On June 25th, just days before the US World Cup Soccer team played their hearts out representing the United States of American in a single elimination round match against Belgium, Ann Coulter, a well known right-wing, conservative talking head, made an ass of herself. This wasn't the first time she has done this, and I promise you it won't be the last.
If you missed it, or would like to waste precious minutes of your life reading her nonsensical, hatred filled ranting you may read it here: Ann Coulter's Hate Speech about....Soccer?!
While I refuse to waste precious time out of my life to do point & counter point on each of her ill conceived rantings, I have chosen a few that I would like to address.
According to Coulter,
(1) Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls -- all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they're standing alone at the plate. But there's also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.
In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child's fragile self-esteem is bruised. There's a reason perpetually alarmed women are called "soccer moms," not "football moms."
This woman has obviously never actually PLAYED soccer or she would realize how ridiculous she sounds here. Perhaps Ms. Coulter is unaware that goals are scored by individuals and defended by individuals. When goals are missed wide or high or right, they are also missed by the individual and in the case of the World Cup, in front of a WORLD audience.
And Ms. Coulter, the number one job of a goal keeper, such as Tim Howard , the new United States "Secretary of Defense" is to prevent the ball from going into the goal, making sure that "no one scores anyway" If the amount of points scored defines your value of a sport, are you sure you have even watched a major league baseball game?!
(2) Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.
I am a liberal. I am a mom. I like soccer. Not only that, I am a liberal mom of one son and one daughter, who coaches soccer. Ms. Coulter, you are none of these! Until you are raising even one member of the next generation of Americans, you cannot pretend to tell me why I enjoy the game so much that I have both children playing it on gender separated teams, and take the time to coach the ALL BOYS team of second and third graders that I do. And Ms. Coulter before you disparage your gender any further, it is the girls who dominate the boys at this age, as their coordination and ability to focus are more developed.
And Ms. Coulter, I coach like a girl and I am proud of it. And although I was the only female coach in our age division, we won, A LOT. We won because I taught my players that team work is exceedingly important but I also tried to develop each player to their own set of strengths as an individual.
(7) It's foreign. In fact, that's the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not "catching on" at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.
Ms. Coulter, perhaps if you or I were African-Americans, we might be able to speak to this, but neither of us qualify here. But, I can assure you, they could give a rat's ass whether the French like it or not. My education in economics would suggest that most likely it comes down to opportunity cost, earnings potential and specialization of "labor", in regards to your beloved football and basketball, but that would bore my readers so I will leave it at that. The bottom line is that the above statement is in poor taste and divisive, not that I should be surprised.
(9) Soccer is not "catching on." Headlines this week proclaimed "Record U.S. ratings for World Cup," and we had to hear -- again -- about the "growing popularity of soccer in the United States."
If more "Americans" are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.