As each day goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore all of the professional trolls and sh*t-stirrers out there in the mainstream media. Between Skip Bayless and Jay Mariotti, I’m surprised that I haven’t been locked away in a dark room, miles below the surface while I scratch “LeBron James is not clutch” onto every square inch of the walls, using only my fingernails as writing utensils. Fortunately, I’ve been able to train myself in an almost ninja-like way to ignore all of the political writers out there from both parties and beyond, because life is just too short to worry about what fart-sniffing partisan cheerleaders have to say about what’s going to end this world.
But then Ann Coulter had to go and mess with the growing respect and appreciation for soccer that casual American sports fans have been experiencing in this 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the lady broke me on the morning of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s most important match of all-time. Last night, she published a new column, “America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Soccer,” on her website, and it is a milestone in trolling the likes of which Mariotti only wishes he could pull off. There is basically no way that this hilariously and pitifully ignorant screed wasn’t written as parody, because it had me cracking up from her very first point about how there is no individual glory in soccer.
Like a really bad stand-up comic at a casino in a rural town with a name you can’t pronounce or a complaint to the FCC about the way people answer questions on Family Feud, I ask that you just try to appreciate this for the sake of comedy, because there’s no way the people who actually believe Coulter’s latest rant can ever be brought back from the deepest end. Check it out, journalism students with minors in political science, because this is a course in taking it to the next level.
I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.
And she’s out of the gates with jokes so old that I was wearing a No Fear t-shirt the last time that I made one. But yes, moral decay and whatnot. Continue.
(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.”
Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That’s when we’re supposed to go wild. I’m already asleep.
The most disappointing part about this is that she doesn’t know who Lionel Messi is and therefore go on a rant of messy puns. “You know what’s Messi? The oil drip under my BMW. But sure, let’s play the Germans in no-hands ball and not vilify them for their poor automobile warranties.”
(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.
“And minivans? This is America, the land of Super Size. Get your asses in megavans, moms, and then drive them right back into your kitchens.”
(3) No other “sport” ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: “2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0.” Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: “1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0.” If Michael Jackson had treated his chronic insomnia with a tape of Argentina vs. Brazil instead of Propofol, he’d still be alive, although bored.
Even in football, by which I mean football, there are very few scoreless ties — and it’s a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you.
I’d ask for a citation on that scoreless ties statement, but she saw a marquee that had the score for one game, so I’m sold. Also, she wrote “sport” in quotations, which is like the sickest burn on Earth, and ain’t no aloe vera gonna treat that, honey.
(4) The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. Most sports are sublimated warfare. As Lady Thatcher reportedly said after Germany had beaten England in some major soccer game: Don’t worry. After all, twice in this century we beat them at their national game.
Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game — and it’s not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.
(5) You can’t use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!
I mean, you don’t see our soldiers literally kicking other countries’ asses, do you? My big toe doesn’t even fit inside a trigger guard.
(6) I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO’s “Girls,” light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is “catching on” is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating.