A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 03, 2014
“Soccer is America’s sport of the future—and always will be”

"Soccer is America’s sport of the future—and always will be” is an old joke about a sport that has long been predicted to explode in popularity in the United States. “Brazil is the country of the future—and always will be” is an older saying and the structural basis of the joke.

“Soccer is the sport of the future” was said by Kyle Rote, Jr. in 1974. “The old joke goes: soccer in America is the sport of the future and always will be” was cited in print in 1990. It’s not known who first said the joke.


3 March 1974, The Independent Record (Helena, MT), “Money secondary to Kyle Rote Jr.” by Eloy Aguilar (Associated Press Writer) , pg. 10, col. 5:
“Soccer is the sport of the future,” he (Kyle Rote Jr.—ed.) said. “it is a sport played throughout the world and I am sure that in a few years we will have teams able to compete with the best.”

4 June 1990, Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, VA), “World Cup: Few Sports Match It” (N.Y. Times News Service), pg. 19, col. 2:
For the first time in 40 years, the United States has a team among the final 24. While that accomplishment is viewed as critically important for helping soccer nudge its way into the forefront at home—the old joke goes: soccer in America is the sport of the future and always will be—most of the rest of the world couldn’t care less.

Sports Illustrated
Originally Posted: June 20, 1994
It Should Be a Kick Ready of not, Americans, here comes soccer’s—some would say sport’s—greatest spectacle
BY ALEXANDER WOLFF
(...)
Huge numbers of young women have come to the game, thanks largely to the Title IX revolution, and the U.S. is the women’s World Cup champion, having won the inaugural tournament in 1991. Still, there are jokes: that it’s the sport of the future—and always will be; that of course millions play it, because that way they don’t have to watch it.

Google Groups: rec.sport.football.college
World Cup!! Yawn.
Bill Kelly
6/22/94
(...)
>(I have been hearing for over 20 years that soccer is just about to hit it
>big in America.  It might happen, but I will have to see it to believe it.)

Yeah, “soccer is the sport of the future...always will be, too.”

Google Groups: soc.culture.japan
5. Japanese Sports
L. Poza
3/28/96
(...)
In the U.S. we say, “Soccer is the sport of the future in America; it always has been, and always will be.” How about Japan?

Google Books
Soccer in Sun and Shadow
By Eduardo Galeano
New York, NY: Verso
1998
Pg. 191:
The U.S. press gave the matter scant attention and commented: Here soccer is the sport of the future and it always will be.

Google News Archive
11 December 2005, Lawrence (KS) Journal-World, “U.S. soccer improves, but who cares?” by Bob Ford (The Philadelphia Inquirer), pg. 2C, col. 3:
Soccer in the United States, as someone once said, is the sport of the future—and always will be.

Google Groups: alt.humor.jewish
(>_<) Oneliners
Renee
8/21/06
(...)
Soccer is America’s sport of the future - and it always will be.

Twitter
Jewenn Ray
‏@jewennray
Still looking to score: As the joke goes, soccer is America’s sport of the future—and always will be. From carn… http://bit.ly/9yIKeb
1:22 AM - 29 Jun 2010

the405media.com
Soccer: America’s Future Sport and Always Will Be – Rought Dot Org
in Partner — by Dan Robinson — June 25, 2014

The Atlantic
Soccer: Sport of the Future, Forever?
Record numbers of Americans are tuning in to the U.S.’s World Cup games. But history suggests it’s too early to declare that the sport has “arrived” here.
HENRY D. FETTER JUN 30 2014, 11:50 AM ET
(...)
There is plenty of evidence that soccer really is becoming more popular stateside, year-round. But to what extent will American interest in the tournament survive the departure of the U.S. team? Perhaps the location of this year’s World Cup provides an omen. As the saying goes, “Brazil is the country of the future—and always will be.”

Newsweek
Who’s Afraid of Soccer in America?
By John Walters
Filed: 7/3/14 at 10:54 AM
(...)
ESPN’s Men in Blazers, the cheeky British ex-pat duo of Michael Davies and Roger Bennett, like to say that soccer is “America’s sport of the future--as it has been since 1972.”

Sports Grid
Soccer Is U.S. Sport Of The Future (And Always Will Be)
by David Young | 7:30 pm, July 3rd, 2014
The American attention span is four years long.

Bonner County Daily Bee (Sandpoint, ID)
A layman’s take on U.S. World Cup soccer
Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:55 pm
By ERIC PLUMMER Sports editor
SANDPOINT — There’s an old joke that circulates among the sports media that goes something along these lines: Soccer is the sport of the future in the U.S., and it always will be.

The point being that unlike many countries around the world, soccer is not the be-all and end-all of sports in America. People have been saying for decades that soccer would eventually reach the levels of popularity it experiences in much of the world, and people are saying it still.

Early Sports and Pop Culture History Blog
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Soccer - America’s Future - and Past
On Tuesday night’s (July 8) Late Show with David Letterman, sportscaster Keith Olbermann joked that in America, “soccer is the sport of the future – and always will be.” Olbermann acknowledged that the joke was not new.  He even commented that etymologists had researched the phrase, and found that it dated back to the 1970s. 
(...)
But the sentiment, if not the exact phrase, is much older:

Proof of the popularity of soccer in Philadelphia at least was forthcoming last Saturday when nearly 1000 players were actively engaged in the game.  It has been said up to the present Americans have not taken up the game with any great enthusiasm, and that it is mostly played by Englishmen.  This was true a few years ago, but it is not the case now.

At least 80 per cent. Of those taking part in the game in the city and vicinity last Saturday were Americans and not hyphenated ones at that.  Now that the schools and colleges are taking up the game, it is bound to forge ahead.

It was 20 years before soccer attained its great popularity in England, and 10 years from now it should be one of America’s national games, judging from the strides it is making.


Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia), October 26, 1915.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Thursday, July 03, 2014 • Permalink