The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


FOOTBALL IS MORE AMERICAN THAN AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Here's a fairly decent Ann Coulter-ish attack on soccer whose principal pleasure derives, as with Coulter's attacks, from the prospect of outraging the enemy more than the satisfaction of having read something sensible. Some of the objections to soccer have already been discussed by David Eggers's High School coach: it is unAmerican not to use your hands, it is unAmerican to use your head. But the idea that football is nihilistic can only come from communists determined to prevent Americans from learning the American virtues of PATIENCE, COMMITMENT, and FOCUS that soccer has to teach them.

"Mostly soccer is just guys in shorts running around aimlessly, a metaphor for the meaninglessness of life."
No: it's a metaphor for how life's successes come from long struggle.

"Of course, these infrequent occurrences in which the soccer ball approaches the end zone--where goaltenders wile away their time perusing magazines, trimming their fingernails or inspecting blades of grass--rarely result in a shot on goal."
At least the "goaltender" is still on the field. It takes more perseverance to the American football player who sits on a bench for 20 minutes, waiting for 15 seconds activity. Perseverance and refusing to sit down on your break is an American virtue.

"Whole blocks of game time transpire during which absolutely nothing happens."
This statement is true only if scoring is everything. America surely believes that the way you win is better than the score. Also, can blocks transpire?

"Fortunately, this permits fans to slip out for a bratwurst and a beer without missing anything important."
Any fan who did so would inevitably miss a goal. Baseball is the sport which has hot dogs as part of its fabric. Basketball is the sport where you could safely miss 10 points, in the knowledge that there'd be 90 more coming. Focus is an American virtue.

"It's little wonder fans at times resort to brawling amongst themselves in the grandstands, as there is so little transpiring on the field of play to occupy their wandering attention."
They resort to brawling after the game. Football, then fight. It is a tribute to football that it can divert the hooligans' attention from punching people in the face for a whole 90 minutes plus injury time. Not punching people in the face for 90 minutes is an American virtue.

"Watching men in shorts scampering around has its limitations."
So what else should the men wear? The absurd fancy-dress trousering of American Football and baseball? Wearing normal clothing that doesn't make you look like you're guarding the Pope is an American virtue.

"It's like gazing too long at a painting by de Kooning or Jackson Pollock. The more you look, the less there is to see."
That last sentence is a demonstration of itself. Resorting to airy generalizations that make no sense is not an American virtue.