By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If a goal is scored in London, and you were in the bathroom when it happened, would you ever see another one scored? The folks at NBC are hoping you stick around to find out.

Beginning in a little over a month, NBC, and its bevy of networks and platforms, will begin a full-fledged blast of English Premier League soccer on a television screen or tablet near you.

All told, there will be 380 Premier League games (uh, matches) available on various devices starting on Aug. 17. And many of them will be shown live on NBC, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, CNBC, USA, etc.

In fact, if you have NBC Sports Network on your cable system, which I do, there won't be any charge for the games on any of the company's outlets. That's pretty cool.

What's also cool is that on May 11, 2014, the final day of the regular season, every Premier League game will be televised on one of the NBC channels.

But one has to wonder if this will work.

The folks in this country who want to follow soccer now follow soccer now. They go to their favorite pub or watch online and have their specific websites to help keep track of things.

The folks who don't follow soccer now, and there are lots of them, need their local newspapers and local newscasts to suddenly jump onboard and start running the league standings and showing the league's highlights.

But the problem with that? Well, have you seen the sports section of your local newspaper these days?

And have you watched the 90-seconds-or less sportscast on your local news at 11?

There isn't the room (in newspapers) or time allotted (on television) for anything extra. The soccer leagues in this country - yes, there are professional soccer leagues in this country - can barely get the scores of their games published or broadcast.

Now we can expect everyone else in the media to jump on the Premier League train in this country because NBC has?

Um, I have two words for that thought: good luck.

Fox had the Premier League contract, and showed a good amount of games, but then got smoked by NBC's bid to grab the rights. Now NBC gets to roll the dice.

The grand poobahs of soccer in our country have tried to get it to catch on for generations.

I was part of one of those generations.

I played the game in high school on a very good team (undefeated state champs way back when), which made me the perfect salesman for the game.

I would go to college, get married and have my own kids play soccer.

All of those things happened, but when we get home from the soccer games, we go out in the yard and throw the baseball or football around. Just like everybody else does with their kids in the neighborhood.

Our kids aren't clamoring to go see soccer and I'm not rushing out to buy tickets. Maybe my grandkids will become big fans. And maybe they won't.

Until our best athletes - and we've been down this road before in this space - pick soccer as their sport of choice, not football, baseball, golf, tennis or boxing, we're not going to be very good at it on the international stage.

In this country, like in every other country, we like what we like.

Remember NFL Europe? That league shriveled up and went away because sports fans across the pond didn't care for our brand of football.

Will we care for their brand? Which has few Americans playing in it? NBC sure hopes so and are taking a pretty big chance on it.

But after a few 1-0 (one nil) snoozers, are we the common sports fan going to get all excited and check our TV listings to see when the next match is going to be on?

Time will tell.

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