Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Moron's Guide to Soccer.

I'm not a big fan of the game but I understand it. I played it. Somebody had been killed in a football game at my high school in the distant past so they dropped the game and we played soccer instead. My father, a very good athlete, was the goalie for the first team the school ever fielded. I spent part of the fall for three of my four years in high school on crutches for sprained ankles, knees, whatever. I was not a very good athlete. My most enduring memory is see one of our big backs and one of the other team's ace scorers come together to both strike the ball from the opposite side at the very same time, shattering both their legs.

But enough about me.

Wait. Is there ever enough about me?

But I digress. The World Cup currently capturing the attention of much of the rest of the world caught America's heart as well while we were in the hunt. A reported 19.4 million of us watched the loss to Ghana which eliminated the Red, White & Blue. That's the most ever.

Well, while I hadn't noticed (I really have tried to stop paying attention to the crazy), it appears that the right wing nutcases have gone all apoplectic about that as reported by Hendrik Hertzberg in this week's issue of The New Yorker. Yeah, that's a commie rag, I know, but check out what he has to say:
This spring, anti-soccer grumbling on the political right spiked as sharply as the sale of those great big TVs. Back in 1986, Jack Kemp, the former Buffalo Bills quarterback turned Republican congressman, took the House floor to oppose a resolution supporting America’s (ultimately successful) bid to host the 1994 World Cup. Our football, he declared, embodies “democratic capitalism”; their football is “European socialist.” Kemp, though, was kidding; he was sending himself up. Today’s conservative soccer scolds are not so good-natured. Their complaints are variations on the theme of un-Americanness. “I hate it so much, probably because the rest of the world likes it so much,” Glenn Beck, the Fox News star, proclaimed. (Also, “Barack Obama’s policies are the World Cup.”) What really bugs “silly leftist critics,” the Washington Times editorialized, is that “the most popular sports in America—football, baseball, and basketball—originated here in the Land of the Free.”
At the Web site of the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, formerly a speechwriter for George W. Bush, wrote, “Soccer is a socialist sport.” Also, “Soccer is collectivist.” Also, “Perhaps in the age of President Obama, soccer will finally catch on in America. But I suspect that socializing Americans’ taste in sports may be a tougher task than socializing our healthcare system.” And then there’s G. Gordon Liddy. Soccer, Liddy informed his radio listeners,
comes from Latin America, and first we have to get into this term, the Hispanics. That would indicate Spanish language, and yes, these people in Latin America speak Spanish. That is because conquistadores who came over from Spain—you know, tall Caucasians, not very many of them—conquered the Indians, and the Indians adopted the language of their conquerors. But what we call Hispanics now really are South American Indians. And this game, I think, originated with the South American Indians, and instead of a ball they used to use the head, the decapitated head, of an enemy warrior.
Liddy’s guest, a conservative “media critic” named Dan Gainor, responded cautiously (“soccer is such a basic game, you can probably trace its origins back a couple of different ways”), while allowing that “the whole Hispanic issue” is among the reasons “the left” is “pushing it in schools around the country.”
In all seriousness, these people have gone completely insane.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think those people have gone insane, I think they always have been insane. The problem now is that the insane crazy types are getting more attention and the media seems to treat them as if they were NOT insane in a way that I do not think would have happened 50 years ago. Before then, the "Fairness" thing wasn't applied so heavily as to give just plain crazy types so much free publicity and acceptance.