Monday, June 30, 2014

Yes, Ann, football is a real sport

Seems conservatives have picked a new target of derision -- "soccer."  Ann Coulter isn't the only one who sees the game as un-American.  G. Gordon Liddy tossed in his two-cents, saying he would rather see South American Indians kick around decapitated heads than watch the World Cup.

I have to give the G-man a yellow card.   The game did not originate on the American sub-continent.  It actually dates back to Greek and Roman times, and was played in ancient China as well, before being popularized in England in the 14th century, long before Columbus or any other European (other than a wayward Viking) ventured to America.

All this would be quite amusing if the persons in question didn't take themselves so bats**t seriously.  Glenn Beck apparently thinks there is a worldwide conspiracy to get Americans caught up in World Cup fever, deflecting our attention from real events like Benghazi and the IRS scandal.

Instead of rooting for America's can-do kids, who qualified for the Cup by beating a heralded Mexico team, Dan Gainor believes the game is "browning America," adding a racist angle to round out the conservative angst over this highly popular game.

I guess my question is, don't these conservative pundits have something better to rage against?  I hate to break the news to them but football, or soccer as it is called in America, is a very popular sport and is played largely by kids who haven't made a political decision one way or the other yet.  But, assuming any of these kids bother to listen to these radio programs while being ferried to games in the ubiquitous soccer van by their "soccer moms," which Ann also takes exception to, it certainly won't influence them to vote Republican when they do come of age.

Also, what do these rants say to women, who excel at this game?  The US women's football team is currently ranked number one in the world and has twice won the World Cup.

These same pundits aren't complaining about golf, which has to be the most boring "sport" to watch.  It too was invented in England, and was forced down our throat by rich white men in the late 19th century.  Who knows, there might even be an early native American version where Indians batted around the testicles of their conquered foes?  It has become a fixture in weekend sports programming with multi-million dollar "purses" for both men and women.  Doesn't sound very manly, G-man!

Anyway, it doesn't seem to matter as both the "American Outlaws" and the team have made a friendly splash in Rio.  The exuberance has spilled over at home as well with more and more Americans tuning in for the games, led by the team's #1 fan, Stephen Colbert.  It is very unlikely Team USA will pull off a "Miracle" like it did in hockey 34 years ago, but a win over Belgium would be nice.


  1. Right wing delusional pundits like Coulter and Beck don't have enough sense or knowledge of history to realize the USA was a world power in soccer from 1900 to 1930. The Eagles also upset England in 1950. Also unknown to these radical crazies is the fact that the USA was # 1 in rugby during the 1920s - it remains the only undefeated rugby team in world history. By the way, rugby used to draw crowds of 40,000 in California back in the 1920s.

    In the 19th century cricket was the # 2 sport in the USA behind baseball.

    Therefore, contrary to the twisted views of the radical far right, American sports fans were far more cosmopolitan that we are generally given credit for.

  2. Most pundits can't see back more than a few years, sometimes only a few months. Baseball is derived from cricket.