Sunday, June 27, 2010

American Acceptance of Soccer

While every four years soccer fans have to endure the kind of childish, unnecessary bullshit of not only soccer-haters, but media companies that actually give a voice to opinions like those of Rick Reilly, writer of the biggest mass of steaming shit ever to disgrace the pages of ESPN's website, we also have to put up with question of whether soccer will "catch on" or "be accepted" by the American public.

When we're not defending the game against absurd conservatives who view soccer as somehow a liberal, socialist threat to American superiority, we're just trying to enjoy it for ourselves. I don't understand why sports writers who love baseball, basketball and football feel like they have to take time out to rail against soccer. If you don't like it, just ignore it, Mr. Reilly. Just as I generally try to ignore the Super Bowl and the World Series (unless the Yankees or the Mets are in it).

Anyway, The New Republic's World Cup blog had a good post today by Aleksandar Hemon on American acceptance of The Beautiful Game. Here's the best bit:
[W]hat exactly would count as acceptance? Should the MLS be like the NFL and end with a tacky superspectacle, with moribund rock acts performing at half-time, while U.S. Air Force flies over their heads, the field is covered with the flag and Budweiser premiers commercials in which, say, a horse farts into a woman's face? Should the game be reshaped so as to allow commercials to be broadcast during each throw in? Should soccer competitions be redesigned so that teams/clubs play 162 games before the first relevant one, rendering most of them entirely, fantastically meaningless as in baseball? Should the offside rule be changed so that soccer games have basketball scores and the American viewer of the thumb-happy remote does not switch the channel too soon? Would it be necessary for the U.S. team to attain the world superiority of the U.S. basketball team, so that Americans can crush, say, Ghana (oh wait!).... Would the U.S. team, every time they played, have to make the world look small and underdeveloped and undemocratic and pitiful if not exposed to the eternal sunlight of American greatness?

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