watched the Olympics, in total, was 4.7 billion. 211 Million people alone watched the men's track and field final in and of itself. Again, this is an argument of the whole being greater then the sum of it's parts. The five sports that were watched most in the 2008 Summer Olympics were Track, Basketball, Swimming, Gymnastics, and Baseball, in that order, again according to Nielsen. Even if the World Cup numbers are more when totaled, the largest factor one has to consider is that the World Cup spread out across 31 days, while the Summer Olympic events only encompassed 17 days. That's a 14 day difference which could certainly affect viewership numbers by the whole.
But I'm pretty sure the 711 million number was for the one match. That is almost 4 times as much as your measely little track and field final. And the fact that baseball makes the top 5 of the most viewed when none of the world's top players actually play in the Olympics is a testament to just how meaningless the Olympics have become.

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What your breaking this down to is a popularity contest, and this debate is about what means more. While popularity is equated to something that is sought after or admired(or in the case of sports, watched) meaning is equated to significance. It's easy to make the mistake that something is more significant because it's popular, but that's simply not the case.
The World Cup is more popular because it's significant, my friend. You can tell from the fans and the atmosphere at all the World Cup matches that it is meaningful. What exactly is meaningful about about something like archery or weight lifting in the Olympics?
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Boy George Costanza:
There's pride in actually competing to get into the World Cup. You always want to see the best teams play and that's what you get with the field of 32.
This debate is about whether the World Cup or the Summer Olympic events in themselves mean more to the world. I understand what you're trying to say, but qualifiers are not part of the World Cup itself, which essentially renders this point irrelevant.

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Nobody is excluded from the World Cup because they all have a chance to qualify. and what other dimension do you want for the World Cup? Do you want to mix a little rugby in now?
The stats of its history would say otherwise. Its quite the stretch to say that all have a real chance to qualify when only 77 countries in the 80 year history of the World Cup have ever participated in it. On the converse, 205 nations particpate in the Summer Olympics every 4 years. That's what I mean by saying that the Summer Olympics is much more inclusive then the World Cup.

The actual World Cup is a field of 32, which is what makes it exclusive by nature. Only 18% of the World every 4 years participates. Concetrate more on looking at the facts rather then making rediculous statements. The World Cup is fine the way it is, but that doesn't mean it holds more value or significance world-wide then the Summer Olympics does.

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By quality I don't mean in talent, I mean in the quality of the product that's being shown. I'd rather watch 50 or so soccer matches that are all super important and give me almost 2 hours than entertainment then a bunch of mundane Olympics events in which the actually exciting and important parts may add up to 20 minutes for the entire 2 weeks.?
I agree here that we're arguing quality in terms of the quality of the product that's being shown. But this solely comes down to a matter of personal preference. Id rather tune in to watch Track and Field, Basketball, and Swimming because they're exciting events. mundane? Hardly. There's always the chance of a record being broken our your country's representative in said field winning a medal. All of those are incredibly important as well as they build to what is usually the climax of the event. I take incredible enjoyment in following an athlete or team from my country from the beginning of the event
to the end. It's called having pride in one's country, something the Olympics affords all nations to do.


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But I'm pretty sure the 711 million number was for the one match. That is almost 4 times as much as your measely little track and field final. And the fact that baseball makes the top 5 of the most viewed when none of the world's top players actually play in the Olympics is a testament to just how meaningless the Olympics have become.
Its closer to three times, but that's more semantics then anything. What does that tell you that a track and field final, which isn't close to being a "top sport" is viewed by that many people? That people are enticed by the event due to the Olympics, and the pride they possess in their country as a result. And the fact that baseball is that popular despite the best players not being showcased is also due to the incredible significance that the event in itself holds. When millions are tuning in to see the top amateur players, that's quite meaningful.

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The World Cup is more popular because it's significant, my friend. You can tell from the fans and the atmosphere at all the World Cup matches that it is meaningful. What exactly is meaningful about about something like archery or weight lifting in the Olympics?
We've gone over this before, and Im sure we're going to again. The significance and meaning attached to these sports is due to the fact that all nations around the world have the opportunity to compete in said sports, and bring individual meaning to their respective countries. In these sports you view as so meaningless, every country has a chance to have something to hang their hat on at the end of the day. That's something that never has, and never will be affored via the World Cup.
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Last edited by LSN80 : 01-18-2011 at 08:24 PM.
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