About two months ago during the World Cup, that nothing thing ruins a nation’s identity like kicking a ball around. That’s what Ann Coulter is desperate to have us believe and acknowledge this. I’m not exactly one of her haters nor one of her admirers, but when I see bullshit, I mention it.
Why this late? Because its early into the EPL season and I’ve seen some great games and shocking results already. Arsenals loss to Southampton, 1-2, was a pleasure to watch. (Especially if you root for Southampton after their supposed confinement to a relegation battle this season.)
Backstory: I was converted into a soccer fan in about 6th grade. I not only played the sport, but the video game, Championship Manager, got me into the EPL and the basics of the game. Football Manager escalated that enjoyment into actual regular attempts to get up to watch EPL games on early Saturday Mornings. (That time difference means the first game is at 6:45 central time in the morning.)
One thing I do like about Coulter is she will say whatever is on her mind. It pisses plenty of people off, but at least she has balls. Right now though, she needs a kick in those balls.
First off, one of the most exciting goals I’ve seen in the “boring” sport of soccer came in the World Cup, and the situation and context of tying a team like Portugal made the goal all that much more exhilarating.
Second, this countries identity has been ruined for a while. You know what ruins a nation?
Concepts like hate speech. Conservatives and Liberals who endorse the Police State as necessary for our security. Crippling national debt. 80% of created jobs being part time. Being taxed on every last damn thing in addition to property, income, federal taxes, paycheck taxes, ect.
As for the research that liberals are more likely to watch “soccer”, hogwash. Soccer is my favorite sport, and I despise the ideals of modern day progressive liberalism.
The growing attraction to the beautiful game may be partly because of growing immigration from south and central America, but easier access to streaming sites to watch the Champions League, EPL games on NBC Sports, the pussification of major sports with the exception of Hockey, and the fact that the NFL is suspending players because of “incidents off the field” because of their worry about PR and image is what causing people to look elsewhere. At least the MMA is still all about the fighting.
Granted, England, which has arguably the most competitive league in the world – The English Premier League – has insane rules about just about everything thanks to FIFA. The condemnation Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere received for smoking a cigarette was ridiculous. The fact you can get suspended and possible jailed for “racist” arm gestures on the pitch is also absurd.
One primary criticism of soccer is the diving and flopping. It does happen. Players go down to easy, embellish the impact of a foul, ect. There are two important things to point out about that.
– Getting your foot stomped on while running full speed can bring you to the ground. It’s hard to run through that.
– Divers and floppers get heckled badly on the pitch from the stands. Fans let you know how much they despise you. It’s more damaging to a player’s form on the pitch then you may think.
Regardless, I still dislike players who go down to easily. Yea, I’m talking about you Sergio Busquets. However, it doesn’t subtract from the beauty and physical demands of the game. As long as normal American sports keep getting worse, world sports like soccer will start to replace them. At least our men’s soccer team has actual competition on a world level – unlike the world basketball championship.
These highlights from the ageless classic British highlight show, Match Of The Day, might give you an idea as to what you are missing. Also, Southampton. All the way.