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Tuesday, 15 June 2010

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Ahistoricality

I'm not entirely convinced that this isn't a more of a cultural sneer: Soccer is, as you note, a sport popular with immigrants, but more importantly, it's a sport which is popular with Europeans and women: two groups which overlap considerably in the machismo mind of Beckish thinkers.

nutellaontoast

I think the racism is underneath rather than on top of this. The real reason, to me, is that soccer is un-American, so they must hate it. If it were popular in America, then they must like it.

Of course, this applies to all things American, and since racism is part of being American, they have that, too. The phenomenon are related, but I'm not sure if there's a direct causal relationship so much as shared origins.

SEK

I'm not entirely convinced that this isn't a more of a cultural sneer: Soccer is, as you note, a sport popular with immigrants, but more importantly, it's a sport which is popular with Europeans and women: two groups which overlap considerably in the machismo mind of Beckish thinkers.

This could be correct, but it's also a sport that's popular with people born after 1975, as most of them grew up playing it. I think there's a bit of the "younger people are more liberal" element to it as well.

The phenomenon are related, but I'm not sure if there's a direct causal relationship so much as shared origins.

I don't think the relationship is, in this case, incidental, i.e. the people who are sneering also happen to be racist; however, there's also something more there, be it yelling at kids these days, American exceptionalism, etc.

Jeff

They hate football because this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyRy0C9dxe8 is art. Inevitably some people will not get it. And because the opening matches of tedious, advert-drunk round robin tournaments are dreadful.

p.t.smith

Now I'm just sad. I've been enjoying the Cup so much, and in general people around me are either indifferent or also caring, that I forgot about these jackholes.

And yes, Jeff, football is art, as is baseball. I think somehow (and I haven't thought this through at all) that they are the only two beautiful sports (and I watch others) and the only two that end up having beautiful novels written about or in relation to them, or abstractly using them.

alkau

Soccer has been a part of your life from about age 4, when you began playing it in NJ. When we went to Baton Rouge all life revolved around soccer. We loved the game and the fun had by all until adults(parents) became crazy and took fun out of it. There are fans who don't behave or react poorly when their team loses. This is a fact of life. I still love watching the game and really don't care who win the World Cup. I really hope some small country wins. Just remember when our women's team won. The pride felt by others may not make sense to others, but it was joyful to watch. The people who share housing with you may just be Americans who cheer for their home land. Just as I cheer for Ireland. As long as it is peaceful watch and try not to think we win because we are all powerful.

Scott Williams

Hey, now. There's no need to lump those of us who genuinely enjoy swimming with terrible people. Personally, I don't enjoy team sports all that much, mostly because I didn't play them growing up, since I was constitutionally unfit for the macho bullshit that is the culture of most team sports. Swimming gave me a competitive outlet where I could excel, without having to interact with muscle-headed jock assholes (including the fireplug built soccer jocks) who made my life such a living hell throughout junior-high and high school.

I played baseball, basketball, soccer (years of the stuff), and hated every moment of it. I've learned to enjoy the sports as a spectator, but nothing gets me going like watching a good race. There's a clear winner, no one to blame but yourself for a loss.

I'm no racist, and I had to learn to like soccer - the athleticism, the finesse, the charm of it. I'm really enjoying the matches I've watched.

Rumor

Scott, I think Goldberg is going to keep you very busy if you insist on demolishing all the stupid things he says

Karl Steel

If it were popular in America
Isn't one of SEK's points that, you know, it IS popular in America? It's just not popular with the kinds of people Glenn Beck or Jonah Goldberg consider to be real Americans.

Tom Elrod

Scott, this is a bit off topic, but I want you to know that I'm eagerly awaiting literary analysis of Glenn Beck's new novel.

I'm not saying you HAVE to be the one who provides it. But it's a service the world desperately needs right now. I'm sure the book is hilarious but I, personally, am not strong enough to pick it up.

Richard Pennyfarthing

I think more Americans like soccer than like Jonah Goldberg.

alkau

Yes, soccer is a team sport, but just about anyone can pickup the ball and have fun kicking it around. Perhaps some players are just jocks, but most are average young kids having fun kicking around a ball. It did not matter where you live all you need is the ball and a friend or two. How many of you have seen pictures of children in war zones kicking soccer balls around with military people. Even in Ireland, you can find guns and kids with soccers balls. It is one sport the US has been slow to organize, but is just as much fun to watch as a good baseball game.
On the Beck issue Scott is a great person to review it seeing that his dad watches Beck!

nutellaontoast

"Isn't one of SEK's points that, you know, it IS popular in America?"

Fair enough, but I am curious how it actually breaks down. Soccer games aren't much on TV, and they don't exactly sell out at MLS, do they? It might be that this is just because the gigantic proportion of people who like it in America are too poor for it to be properly commercialized, but I still think that only a small percentage of people in the country really watch. Obviously, I have no numbers to back that up, though, so I could easily be wrong.

So, yea, it's the immigrants that like soccer, but saying right wing hatred of it is based on racism to me is like saying that they don't like cricket becasue they hate the English. No, they just hate things that aren't American, even if millions of English/Indian/whoever-else-plays-cricket immigrants still squiggy the wickets (or whatever it is they do in cricket) every day in America.

Adam Roberts

"squiggy the wickets"?

I think I see who's hiding behind the 'nutellaontoast' alias, there. It's Geoffry Boycott, isn't it? Come on out!

Blake Long

White light is a mixture of all of the colors you see in a rainbow--this is why you don't see a 'white band' in a rainbow.

Karl Steel

In re: 'hating it because it's not American': I'd say no. Formula One is HUGELY popular outside America, but I've never seen any nativist nonsense directed at it from the NASCAR set. A very quick google gets me some rah rah NASCAR stuff, but it's pretty rational, with arguments about how NASCAR is just a better sport. Fine enough.

So on down the line? I can't think of a sport most popular among folks the Glenn Becks think of as white that attracts bile from the Becks. Not hockey; not lumberjack competitions; not Rugby, caber tossing, or cheese rolling.

Where else is cricket popular? The West Indies, among other places, including, well, my own street: but then again, I live in a Pakistani neighborhood that gets Caribbean on my walk to work.

Blake: so white light excludes ultraviolet? I don't get it.

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