When I was a kid I went through a phase. A terrible phase. For about a year, I totally liked the NFL. Why? Because I played Madden 92 on the Sega Mega Drive. Man, I seem to remember actually watching Ice Hockey for a while.
What was I thinking? Probably the same thing that many Americans are thinking after falling in love with FIFA and then soccer as a result.
EA has released a pretty cool infographic. Well, it's kinda cool. It's basically just a massive 'whee, look how great FIFA and, by extension, EA is". The infographic is interesting though, and makes a pretty strong case that FIFA is helping the US to love soccer.
While FIFA is no doubt having an impact — and it turns out that a lot of Americans are playing the game — I suspect that the US's performance in this year's World Cup must also have been a turning point. They played well and were consistently one of the competition's most exciting teams. I think it's a bit of a chicken and the egg situation. More people were interested in FIFA because they're interested in soccer.
Either way, word is spreading. I don't expect soccer to overtake any of the big sports in the US, but there's definitely a growing interest in soccer. That's a cool thing.