Soccerphobes have recurrent characteristics. Chief among them is willful ignorance. “Humorist” Joe Queenan published his nimble “Red Card for American Soccer” in the Wall St. Journal. It was funny, though only for the incredible flimsiness of his research.
Queenan pounces on the fact “nobody cared” about the USMNT being eliminated from the 2012 Olympics. Pointing out the dearth of headlines and the minimal attendance. This was proof enough for his premise, that Americans were predisposed to hate soccer .
But the plant never took root, because the soil wasn’t right and never will be. Never. Americans hate things that are boring. It’s why they hate talking about the bond market.
Now that the U.S. squad is out of the Olympics, there’s hope that the sport will go away for good. Much like Kylie Minogue and Mister Bean and fascism, soccer is a European import that Americans do not need. Nobody ever scores, and the players are all cheats who ceaselessly roll around on the ground, whining and whimpering and feigning injuries. But mostly it’s because nobody ever scores.
We would point out the intellectual bankruptcy of defining “the American,” who inevitably is a white male of a certain vintage with a calloused disposition strikingly similar to the author, but that would distract from the greater point that, yes, Queenan totally did not realize that was not the senior national team playing, and that men’s Olympic soccer is an inessential youth competition. The USA will be joining such soccer backwaters as Germany, Italy and Argentina on the sidelines.
Hey, look. The U.S. U-19 basketball team did poorly at the World Basketball Championships. Nobody cared. No one watched. There were no headlines. There’s now hope that insidious basketball will go away for good.
First law of humorism: don’t let facts disrupt a well-worn platitude, especially when getting paid to write for a major publication.
[Photo via Getty]
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