Like everyone else who has access to Google or a Facebook account, I have been regularly updated on the fact that there is a World Cup Event happening, and that the game being played is soccer. I can’t admit to being a true soccer fan myself, because I’m not much of a sports person in general.
But I grew up on the East Coast and in our mid-Atlantic region soccer is pretty popular, especially in schools and universities. As a professional sport, of course, it is nowhere near as popular as football or baseball, but I would say that its fan base is about as strong as those of our local pro hockey and basketball teams. And while it may not have the same cultural significance as football or baseball, it certainly has always been considered a legitimate sport that is played by legitimate Americans.
According to Ann Coulter, however, soccer is not only a fake sport, but it is un-American, too.
I found out about Coulter’s “unique” beliefs about this globally-beloved “non-sport” when I saw a headline quoting her proclamation that “No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.” Well, I thought. She is wrong there! My husband has been keeping up with the World Cup games and HIS ancestors have been here since before the civil war. Not only that, but they were so historically significant in the deep south that there is a building named after them in Meridian, Mississippi. That is just about as American as you can get.
But then I realized that what she probably meant to write was “no American whose White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.” And my husband’s German-Jewish ancestors most certainly do not fall into that category.
But that’s OK. I understand. We can all make mistakes in the clarity of our writing. I am sure she would never want to insinuate that she has a limited definition of what a true American is.
Of course, after reading this headline, I had to check out the article itself. You can find it here in all its glory.
Now I have to admit that normally, I find Ann Coulter so utterly obnoxious that I would rather be tied to a kitchen chair and forced to watch Barney while my kids whined for a snack and my husband grilled me about what, exactly, I spent $67.50 on when I went to Target for bread and jelly than to read anything she has written. But this time I felt compelled to investigate.
Because instead of finding her statement to be bigoted and offensive, I just thought it was so idiotic — and so obviously untrue — that it was laughable. And that is when I realized that Ann Coulter is actually hilarious.
The things she says are so glaringly ludicrous that, if she isn’t writing satire or, more likely, just running her mouth off for attention, then she has to be either genuinely mentally ill, on psychedelic drugs, or just plain unintelligent. I suppose it could also be a combination of several of those things. Or, she could just be a jerk. I don’t know. Whatever the case may be, I have decided that she really doesn’t make me angry anymore. She just makes me laugh.
Consider this statement, which is number 4 in her outline of reasons why soccer is neither a sport nor American: “The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport.” Right. To simplify things, I made a graph that we can all use to determine where on the “legitimate sport spectrum” any given so-called “sport” will lie.
She goes on to say, “Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game — and it’s not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.”
I can see her point. I mean, who wants to waste their time on on any activity that doesn’t result in the crunching of bones or the crushing of a grown man’s soul?
And then there is number 5 on her list: “You can’t use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!”
We have THUMBS and BY GOD we will USE them lest we offend the Lord and our Founding Fathers.
I enjoyed number 8, too: “Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren’t committing mass murder by guillotine…Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more “rational” than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That’s easy to visualize.”
I feel you here, Ann. Soccer is ridiculous because the metric system is incomprehensible. And I totally agree with you. The next time you pick up your meds, and I know you’re on at least a few, make sure the formulas are measured using the cubed width of the pharmacists thumb. It’s much easier to visualize, and cubic centimeters are communist anyway.
But best of all is number 7, in which Ann’s true grievance with soccer comes shining through: “It’s foreign.” And the fact that our poor, unwilling American psyches are being bombarded with images and information about this blatantly anti-American, moral-destroying non-sport can all be brought home to… Liberals and Immigrants! Or more specifically, to Teddy Kennedy and his 1965 immigration policy, which has resulted in hoards of post-1965 un-American American citizens who enjoy soccer. Because, as Ann says, ” I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.”
I’m going to have to disagree with Ann on this one. I hope that America’s soccer fandom grows to epic proportions. Not because I love soccer, but because, even though I’m an anti-gun, bleeding heart, “perpetually nervous mommy” with pacifist leanings, I kind of want to see Ann Coulter implode with rage over the fact that people in America like a sport that people in other countries like too.