I’ve held off writing about Ann Coulter’s attack on soccer in the hope that ignoring her would make her go away. Then she had a second crack at it.
In Ms Coulter’s world, soccer is a liberal conspiracy that promotes individual underachievement and doesn’t have anywhere near enough bloodletting. It’s groundbreaking because, while FIFA has been called a lot of things in its time, it’s the first time it’s been pegged as a socialist outfit.
Countering the many claims in Ms Coulter’s ‘jovial sports piece’ is like shooting fish in a barrel, which no doubt qualifies as a sport in her book. But let’s focus on these few.
“Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer.”
Let me introduce you to Tim Howard. He’s your goalkeeper. He set the World Cup on fire with an epic 16 saves against Belgium, the most by any World Cup goalkeeper in 48 years, prompting an explosion of memes like this one.
Otherwise, you’re absolutely right. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, David Beckham, Pele, Maradona et al became household names across the globe by osmosis.
“Losing players cry on camera.”
It’s called emotion. People express it when something matters to them. Crying is good for your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Here’s some other people who have cried publicly in their time, including the fella you called the greatest American ever, George Washington.
So was Columbus. That worked out OK for you.
And seeing the US is about to be overtaken by China as the world’s largest economy, as early as this year by some measures but certainly in the next 10, you might like to practise your… what’s the word I’m looking for… tolerance.
“The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport.”
While I question your criteria, if you’re looking for humiliation, Google ‘England World Cup penalty shootouts’ or watch how Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, one of the best in the business, let in five goals against the Netherlands.Embed from Getty Images
As for major injury, Brazil striker Neymar broke his back yesterday. Is that good enough for you? Oh, and in case you were wondering, striker is a term they use to describe attacking players, not left leaning ones refusing to play.
“The only risk of death in a soccer game is when some Third World peasant goes on a murderous rampage after a bad call.”
Wow, could you be more offensive? And how are those gun laws working for you?
“Further proof that soccer is a game for girls: Since my column came out, a guy from the Paraguay team (Uruguay? Who cares?) was caught biting an opponent in a match.”
Where do I start? Firstly, Paraguay didn’t qualify for this year’s World Cup finals. A cursory trawl of Wikipedia would have told you that, though I can see from reading your own Wikipedia page why it’s a resource you’d avoid.
Yes, soccer is a game for girls. And boys and men and women. Call me a twit but I think that’s something worth celebrating.
Oh, and here’s another list for you, of other sporting biters. It must be a socialist plot because somehow there’s a basketballer and baseball player on it. And Mike Tyson, of course.Embed from Getty Images
“Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European.”
You have a point there. I have often pondered the similarities between soccer and the metric system. You give those soccer people an inch, they’ll take a mile. Oh, wait.
“Soccer is not ‘catching on’.”
I hate to break it to you but there’s been a 43 per cent increase in avid Major League Soccer fans over the past decade, the fastest growth of any sport. Admittedly, I got these figures from that communist rag Forbes.
On another measure, Time reveals Americans have done way more searches for ‘hottest soccer players’ in the past 12 months than they have for ‘hottest football players’. Apparently soccer players represent the perfect combination of strength and endurance.
Searches for ‘hottest basketball players’, ‘hottest baseball players’ and ‘hottest hockey players’ were so few they didn’t even show up on the chart.
Here’s some gratuitous beefcake to finish up with. No need to thank me.Embed from Getty Images