clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Copa América Centenario is a boring, inconsequential cash grab

If it wasn't for Mexico, there wouldn't be much to watch.

@FOX35Adam

Maybe the Copa América Centenario opening ceremony was a sign of things to come. It started with the ironically named band Magic!, who bored viewers as their dreadlocked lead singer inspired Kyle Beckerman jokes. The hype man that accompanied Jason Derulo bragged about, of all things, his YouTube views.

This tournament, as inauthentic as Derulo's partner in crime, has not bothered to entertain us as it has tried to steal our money. Like Magic!, it promised something and has delivered nothing in return.

The action got off to a palatable start with Colombia's 2-0 win over the United States to open the tournament, but neither team played well. This, though, was entertaining compared to what came on Day 2 of the Copa América. Over the course of three games, just one goal was scored. Over the first five games of the tournament, four goals were scored. If you're a USMNT fan, it's a bit depressing to consider that your team conceded half of them.

Brazil and Ecuador managed an end to end match with a controversial call on whether or not Miller Bolaños sent the ball over the touchline before Brazil goalkeeper Alisson goofed and sent it into his own net. The most talked about moment of that match, though, belonged to Neymar, who was watching from the stands -- or snapping selfies with the likes of Justin Bieber, Lewis Hamilton and Jamie Foxx.

As the first round of the group stage dwindles, you'd think the matches would get a little more interesting with Uruguay and Argentina, who boast two of the best players in the world at the moment, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. However, they will both miss their opening matches with injuries.

The Copa América Centenario was marketed as a party celebrating 100 years of a storied tournament, but it's more a poorly disguised moneymaker -- the kind that a lot of people went to jail for. Hosting the tournament outside of South America for the first time in its history is clearly an attempt to make more money. But by charging close to $100 for the nosebleeds at the biggest venues in the United States, it has turned its celebration into a party that no one wants to go to. Mexico drew a huge crowd in Phoenix because Mexico draws huge crowds no matter what, but stadiums have been 52 percent full on average in other games -- including the USMNT one. As it turns out, asking fans to pay the same price to see Haiti vs. Peru as they'd have to pay to see El Tri or Messi doesn't make any sense.

Mexico is, of course, the one exception to all of this cynicism. They're taking this tournament very seriously, as are their fans, and they delivered on Sunday night. If you watch any games, watch Mexico's.

For everyone else, this tournament is of very little consequence -- it didn't replace last year's Copa América, nor is it offering the winner a berth in next summer's Confederations Cup. With that in mind, players and teams have not taken this edition of the Copa América as seriously as others. Brazil left most of their big players off the roster in favor of winning gold at an under-23 tournament that no one else takes as seriously as they do, the Olympics, later in the summer. Wes Morgan basically spent every waking moment between winning the Premier League a month ago and joining Jamaica's camp last week partying in the UK and in Thailand, keeping him out of the starting lineup for Jamaica's opener.

FOX has spent the build-up to this tournament advertising with the slogan "this isn't a friendly," something that seemingly went without saying. Instead, it's turned out to be a stunningly prescient campaign for a tournament that feels like it doesn't matter. But fear not, everyone -- the Euros start on Friday.