Why Conservatives Hate Soccer

Why Conservatives Hate Soccer

    During the recent World Cup, conservative provocateur Ann Coulter wrote a piece on her website trashing soccer. As always, she was over the top: “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.” Yes, and who would know more about moral decay than the far right? She claims there’s some kind of liberal agenda to the game: “Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer . . . the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway.” I guess she missed Germany’s 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the Semi Final. Actually, she’s right about the blame part; Brazil visibly gave up when they went down 2-0. But Coulter was just getting warmed up: “Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys.” Okay, here it comes: “There’s a reason perpetually alarmed women care called soccer moms, not football moms.” Then she brings it home. Referring to Ted Kennedy’s Immigration Act of 1965, she closes with: “I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.” Did you hear that? That dog-whistle. She’s talking about white people, whom she seems to imply would play, what, polo? That’s when they’re not racing yachts in some regatta (Knock knock. Who’s there? Regatta. Regatta who? Regatta keep the rich white people in power). Incidentally, the world’s best soccer players, guys like Neymar, Lionel Messi, or Cristiano Ronaldo, are paid salaries that dwarf those of NFL or NBA players. Why? Because of their individual achievements.
    Well, never mind all that. Coulter is the closest thing conservatives have to a comedian, since Dennis Miller stopped being funny a decade ago. She’s always been a flame thrower, and shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone with a functioning cerebral cortex. Besides, this isn’t hyperbole, it’s posturing. The response by Jezebel.com said it best, I think: “Coulter — by creating a character so stupid that she can’t be real — has become one of the greatest [performance] artists of our time.” This all got me thinking, though. Most of the people I’ve talked to who have said they hate soccer were conservatives. I can think of quite a few reasons why they should hate the world’s game. That’s one of them right there; it’s not our game. They hate a sport that Americans can’t dominate, because we’re Number One, aren’t we? The U.S. team did well in this World Cup, but we’re not at the elite level yet. Maybe they should check out the U.S. Womens’ team, which has dominated world soccer since it began. Oh, that’s right, they don’t like women, either.
    I heard one guy say soccer looks like a bunch of ants chasing an aspirin. That’s just silly; if you went with that scale, the ball would have to be twelve feet across.
    A drawn match (that’s a tie game is called) would drive them nuts. No winners — that’s unacceptable. There are no commercials during each 45-minute half, and many conservatives’ attention spans are no longer than bumper-sticker catch phrases.
    They call it socialistic. I don’t know what they mean by that, unless they’re talking about team sports, which could be said to be collectivist (except for the various salaries, which we’ve already established are based on individual achievement).
    There are way too many minorities. Why, that team from Ghana was nothing but blacks, and did you see the Mexican team? They all looked like illegal immigrants to me.
    Some of those players are probably gay.
    The intricate strategies of soccer would bedazzle people who lack the ability to process subtlety or nuance. That’s why they don’t get satire; they’re unable to distinguish between Bill O’Reilly’s bloviating and Stephen Colbert’s parody of it. It may be helpful at this point to explain the workings of the conservative mind. A 2012 study by University College in London did brain scans of people. In the ones who identified themselves as conservatives, the amygdala was more highly developed than normal. This is the most primitive, reptilian part of the brain that controls fear, aggression, and so on. In people identifying themselves as liberal, the anterior singulate, controlling compassion and cooperation, was more developed. Hard-core conservatives are governed by fear, and are highly reactive to any stimuli, triggering that fight-or-flight response. I hope this helps in your understanding.
    In soccer, control of the middle portion of the field is crucial. The most important and best players are center midfielders, who control the action and distribute the ball to the scorers. Conservatives haven’t been able to go to the center for about forty years.
    Because soccer requires no equipment of any kind — all you need is a ball — it’s wildly popular with the poor, and conservatives hate the poor.
    All ball-and-net games are sexual metaphors, and most conservatives are sexually repressed. Sexuality makes them uncomfortable.
    All the big soccer leagues have players’ unions. But then so do most of our pro sports.
    I know of no soccer stadium that allows firearms, let alone open display of them. Soccer fans have a tradition of getting pretty frisky, and they’re capable of plenty of damage without gun-play. So those penis extenders would have to be left at home.
    All that said, there are also reasons conservatives should like soccer. While there is a clock showing the time — it begins at zero and counts up, not down — the referee is the official timekeeper. There are injuries or other occasional stoppages that he adds on to the 45 or 90 minute mark. He’ll give an approximation in minutes, but whether two minutes is really 1:50 or 2:20 no one knows but the referee. When he blows the whistle, the match is over and that’s that. It’s very authoritarian.
    Obscene amounts of money are spent on new or refurbished stadiums and other venues, that could be much better spent on the poor and needy, education, and infrastructure. That benefits big business, though, and that’s what counts.
    There’s a dispute in European soccer about some of the Spanish league teams not paying their fair share of taxes, and conservatives are all about not paying taxes.
    FIFA is one of the most corrupt corporations in the world, and while conservatives have no monopoly on corruption, they have certainly refined it to an art. FIFA is currently under investigation for match-fixing leading up to and possibly during the 2010 World Cup. No one knows fixing like the Republicans, because their ideas are so lousy the only they can win elections is by lying, cheating or stealing them. In 1968 Nixon’s people promised the South Vietnamese a better deal if they called off the peace talks (that’s treason, isn’t it?). Reagan’s guys promised to sell arms to Iran if they would hold on to the hostages until after the 1980 election (isn’t that treason?). The reason Al Gore lost Florida in 2000 wasn’t the Supreme Court, it was Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris purging 60,000 black voters from the rolls. Then there was Ohio in 2004. You can look all this up. So fixing a few matches would be a breeze for these people.
    They should like the aforementioned individual achievements of the best players. Many of these guys came from dirt poor countries, and because they applied their talents and worked hard, they were able to rise above their poverty to great success. It’s that bootstraps narrative conservatives love to celebrate.
    Oh, before I forget, there are no abortions in soccer.

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