An e-mail on that post about the outbreak of soccerphobia among American conservatives:
There's an odd combination of defensiveness and aggression that seems to characterise much of the American Right's response to soccer as
well as an ugly nativist streak that, frankly, borders on the xenophobic (and I write this as someone who has defended or tried to contextualise many of the myths told about American conservatives on, say, the BBC). Why they can't simply say, "Well, I can see why lots of people love the game, but it's not for me" and leave it at that is beyond me. (Though the line about overtime and the EU was quite funny).
Then again, sweeping generalisations about an entire continent are
scarcely confined to one side of the Atlantic.
My theory is that Americans have neither the belief system nor the temperament for such a Sisyphean sport as soccer. We are a society of doers, achievers, and builders. Our country is dynamic, constantly growing, and becoming ever bigger, richer, and stronger... We do not labour for the sake of labouring. And we like our sports teams to score. ..
That soccer may be "the most popular sport in the world" speaks volumes—but not about America’s lack of sporting knowledge or sophistication, as soccer aficionados like to argue. Rather, I think it reflects the static, crimped, and defeatest attitudes held by so many of the other peoples on earth.
I'm clinging to the hope that it's a spoof. If so, it's pretty convincing. Thankfully, some conservatives do understand what the game means.... One of the comments that disappeared along with yesterday's posts included a link to Jeff Gedmin's column in Die Welt. There's a copy over at Medienkritik:
I've got it and I've got it bad. There is simply no feeling like being able to watch two, or even three games a day. I'm not sure how I ever lived without this. On days when there have been no games I feel listless, anxious, without purpose. On Saturday, I watched England vs. Portugal and France vs. Brazil at a party and found myself annoyed because a couple people were talking during the games. I don't mean like, "Eckball, this could be tough,"or "Hey, that yellow card was a joke." These guys were running a conversation about politics without as much as an eye on the screen. I should have thrown these losers out.
Jeff will be in London soon for a conference, so I hope to swap World Cup stories with him then.