I hate watching soccer.
Well, maybe hate is a little too strong of a word. It’s not as if I transform into The Hulk, rage out, and break whatever television screens are in my vicinity that are broadcasting a soccer match. I only get that way when bowling is on. So maybe I just really, really, really dislike watching soccer.
Soccer, or football for those of you that are really, really into the sport to the point that you call specify that other sport as “American football,” just bores me. There’s more strategy involved (at least, there’s supposed to be) than actual scoring attacks and the defense that comes with it, which is why a goal in soccer is worth about ten touchdowns in football. I have the same issue with hockey, and that sport is at least five times faster as soccer, with about five hockey goals equaling a soccer goal.
I have no problem playing soccer. I suck at it as far as I can tell, even in the “pick up game at the park because we forgot to bring a football, so let’s kick this beach ball” kind of way, but I’ll play. Besides, it’s the first sport I ever learned because it’s cheap and simple. You can literally draw two lines on either side of a field, drop a rock in the middle, and have two teams of buck-naked people fight to kick the rock through the opposite line, and it’s a soccer game. Luckily, I was fancy like the rest of the American kids in the ’80s and had a shirt, shorts, cleats, and those socks that you pull up to your knees so you can put a shin guard in them and look like an 85 year-old man that doesn’t know how to dress himself. I hated those stupid socks, but I hated them for the 5 years I played organized soccer.
Seriously, I hate watching soccer. I’ll watch two guys play catch while a line of guys with bats take turns watching for three hours, but I won’t watch more than five minutes of soccer. It makes no sense whatsoever, and I don’t care, but I will defend your right to enjoy soccer to the death. I know it’s ridiculous, but what’s even more ridiculous is that Ann Coulter decided to push a political agenda into soccer. Hopefully most of the free world doesn’t use Ann Coulter as their go-to correspondent for sports, but you never know. There are people out there that watch bowling.
So what did Ann Coulter actually say? Let us break it down so that I can break it apart and at least give soccer the semi-respect it deserves.
1) “I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade… Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.”
It’s true that interest in soccer is growing. In fact, it’s been growing for years. Not just for the past decade, but for at least three decades. I know this because, back in 1985, I played soccer, like every other five year-old that had any sort of social life did. School and sports are the first steps for a child to learn to work and play with others in order to become a productive member of society and not sit on the floor having a tantrum until someone listens. I don’t know Ann Coulter’s childhood, but something tells me she wasn’t lifting anything except a coloring book page.
Even if soccer is the sign of the nation’s decay, 1985 puts the beginning of the end at the Reagan administration. Hope this doesn’t break up your political necro-crush, Ann.
2) “It’s foreign. In fact, that’s the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer.”
I hate having to fall back on the whole, “America is a melting-pot, which means that everything is foreign the idea of binding a book together in order to sell millions of copies and say stupid crap on television sell a million more, but it’s true. America is a melting-pot. Those “football” and “baseball” sports you seem to vaguely understand were developed from foreign sports: mob football, rugby, rounders, and possible from French game.
The only really American sport that I can think of is lacrosse, but that came from American Indians, not us heathen foreigners.
3) “Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European.”
Coulter went on for three paragraphs on this claim, with no other reference to soccer as she railed against the metric system. Not that it would have made more sense, but at least it would look like she was trying. You know what? Ann Coulter is like foot fungus. Let me tell you about foot fungus for a while and use that claim as the comparison to Ann Coulter, who I will not talk about for the rest of this bullet-point…
4) “You can’t use your hands in soccer.”
That’s right. Sports have rules. Rules help us decide the winners and losers of a game. Without rules, we’d be prancing around in the grass hugging each other as we chase a balloon, and the whole world will tune in on their televisions to watch it. Oh, glorious sports!
5) “If more ‘Americans’ are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.”
While the Hart-Cellar Act may have helped bring a second rise in soccer, the fact is that soccer had already been around since the 1860’s. It declined in the 1930’s, but that was probably due moreso to the decline of everything during The Great Depression. It’s kind of hard to focus on sports when you’re not sure when you’ll be able to feed your family a real meal.