The fact that most Americans do not closely follow soccer – oops, I mean football – has always bothered some liberals. Consistent with their scorn for America, these liberals prefer the “world’s game” over the perceived violence and militaristic undertones of American football (not to mention other American sports), and they would very much like the rest of us to embrace their view of the world.
Alexandra Petri of the Washington Post uses irony to mock Americans who don’t care for soccer (see here). In her column, Petri pretends to be one of those Americans (no doubt racists and believers in American exceptionalism living in conservative southern states) who have not learned to love the “beautiful game.” She even managed to punk a few readers who believed she was an arrogant, condescending American instead of a typical, conforming liberal.
But the game isn’t so beautiful when much of the action involves a bunch of stout-legged and tattooed men tripping each other (okay, not tripping, but “tackling”). And when a player goes down, we see him writhing on the ground clutching some body part as if he had just been hit by sniper fire, only to jump up a moment later and continue playing.
Incorporating sniper fire from the crowd might make the game more interesting (it could be soccer’s version of the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000). But seriously, soccer players should be embarrassed by their flopping. A batter hit by a pitch in baseball makes a point of going to first base without reaction. Rolling around like a soccer player would bring a batter non-stop ridicule.
If Petri and others want more Americans to watch and support soccer, they might suggest that networks give viewers a break and televise games without commercials. Oh, wait, the networks already do televise soccer games without commercials. No TV timeouts or other commercial breaks even when play stops because of injury. For television sports viewers, this represents nothing less than heaven on earth.
Contrast this practice with the barrage of commercial interruptions inflicted by the TV networks on viewers of American football. And this commercial-free practice isn’t just limited to World Cup games, but is followed even for lowly MLS games in the U.S. Yes, all this for the soccer fans, many of whom aren’t even in this country legally.
But we have to give Bob Ley of ESPN first prize for soccer idiocy. In the U.S., we refer to sports teams in the singular, even though a team is composed of individuals. For example, we say “the team is playing poorly” rather than “the team are playing poorly.” The British, however, use the plural form and now, so does Bob Ley. Evidently, our version of English, like football, is not quite good enough for him.
The desire by liberals that everyone accept their sporting preferences is another example of their need to control everyone and every activity. And they don’t seem to understand that they hardly endear themselves to the rest of us when they mock Americans, give special treatment to soccer viewers (subsidized of course by football viewers), and change their way of speaking.