Is America a soccer nation, now? On the morning of the United States’ most-hyped ever game against England, I combed through the front covers of every single American newspaper listed at Newseum, a good couple of hundred of them (which is not comprehensive, but is a pretty hefty sample-size), to see what Americans were waking up to read about it on their front pages — if anything at all.
I found broad coverage and feature stories in surprising places, from Las Vegas to Detroit. Some states, though, had complete black-outs; other sports stories such as Nebraska’s move to the Big 10 in college sports or the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup celebrations wiped out any reference to the World Cup from the front pages in large areas of the midwest.
We see a tabloid, the New York Post, trying to stir hysteria; a Las Vegas daily telling soccer fans to “ignore the haters”; and a North Carolina newspaper fairly summarising that “We like soccer, but we love hoops.”
We see that newspapers dispatched their photographers to local bars and Mexican restaurants to capture local passion, with few having correspondents in South Africa. It’s often not presumed that readers are fans of the United States: “National pride, but for which nation?” asks The Daily Breeze in California.
The vast majority of the coverage is enthusiastic: “What a kick!”, the Miami Herald headlines, while the Sarasota Herald-Tribune says “a proper sports fan’s heart will beat a little faster today.” It will indeed.
Scroll below for the cover of every newspaper that had a major feature, in a state-by-state listing; click the image to open a readable PDF, and big ups to Newseum for the cover images.
Alabama: The Anniston Star led with a feature on “The Best Game”, as “local soccer fans catch World Cup fever.” The Tuscaloosa News took a similar approach. The Montgomery Advertiser took a youth soccer angle while featuring the World Cup
Anniston Star, published in Anniston, Alabama
Montgomery Advertiser, published in Montgomery, Alabama.
The Tuscaloosa News, published in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Alaska: No coverage.
Arizona: Phoenix’s The Arizona Republic has a colourful feature explaining “The World’s Passion”, while the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson offers tips on how to cope with your “World Cup fever”.
The Arizona Republic, published in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona Daily Star, published in Tucson, Arizona
Arkansas: No coverage.
California: No surprises with the Los Angeles Times featuring the World Cup in a major feature. Numerous regional dailies also have feature stories, or at the least, teaser blurbs on the front page. Surprisingly, the San Francisco Chronicle did not feature the event on its front page, and the San Jose Mercury News also lacked a feature story. The Daily Breeze in Torrance asks “National pride, but for which nation?”
Press-Telegram, published in Long Beach, California
Daily News, published in Los Angeles, California
La Opinión, published in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles Times, published in Los Angeles, California
Oakland Tribune, published in Oakland, California
Daily Breeze, published in Torrance, CA
Contra Costa Times, published in Walnut Creek, CA
Colorado: The Denver Post is “futbol crazed”, and asks “whether the U.S. team, eager to gain respect at home, can upset mighty England.” Coverage is thin on the ground elsewhere, though the Greeley Tribune offers a reminder to catch the game today.
The Denver Post, published in Denver, Colorado
Connecticut: Coverage is very thin in Connecticut, with The Hour featuring the only major frontpage story.
The Hour, published in Norwalk, Connecticut
Delaware: Wilmingont’s News Journal offers a major feature on an event “worth getting wild about”, taking in a Mexican restaurant for their game yesterday.
The News Journal, published in Wilmington, Delaware
District of Colombia: Very surprisingly, the Washington Post, only features one tiny blurb on the World Cup on the front page.
The Washington Post, published in Washington, DC
Florida: Newspapers in Florida offer extensive coverage: “It’s a futbol revolution”, says the Sun Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale, while the Sarasota Herald-Tribune says “a proper sport’s fan’s heart will beat a little faster today.”
Sun Sentinel, published in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Florida Today, published in Melbourne, Florida
The Miami Herald, published in Miami, Florida
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, published in Sarasota, Florida
Georgia: There is not a great deal of coverage in Georgia’s newspapers, though dailies in Athens and Atlanta offer feature stories.
Athens Banner-Herald, published in Athens, Georgia
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, published in Atlanta, Georgia
Hawaii: No coverage.
Idaho: The Idaho Statesman has a World Cup fans’ guide.
Idaho Statesman, published in Boise, Idaho
Illinois: Shockingly, there is no coverage of the World Cup on the front pages of Illinois’ numerous newspapers, though for the Chicago dailies, there is a simple excuse: the Chicago Blackhawks’ victory in the Stanley Cup completely takes over today.
Indiana: Bloomington’s Herald-Times is the only newspaper in the state to cover the World Cup on its front page.
The Herald-Times, published in Bloomington, Indiana
Iowa: Soccer features on the front page of just one newspaper in Iowa, The Gazette in Cedar Rapids…but it’s a story about a local women’s team, not the World Cup.
Kansas: Kansas also draws a blank, with sports news focused more on Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten than the World Cup.
Kentucky: The biggest coverage comes from the Lexington Herald-Leader, with some lovely front page imagery and a number of stories on the World Cup.
The Kentucky Enquirer, published in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
Lexington Herald-Leader, published in Lexington, Kentucky
Louisiana: No coverage.
Maine: A couple of teaser blurbs, the biggest in the Portland Press Herald.
Portland Press Herald, published in Portland, Maine
Maryland: “It’s soccer, er, football fever” says The Capital.
The Capital, published in Annapolis, Maryland
Massachusetts: Surprisingly, there is no coverage in the Boston Globe. The Cape Cod Times has a small blurb reading “U.S. team beings World Cup quest today”. The biggest coverage is in Worcester’s Telegram & Gazette.
Telegram & Gazette, published in Worcester, Massachusetts
Michigan: The Detroit News offers a major feature on the World Cup in general, while the Times Herald in Port Huron focuses on one fan.
The Detroit News, published in Detroit, Michigan
Times Herald, published in Port Huron, Michigan
Star Tribune, published in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mississippi: No coverage.
Missouri:The Kansas City Star pronounces its city to be “one of the biggest soccer towns in the U.S.”
The Kansas City Star, published in Kansas City, Missouri
Montana: No coverage.
Nebraska: No coverage.
Nevada:Las Vegas’ daily tells its readers to “ignore the haters – U.S. Soccer, led by Landon Donovan, is cool.”
Las Vegas Sun, published in Las Vegas, Nevada
New Hampshire: Just tiny blurbs in Manchester’s Union Leader and Nashua’s The Telegraph.
New Jersey: The biggest coverage is in The Record; the same photo used below is also featured on the front page of The Herald News.
The Record, published in Hackensack, New Jersey
New Mexico: Another Mexican restaurant is visited, this time by The Santa Fe New Mexican.
The Santa Fe New Mexican, published in Santa Fe, New Mexico
New York:The New York Post does its best to out Sun England’s Sun newspaper, tying in Obama’s criticism of BP to the game today in a fit of attention-seeking hysteria, while the New York Times takes a pictorial approach.
New York Post, published in New York, New York
The New York Times, published in New York, New York
North Carolina: Raleigh’s News-Observer offers a different perspective with their feature piece: “We like soccer, but we love hoops”, commenting on “America’s tepid interest in soccer.”
Asheville Citizen-Times, published in Asheville, North Carolina
The News & Observer, published in Raleigh, North Carolina
North Dakota: No coverage.
Ohio: The biggest coverage is in The Repository of Stark-County, giving a typical local angle to the World Cup.
The Repository, published in Canton, Ohio
Oklahoma: No coverage.
Oregon: Only a tiny blurb on the impending “World Cup dust-up” in Salem’s Statesman-Journal.
Pennsylvania: Erie’s Erie Times-News pluckily reports that soccer has “small but growing fan base in Erie.”
Erie Times-News, published in Erie, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia Inquirer, published in Philadelphia, PA
Rhode Island: Nothing but a small blurb on the cover of the Newport Daily News.
South Carolina: No coverage.
South Dakota: No coverage.
Tennessee: No coverage.
Texas: The biggest features come from the dailies in smaller cities, with the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle offering little.
The Beaumont Enterprise, published in Beaumont, TX
The Brownsville Herald, published in Brownsville, Texas
The Monitor, published in McAllen, Texas
Utah: Provo’s Daily Herald offers one of my favourite feature titles on the World Cup today: “Drink Up”.
The Daily Herald, published in Provo, Utah
Vermont: No coverage.
Virginia: Some nice imagery in The Free Lance-Star.
The Roanoke Times, published in Roanoke, Virginia
The Seattle Times, published in Seattle, Washington
West Virginia: Just a small blurb on the cover of Huntington’s Herald-Dispatch.
Wisconsin: Milwaukee’s major daily offers a primer for newbie soccer fans.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, published in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Wyoming:“It’s on,” says the Laramie Boomerang.
Laramie Boomerang, published in Laramie, Wyoming
Of course, there are omissions nationally here, but it took me three hours to comb through all those as it is. If you noticed any other interesting cover stories today, let us know in the comments.