WELLS – As global fans enthusiastically focus on the World Cup, many Americans, supposed devotees of democracy, will not join them even though soccer might very well be the most democratic of all major team sports.

While more Americans have come to appreciate the drama, charm and skill found in this beautiful game, most would still prefer their unique version of “football,” as well as basketball, baseball and hockey, to the world’s game of football.

I am not optimistic, but perhaps that will change if these same American sports fans begin to understand that at least in a physiological sense, soccer appears the most democratic of all team sports.

Relatively recently, I had occasion to compile the average heights and weights of professional athletes in the sports of football, basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer. With sincere apologies to New England’s Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and Revolution fans — and feminists everywhere — my examination focused upon the average heights and weights of male professional athletes then playing for New York teams.

My goal was to determine which of these five major sports’ professional participants were most similar in size and weight to the average person.

My research indicated that the average American male is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 168 pounds. The average height and weight for basketball and football professional athletes — the two sports that appear to have most captured the attention of American sports fans — are respectively, 6 feet 6 inches and 219 pounds and 6 feet 2 inches and 232 pounds.

Obviously, pro basketball and football players are anything but typical when compared in size to the average U.S. male. The same is also true, if less dramatically so, in regard to baseball and hockey players.

The average professional baseball player is about 6 feet 1 and 185 pounds, and the average professional hockey player is 6 feet 1 and 198 pounds. Baseball and hockey professionals are somewhat below NBA and NFL height and weight averages but still well above the average for typical males.

Americans should know that it is soccer professionals who most closely approach the height and weight of the average American male.

Soccer professionals have an average height and weight of 5 feet 11 inches and 171 pounds, which most closely shadows the aforementioned average of American men. Accordingly, soccer can commend itself to Americans as being the most physiologically democratic of all professional sports.

So what else might this tell us? It suggests that the athletic success rate of most pro athletes in comparison to the success rate of the average male is not at all surprising, especially in sports, where exceptional height, weight and bulk provide a significant advantage.

For example, and with apologies to Paul Pierce, Tom Brady and others whose dedication, skills and ability should not casually be diminished, the best pro basketball and football players have not generally had to compete against all the other potential athletes in the world.

Given the size and weight generally demanded to play football and basketball well at the elite level, the pool of potential players is so much smaller than that of potential soccer players.

Put another way, making it as a professional soccer player involves competing against all people, if only because the average professional soccer player is very close in size and height to the average person.

The natural but unusual height and weight average professional football and basketball — and, to a lesser extent, hockey and baseball players — have provided them with a significant advantage over average-size males.

As a result, these players actually have to compete against a much smaller pool to make it as a professional. That is not true in regard to pro soccer players. We are all part of their pool.

While American sports fans might be happy to learn of the more democratic trappings of soccer, one other finding drawn from the height and weight data might disturb them.

In general, what distinguishes professional football, basketball, baseball and hockey players from us, the average male, is, in part, size and ability.

What distinguishes the professional soccer player from us is only ability or, perhaps more accurately, our own lack of ability.