Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

July 5, 2014

Have a latte

I am a big sports fan. I have been since I realized in middle school that in spite of having speed to burn, my height would most probably prohibit me from even being invited to actively participate in organized team sports. Tall and slow was far preferable to short and quick back then.

I love football. My favorite college football teams are the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida State Seminoles, and my favorite pro football is, of course, the Atlanta Falcons.

I like baseball. My favorite Major League Baseball team is the Atlanta Braves.

I like basketball. Believe it or not, I have been a long-time fan of the Atlanta Hawks. Hope springs eternal, right?

I even consider myself a marginal pro hockey fan. I attended several Atlanta Thrasher games. Hockey is much more exciting in person. Watching hockey on television just isn’t as exciting to me.

I’ve been following the U.S. men’s soccer team in FIFA’s 2014 World Cup along with millions of other Americans the last few weeks. Our team — affectionately known as “the Yanks” — advanced to the round of the final 16 teams (the knockout round). Although Belgium eliminated the U.S. team on Tuesday 2-1, our team’s future looks quite bright. Americans are extremely excited about what the Yanks did in this World Cup, except for Ann Coulter. She clearly thinks it all sucks.

According to her recent op-ed, Coulter considers the game of soccer to be “un-American.” She also declares that soccer is “destroying the USA.”

Wait. What? Is she kidding?

Coulter, a nationally syndicated conservative columnist, had plenty more to say on her disdain for what is globally referred to by soccer enthusiasts as “the beautiful game.” Her piece is entitled: “America’s Favorite Pastime: Hating Soccer.”

The good news (for her) is that a title like that was certain to garner global attention, especially with the World Cup as the backdrop. The bad news (for her) is the fact she offended millions of soccer fans all over the world before they even read the content of her piece. For extra credit, many of those Coulter offended are as conservative politically as she is.

Here’s how she began: “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.”

Oh, brother. Check out these low-lights from Coulter’s op-ed: [1] “Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. [2] Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. [3] No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level. [4] No other ‘sport’ ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. [5] The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. [6] You can't use your hands in soccer. [7] 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. [8] It’s foreign. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not ‘catching on’ at all, is African-Americans. [9] Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it's European.”

This was Coulter’s big finish: “If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.”

Ha! Now, I’ll respond to her conspiracy theories: in order. [1] Nonsense. Google Pelé sometime. [2] Is your issue with liberals, motherhood or soccer? Pick one. [3] Huh? [4] There were plenty of ties in football (college and pro) until rule changes in the last decade ended that. [5] Entirely subjective. [6] And you can’t dribble a basketball with your feet. What’s your point? [7] Ann, you’re better than that. [8] Did you ask any African-Americans if they like soccer? I’m betting “no.” [9] America’s flirtation with metrics began and ended in the 1970s.

I have nothing at all against Coulter personally. I’d happily watch a soccer game with her, although I highly doubt the feeling would be mutual. Ann, have your people call my people!

In the meantime, relax. It’s OK. Soccer isn’t un-American. Fútbol isn’t destroying the USA. President Obama is not from the planet Krypton. Coulter, go see a movie. Take a power nap. Have yourself a nice latte. My treat. Don’t hate — participate.


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