Why I Think Soccer is A Subversive Sport
The Soccer Invasion
The International Sport of the Masses
Why I Think Soccer is a Subversive Sport
I grow ever more weary of people telling me what a wonderful sport soccer is and how it’s “taking over America”. This sends a chill up my spine. While it may be true, I believe that such a thing would be as bad for America as progressive socialism.
There’s a reason soccer is not wildly popular in America as it is in the rest of the world, except, of course, as a way to wear out your kids after school so they’re too tired to bother you while you’re watching TV in the evening. America is peopled by folk who didn't like living in "the rest of the world". We didn't fit the cultures we escaped from. That’s why we ran away from “the rest of the world”. Most of us had ADD. That’s why, in many cases, they kicked us out. Soccer is boring – a kind of continuous state of conflict the whole game long. As Americans, we like sports that are a series of discreet contests so we can refocus after each play. We like a break from the battle. Even basketball is a set of back and forth battles with lots of scoring. There’s always that little breathing space after a slam dunk where you can go, “Alright, here we go again,” before the teams pound back down the court in the other direction. With soccer, you don’t get the relief and thrill of the score. Basketball games can run scores of eight to one hundred something. With soccer you get 1-0 victories. Victory sometimes is almost an accident.
Soccer is a never-ending conflict without relief and with few rewards. If you go to the bathroom during the game you could miss the only goal scored. A cricket match can last for days and by the end of it nobody much cares about the outcome. The highlight of most "rest of the world" games is the individual moments of heroism by a Pelee or David Beckham. American games are all about the final score. We're goal-directed. We’re not content with never-ending conflict.
Defendants of soccer protest that we don’t like it because you have to "get into" it. You have to learn to appreciate the subtle ebb and flow of the game. It's not natural for an American to think that way. Americans always think we need to be doing something definitive about their situation. It’s little wonder so many Old World and Third World cultures are like colonies of sand crabs and oysters and always seem to need rescuing. The people are used to the subtle ebb and flow of political turmoil so they just hunker down in the sand and hope some food drifts by soon.
We do have some less popular sports like hockey and lacrosse that are similar to soccer, although both of them allow players to use their hands. American hockey is popular only in areas where there are lots of city folks (that’s where we keep our Democrats in this country). Even then, there needs to be a fight to break out once in a while to keep everyone's interest up. That’s what happens when you play a poor people’s sport that is so limited in its scope. People get bored and start tearing up the seats and whacking each other over the heads with the planks.
You don’t get riots at American games. The game is exciting enough. People who do get rowdy are arrested and taken away to a place we have for anti-social people. Soccer fans are angry, crazed fanboys almost by definition.
The rise of "soccer" in youth sports is, I feel, a plot to bring the United States into the new world order. I don't like it. We need our American sports if we are going to preserve America's uniqueness in the world. We think differently from "the rest of the world" and that's a good thing to my way of thinking.
I'm not saying soccer was invented to corrupt American youth. I'm saying the sport is a reflection of the rest of the world's culture as it is. As a former PE coach and therapeutic recreation specialist, I know how to use recreational activities to teach fundamental principles of life. I got to where I adapted soccer to make it a higher scoring game when I taught at a residential treatment center for kids – 5 points in the net, 1 point in the end zone. I used this new version with severely emotionally disturbed and abused kids. They picked it up quickly, were not bored and every player was able to contribute to the scoring as part of a team. I made an American game out of it and the kid had fun. I had some non-Americans on the staff who took umbrage with my changing the rules, but I asked them whether they wanted to play it the “right” way and have to deal with bored rowdy kids when the game was over or to play it my way and have exhausted, satisfied kids when they went back to the dorms.
I'm just saying that soccer is not a native American sport and may actually teach a mental orientation that doesn't reflect the American culture. Soccer has an international flavor that I'm not sure is good for our kids. Even Lacrosse and hockey, though both resemble soccer, require the use of both hands and feet. We don't play with our hands tied to our sides with only the special elite class of player (goalies) allowed the use of their hands. It's a commie sport if you ask me – designed to keep the peasants in their places.
And as to scoring, that's another gripe I have. Keeping up with soccer is like following French politics or an Alexander Dumas novel. Soccer fans are consumed with subtleties and nuance; long maneuvering, feints and tricks. It's no wonder Europeans and Latin Americans love it. Americans like to pound relentlessly toward a goal like Patton invading Germany. The Europeans didn't understand Patton at all, but they were terrified of him. They much preferred to fight Monty. He understood how the game was played. He was a soccer player.
Well, what do you expect? The guys who invented soccer also invented the Hundred Years War, The 30 Years War, The Crusades and all the brushfire wars in between. It never lets up with those people. Most people don't realize that all through the late 1800s the French, Belgians, Italians, Germans and Brits were busy doing little setpiece wars with each other all over Europe – that is when they weren't busily sniping at the natives in all those colonies they started in Africa, Asia and South America.
The whole soccer thing started out as a massive game with people from two towns kicking an inflated cow bladder back and forth between the two towns that were four or five miles apart. The towns were the freakin' goals! It went on for days and days and sometimes people got shot with arrows. I don't know what the goalies did - probably sat in a chair and got grapes fed to them by pretty girls. After all, they were the only ones allowed to use their hands.
“You just have to play it to learn to love it,” soccer fans protest.
Well I have played it and it’s bloody boring. I’m a conservative Republican. I suppose if I were a Democrat I could stand it. The game is based on the idea of non-stop conflict. We conservatives like to win our battles and rest up for a while. Progressives like to start the next election campaign even before the last one ends. They never stop. It’s a way of life – a never ending war. Soccer is like that.
Most Americans like to win their wars, though. Never-ending conflicts is why we left the Old World in the first place. I don't need any international sports. Football and Baseball and the odd basketball game will do quite nicely thank you.
Tom King © 2013
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