What's the world's second most popular sport?
This year's World Cup, held in Brazil, is a reminder that the world's most popular sport is football, which we in the USA call soccer. Easy, right?
OK, but what's the world's second most popular sport?
Based on the popularity of the NBA around the world, I had assumed basketball, right?
Basketball is the third most popular sport in the world.
So what's the second?
After trip to Pasadena a while back - and a fascinating conversation with a professor at Cal State Fullerton - I learned that cricket is the 2nd most popular game in the world.
I know. I was really surprised, too.
Back in 2011, I was Pasadena saying good-bye to my in-laws who were moving to work in Shanghai, China. I snapped up a few photos of some locals enjoying a game (or is a "match"?) of cricket. Locals meaning Indian Americans (not to be confused, of course, with American Indians).
I watched for a couple of minutes and snapped a few photos. Aside from being slightly similar to baseball, I have NO idea how this game is played, or what's involved. And, yes, it's the second most popular sport in the world. Who knew, right?
While cricket would normally mean someplace in the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, or Australia ... the palm trees, apartment buildings, and mountains in the background all say someplace in metro Los Angeles. In this case, Pasadena.
With about 120,000 Indian Americans, metro Los Angeles has the fourth largest Indian-American community in the US. 18 million people call greater Los Angeles home - making it the 13th largest metro area in the world. Los Angeles simply has a lot of everything - and everyone.
Indian Americans make up about 1% of the US population. They are also one of the eight groups that authors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfed constitute the "triple package" to make them some of the most successful ethnic group in the US (the other groups are Iranian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Cuban, Chinese, Mormons, and Jews). I heard about - but haven't yet read - their recent book: The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. Interesting thesis. As a campus minister working with college students, I'm looking forward to picking it up.
Here's a wikipedia article on cricket. Enjoy the game.
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