Michael Burgess ' Opinion

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

America's Cup still off the radar in US

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Oracle Team USA crosses the finish line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, but did anybody in the US notice? Photo / Brett Phibbs
Oracle Team USA crosses the finish line ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, but did anybody in the US notice? Photo / Brett Phibbs

As painful as the last week has been for most Kiwis following the events in San Francisco, it hurts even more to know that nobody in the United States seems to care.

Outside the sailing community, it is not something on the radar of sport fans Stateside, despite the fact that one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sport is taking place on their shores.

While most of New Zealand has been captivated by the event over the last few weeks - partly thanks to the novelty of free to air television coverage - the regatta hasn't made a mark on the sporting landscape in America.

As an example, take a look at the front page of ESPN.com (probably the leading sports website in the USA), a few hours after Wednesday's race.

There is a tribute to the Manning family, with a gushing story on how the brothers have all become NFL Quarterback greats; a two year old NCAA football punishment (Penn State) that is slowly being relaxed, some speculation ahead of the upcoming baseball awards and preview pieces on the latest round of the NFL.

Emirates Team New Zealand after their second loss against Oracle Team USA today. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Emirates Team New Zealand after their second loss against Oracle Team USA today. Photo / Brett Phibbs

You want to read about the America's Cup, and possibly the greatest single comeback in sporting history? You'll need to click through to other sports, then Olympic sports to find a bread and butter report from the Associated Press on the day's sailing.

It seems to reflect a similar situation around the US. Outside of San Francisco, the event has failed to make any kind of media footprint, despite Oracle's astonishing turnaround.

It is surprising stuff, considering the USA loves sporting comeback stories and Hollywood has built a whole genre around them.

Think of Remember the Titans, Rocky, Miracle and even Escape to Victory, where an Allied prisoner of war football team that included Sylvester Stallone, Bobby Moore, Pele and Michael Caine defied a large halftime defeat, injuries and the chance of escape to bounce back against a star-studded German side.

There is also a vast library of sporting documentaries, one of the most famous being Four days in October, detailing the Boston Red Sox and their remarkable recovery from 0-3 down against the New York Yankees. They went on to win the World Series and break a curse that had strangled the team for decades.

As an American colleague pointed out today, we may now be watching what will come to be known as "Ten days in September".

- NZ Herald

Michael Burgess

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Michael Burgess is the football and rugby league writer for the Herald on Sunday. He was named the 2013 New Zealand football writer of the year and was a finalist in the Sports Reporter of the year at the 2014 Canon Media Awards.

Read more by Michael Burgess

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