The United States women’s soccer team won an astounding victory over Brazil yesterday in Dresden, Germany. In World Cup competition, the team places in the semi-finals now, and plays France this Wednesday.
Sunday’s game contained many firsts, among which was the latest goal ever scored in game time–a header by Amy Wambach, from a long and perfect pass from Megan Rapinoe. That tied the game, in overtime, 2-2. Then in the shoot-out, Alex Krieger made the winning goal. All this, after Rachel Buehler was ejected from the game after 66 minutes. The girls played a man down for the last 40 minutes of the game. (Yes, Carli Lloyd used the common soccer expression, “a man down.”) Abby Wambach considered the win an example of the American spirit. “That’s is a perfect example of this country’s all about. We never gave up.”
Magen Rapinoe’s pass to Abby Wambach for the tie header, in the 122 minute of official overtime.
So, how is it that top conservative commentators poo-poo the came of soccer? When did it become trendy to dis soccer, men or women’s? We’ve heard women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham show more than comedic disdain for the game itself, as though they actually understand teams sports. But their comments are only political. The suggestion is that soccer is some how un-American, or that it is a sign of globalization and one-world government! Coulter dramatizes her digust for the game with vehement contempt. She’s simply mistaken on her points about soccer, but, hey, she’s not an athlete. (She prefers to watch tennis.) She does, however, articulate, more than anyone else so far, some kind of visceral aversion to soccer.
Why? Would conservatives have it in for soccer? Soccer is the most inexpensive team sport in the world. Indeed, it is the world’s sport. All you have to have is a ball, really. An American high school football team can pay out as much as $50,000 dollars to outfit a team. A professional soccer ball costs around $40.00.
2011 US Women’s goalie, Hope Solo.
The unfamiliarity of many Americans with the game of soccer is also peculiar at this point. But the disinterest simply can’t be based on the kinds of remarks Ann Coulter makes. The aversion seethes in conservative talkers for different reasons. It originated with Rush Limbaugh, who has associated soccer directly with rich, liberal elitists. “Soccer moms,” he’s called them for two decades. So, then, how is it that the world’s most inexpensive team sport winds up at ritzy prep schools, associated with the richest clientele of the society?
Clearly, this is the cause of the disdain for soccer among American patriots. It is the liberal’s team sport. (Never mind liberals and tennis, or golf, or sailing.) Why, soccer is just un-American. Why, soccer has no inherent attractions for anyone but mindless, third world collectivists. Soccer is just another tentacle of the one-world octopus, another phase of the globalist delusion, and the coming tyranny.
These thoughts might be passed off for trendy political talk, were it not for the fact that there are those liberals who have actually promoted the idea that soccer is in fact a function of the globalist effort. In 2004, Franklin Foer published a book entitled, “How Soccer Explains the World: An (Unlikely) Theory of Globalization.” According to Foer (a nice Jewish liberal graduate of Columbia University, from a family of excessive liberals) soccer helps explain the social rise and survival of gangsters, porno pushers, Jews, top hat elites, the Negro, Islam, and the persistent, quaint style of tribalistic nationalism. Though he will no doubt be more famous for his upcoming book on the roots of liberalism, his use of soccer as an appropriate “globalized medium” to account for “the effects globalization has on society as a whole” was rather crafty, even though Foer doesn’t seem to understand the game itself, much like the conservative gainsayers. The problem is his social commentary provides a solid basis for the aversion of conservatives to the game. This is tragic, if but in words.
If soccer is to be labeled as un-American, what about Chinese food? What about Mexican restaurants, Japanese cameras, cars, and sushi? How much in our modern American society can we also consider un-American and globalist? Soccer is not an isolated phenomenon. Sports, food, products, these are all analogous, inevitably. The conservative war on soccer is amiss. The syllogism is isolated and therefor inconsistent, if not illogical. That liberals should be allowed to claim soccer as their own is as erroneous as allowing them to claim the American Indian as the validation of earth worship, feminism, and anti-war politics.
And what about the Olympics? America has always participated in these international games. The Olympics has become quite political in in modern times, indeed; but, no one, conservative or liberal, has ever opposed the participation of the United States. What’s the different with soccer? Why is soccer to be condemned by conservatives? This simply doesn’t make sense, to me, anyway.
And now that our US women are at the top again (having won the World Cup in 1991 and in 1999), we would think everyone would rejoice, feminists of all political persuasions, or just plain sports fans. No one complains about women in tennis or golf, if we can call those athletic sports. Women soccer players are real athletes. Why dis the game they play? What is the benefit, other than trendy talk with very superficial political association?
Talk is the sport of the talkers. They’re pro’s, too, and they have to have their talking points. Soccer just happens to be one of those right now. I think, however, for conservatives to dis soccer is to automatically surrender. Ignorance of the game is no excuse. Wrong interpretations of what happens in the game only embarrasses conservatives in the eyes of those who know the game.
The United States Women’s Soccer team, 2011.