Skip to comments.Soccer Critics Are Right, But itís Time to Zip it and Cheer
Posted on 06/27/2014 8:16:11 AM PDT by Kaslin
I think the points have been made:
Soccer is largely a tedious game featuring long stretches of uneventful play punctuated by the all-too-rare moment of scoring;
The clock concept is infuriating. We love the 45-minute halves with no commercials, but then the arbitrary one or three or six minutes of extra time violate every concept of precision that a clocked sport should have;
Soccer has its fan base, and it is not small; but the pressure on America to embrace it to some far larger degree is absurd. We simply never will as long as we have other sports featuring far deeper intrigue.
I have spent a lot of time during World Cup 2014 making these very points against those passionate souls who have insisted that this is the year, this is the time, now is the juncture at which America welcomes soccer in a fashion approaching football, baseball, basketball hockey, maybe ? Golf? NASCAR?
Nope. Not going to happen. They say never say never. Im saying never. Soccer will never ever reach consistent viewer levels approaching even our fifth or sixth most popular sports, in terms of TV ratings and attendance.
The attempt by elites to cram soccer down our throats are comical, as we are made to feel like rubes for not embracing the sport most of the world loves because most of the world doesnt have anything else.
That said, I have heard the diatribes and read the columns crafted by people pushing back against soccer fever and enjoyed them all, and agreed with most.
But with the USA teams improbable path into the World Cups final 16, I want to offer advice to all the soccer critics everybody gets it. Points made. Now shut up and root for the Americans.
There has been a window for slapping soccer around. It was wide open for the opening games, when soccer dorks scolded anyone not embracing the sport as Gods greatest gift. We gave as good as we got, and we won. Even the late-arriving bandwagon types knew they were crowded into various venues for two reasons first, the USA was playing, and second, we understood what a big worldwide deal it is.
As soon as America is ousted and that could well be after the Belgium game Tuesday afternoon this entire phenomenon evaporates. We will not gather by the thousands to watch Argentina battle Colombia. But if we can get by Belgium and make the Final Eight the nation will be going crazy, and everyone keeping the soccer hate alive will come off looking like a bunch of jerks.
I say this with all love to people I share a lot of space with. Conservatives in particular have had a great time savaging soccer from Ann Coulter, who properly taps the brakes on any sport where girls compete alongside boys, to Marc Thiessen, who crafts a sublime argument that soccer is socialist.
But the fact of the matter is that the world plays it, the world cares about it, and the United States of America might just crash the party even further.
If we do, there is only one proper reaction: celebration. By dinnertime Sunday, July 13, the World Cup final will be over. The USA team will probably not be involved. The next day, America will return to its default soccer setting of ambivalence leaning toward disinterest.
All the critics will have been proven right. There will be no burst of marketplace appetite for soccer in our daily, even yearly lives.
But between now and whenever the USA is done, if the whole World Cup thing is too boring for you or too foreign or too whatever keep it to yourself. Thousands of your countrymen will be busting their behinds to excel at a game the world cares about a lot more than we do which should be cause for enthusiasm. We all know American football, baseball and basketball are far better than anything other nations can offer up. As such, American successes in those sports on a world stage are not so surprising.
But for a team of Americans to fight its way out of a group containing three teams from nations that live and die for soccer? To face next week another country that does not have Jack Squat except for soccer? For us to excel in that context makes me enormously proud, even with my pocketful of criticisms for what the world calls football.
I know what football is. It is the punishing, compelling, high-scoring affair culminating every year in a Super Bowl that excites me more than any soccer game ever will.
But right now, a team of Americans is trying to win a tournament followed by more human beings than will watch any Super Bowl. I, for one, will cheer for them to win it. And to all of you who have sought to show us how cool you are, or how conservative you are, by bad-mouthing soccer? Stow it for a while. Not because you are wrong, but because large throngs of your fellow Americans will be rooting for our nation to do well on this world stage. And a handful of your countrymen wearing our colors are fighting hard to make us proud.
So lets be proud. We have the rest of our lives to push back against those who overstate soccers appeal. Until our fellow Americans are shown the door, lets appreciate them by not denigrating their field of battle.
Google has gone absolutely berserk trying to ram this down our throats for the last - it seems like - month and a half.
Today they’ve stopped, for some reason.
Anyone have a link to the Thiessen column? Is he an economist?
No games today.
Soccer and the metric system. Both communist plots. Obviously.
The show was all in spanish...
I am by no means a soccer fan. But wouldn’t it be absolutely fantastic if we could over the next decade or so become one of the top soccer nations, and Americanize the sport with cheerleaders, Budweiser commercials, stadium rock, etc. and see the libs cry about how the ugly Americans have taken over this “beautiful sport”?
I made my son play football. It is safer.
I love soccer, and really enjoy the World Cup, but I don’t care whether or not anyone else cares about it, as long as I am able to watch it.
I also love to watch most other sports. I don’t care if someone doesn’t like those. To each his own.
I say live and let live.
Huh? Girls play soccer alongside boys up to about U-10, and later in some coed rec leagues, but competitive soccer differentiates just as rapidly as do other sports. Boys and girls are different, as even Ann may have noticed. A WNBA team would lose to a good boys high school basketball team, and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team would lose to a good men's college team. I'm glad women's sports have gotten much more competitive, but they are a different game.
General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?
Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Well, no, I can't say I have.
Which is why I'm interested to read why Thiessen thinks soccer is "socialist."
Metric system: disagree.
As a scientist, why stick with a dysfunctional way of measuring things when an objectively better system is available?
Perhaps stupidest of all is our present (non)system of using “normal” for measuring some things and metric for measuring others.
It’s too bad you couldn’t get a frame that shows Mandrake glancing uncomfortably at Ripper’s hand on his shoulder.
I am something of a Peter Sellers fan, and I think that scene is one his best.
I agree with you 100%
Peter Sellers was a treasure.
Who is Thiessen and what does he have to do with soccer and this column>
Conservatives in particular have had a great time savaging soccer from Ann Coulter, who properly taps the brakes on any sport where girls compete alongside boys, to Marc Thiessen, who crafts a sublime argument that soccer is socialist.