Friday, June 18, 2010

Still just soccer to us

Finally, a word about soccer and politics. Many years ago, the sport was embraced by yuppie parents eager for their children to play a game that provided good exercise and was relatively safe. It has long boasted high rates of youth participation across the country. But its association with snobbish Bobo liberalism — along with the way it has been championed by certain left-wing critics of American exceptionalism — has triggered an anti-soccer backlash among some conservatives.

Personally, I have many liberal friends who hate soccer and many conservative friends who love it, so I find the constant politicization of the game to be more than a bit silly. Just as I cringe when pro-soccer liberals paint anti-soccer conservatives as knuckle-dragging reactionaries, I also wince when anti-soccer conservatives depict the sport as somehow un-American. It’s well past time to end the phony culture war.

Nonsense. We have fun with these quadrennial exercises where sports and politics/culture collide. We feel we're hep enough to dive into the tepid international waters every 4th year for a month of futbol - it's a huge international event... and it's all in Hi-Def.

So, revel in the psuedo-intellectual discourse regarding the corrosive effects of futbol on American exceptionalism and rail against American banality, insularity and paternalism as the root causes for refusing to accept futbol as being on par with football, basketball, baseball, NASCAR, hockey, tennis, golf, volleyball, softball, horse racing, gymnastics, swimming, rowing, badminton, croquet, horse shoes, bocce ball and lawn darts.

We heard somewhere once that academic arguments, or perhaps, arguments among academics produce the most passion, vitriol and vehemence simply because there is the least at stake.

1 comment:

K T Cat said...

I am absolutely loving the World Cup!