Why the Far Right Hates Soccer

US_Soccer_logoI already love soccer, but the mere fact that the likes of Glenn Beck feel threatened by its mainstream popularity in the United States makes me want to love the beautiful game even more! Dave Zirin writes for The Nation/NPR:

Every World Cup, it arrives like clockwork. As sure as the ultimate soccer spectacle brings guaranteed adrenaline and agony to fans across the United States, it also drives the right-wing noise machine utterly insane.

“It doesn’t matter how you try to sell it to us,” yipped the Prom King of new right, Glenn Beck. “It doesn’t matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn’t matter how many bars open early, it doesn’t matter how many beer commercials they run, we don’t want the World Cup, we don’t like the World Cup, we don’t like soccer, we want nothing to do with it.”

Beck’s wingnut godfather, G. Gordon Liddy also said on his radio program,

‘Whatever happened to American exceptionalism? This game … originated with the South American Indians and instead of a ball, they used to use the head, the decapitated head, of an enemy warrior.”

Dear Lord, where do we begin? First of all, I always find it amusing when folks like Beck say, “We don’t like soccer” when it is by far the most popular youth sport in the United States. It’s like saying, “You know what else American kids hate? Ice cream!” Young people love soccer not because of some kind of commie-nazi plot conjured by Saul Alinsky to sap us of our precious juices, but because it’s – heaven forefend – fun.

Among adults, the sport is also growing because people from Latin America, Africa, and the West Indies have brought their love of the beautiful game to an increasingly multicultural United States…

[continues at a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127829764">The Nation/NPR]

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  • emperorreagan

    I am much more interested in the World Cup than the bread and butter US sports like football, baseball, or NASCAR.

    Not only is it fun to watch pros, soccer is the sort of sport you can play your entire life.

  • Hadrian999

    i must be missing something, im sure it's fun to play but i find watching to be worse than watching basketball and i hate basketball. it's just boring

  • Belcat

    How much do you wanna bet they have some ties with the big leagues there that don't want to see their market share go down?
    The US really should get with the rest of the world..

  • Sanger

    This has nothing to do with politics: The Game is fucking boring to watch! In fact, it ranks up there with Golf in my book. On a political note, Its obvious to me that anytime there is a reason to promote globalization, they seize the opportunity. Ive watched some of ESPN's coverage, and you can tell that they are forced to show enthusiasm.

    • Barney Simpson

      You're not used to.
      It's not forced entusiasm, it is real – you speak of what you don't know firsthand.

      Cheers.

      • Sanger

        ummm, I watch them, hence, firsthand.

        • MIDutch

          Wow. That's odd. MOST of the commentators on the ESPN broadcasts are former players (some world class) from around the globe (Alexei Lalas, USA, John Harkes, USA, Julie Foudy, USA, Ruud Gullit, Netherlands, Jurgen Klinsmann, Germany, Steve McManaman, England, Roberto Martínez, Spain, Shaka Hislop, Trinidad & Tobago, etc.). MOST of the commentators on the ESPN broadcasts made their fame and fortune PLAYING the game. For MOST of the commentators on the ESPN broadcasts soccer has been a major component, if not the over arching theme, of their entire LIVES.

          Kudos to ESPN for being able to “force” them into showing some enthusiasm.

  • GT

    Listen, there's no shortage of stooooopid drunk neo-nazi skinheads picking fights at soccer games in Europe. Fascists love soccer. Glen Beck is just a crazy jabbering pervert on tv. The real rightwing extremists are at any soccer game on any given night in England/Germany/Russia/Italy, etc.etc. Would you like to see for yourself?

  • http://twitter.com/terrordrone casey dekker

    more americans watch the world cup than watch or listen to either of these geniuses shows does that mean we don't want them either

  • tonyviner

    I pretty much do not like sports across the board, which is a whole rant in itself, but, to be quite honest, soccer is fine. The one I could really do without is American footbal, and much less for the sport itself than all the nonsense that surrounds it, jackass fans and goddamned beer commercials. The cross-promotional tie-ins and radio spots for someone's shitty shoe store with all of their football euphemisms and that dumb football music ALL YEAR LONG! Also, I am aware that it is probably the same for soccer in all of these other countries, they probably all have used car commercials with their guys dressed like Pele, or whatever, trying to sell me a piece of shit. I am glad these guys hate soccer with such a feigned fervency, the rest of the world thinks we are stupid, why not try to turn the tables on the one thing that they all agree on (that is, until their respective teams are playing one another). If I am going to watch something billed as an athletic contest I would much rather see true athletes. When I watch football I see, and not to discount the abilities of many of the players that are actually able to perform, stopping and regrouping after every damn play. Take out all of these unnecessary breaks and the game would last an hour and ten minutes. I saw a guy on the sideline with an oxygen tank hooked up to his face. Give me a sport like basketball, soccer or hockey (nothing at all would be significantly better, why not try to teach our children unity instead of this indoctrination of competition and group superiority) any day of the week over this garbage. I could probably go on all day talking about why I really don't like football and I hate the sound of John Madden's voice, but won't bore people with that.

  • E.B. Wolf

    There's a soccer tournament going on?

  • tonyviner

    I pretty much do not like sports across the board, which is a whole rant in itself, but, to be quite honest, soccer is fine. The one I could really do without is American footbal, and much less for the sport itself than all the nonsense that surrounds it, jackass fans and goddamned beer commercials. The cross-promotional tie-ins and radio spots for someone's shitty shoe store with all of their football euphemisms and that dumb football music ALL YEAR LONG! Also, I am aware that it is probably the same for soccer in all of these other countries, they probably all have used car commercials with their guys dressed like Pele, or whatever, trying to sell me a piece of shit. I am glad these guys hate soccer with such a feigned fervency, the rest of the world thinks we are stupid, why not try to turn the tables on the one thing that they all agree on (that is, until their respective teams are playing one another). If I am going to watch something billed as an athletic contest I would much rather see true athletes. When I watch football I see, and not to discount the abilities of many of the players that are actually able to perform, stopping and regrouping after every damn play. Take out all of these unnecessary breaks and the game would last an hour and ten minutes. I saw a guy on the sideline with an oxygen tank hooked up to his face. Give me a sport like basketball, soccer or hockey (nothing at all would be significantly better, why not try to teach our children unity instead of this indoctrination of competition and group superiority) any day of the week over this garbage. I could probably go on all day talking about why I really don't like football and I hate the sound of John Madden's voice, but won't bore people with that.

  • E.B. Wolf

    There's a soccer tournament going on?

  • isabel

    I have never liked Glen Beck from the first time I saw him. Now his comments about the World Cup cements my feelings that he’s nothing but a pompus ass and he doesn’t speak for the American people. How dare he say “America” doesn’t want the World Cup. If he doesn’t like it, that’s his perogative, but don’t speak for the rest of us. It’s a fantastic game and even at amateur levels you have to be fit to play. I don’t like American sports with the exception of ice hockey but I don’t complain when they are on TV. If I don’t want to watch, I simply change the channel. Something I will be doing when Beck is on. By the way he keeps talking about bars, what is an “recovering alcoholic mormon” doing is a bar anyhow!!

  • isabel

    I have never liked Glen Beck from the first time I saw him. Now his comments about the World Cup cements my feelings that he's nothing but a pompus ass and he doesn't speak for the American people. How dare he say “America” doesn't want the World Cup. If he doesn't like it, that's his perogative, but don't speak for the rest of us. It's a fantastic game and even at amateur levels you have to be fit to play. I don't like American sports with the exception of ice hockey but I don't complain when they are on TV. If I don't want to watch, I simply change the channel. Something I will be doing when Beck is on. By the way he keeps talking about bars, what is an “recovering alcoholic mormon” doing is a bar anyhow!!

  • Guest

    American exceptionalism? Really? I wonder which “American” sport he is referring to. Maybe he meant Baseball. No, that wouldn’t be it, it was invented in Britain in the early 1700′s. Maybe he meant Basketball. No, that couldn’t be it either as it was invented in Canada. Hockey has been played in various forms for thousands of years, so not that. I suppose you could say Gridiron but it was formed by mingling Rugby Union, Soccer and some new ideas and rules but the modern game of Gridiron is only slightly less boring than Soccer itself so it hardly qualifies as exceptional.

    One thing we can be certain of, this particular American, Beck, is exceptional alright but not in any positive way.

  • http://betterthangod.wordpress.com/ Unindoctrinated

    American exceptionalism? Really? I wonder which “American” sport he is referring to. Maybe he meant Baseball. No, that wouldn’t be it, it was invented in Britain in the early 1700′s. Maybe he meant Basketball. No, that couldn’t be it either as it was invented in Canada. Hockey has been played in various forms for thousands of years, so not that. I suppose you could say Gridiron but it was formed by mingling Rugby Union, Soccer and some new ideas and rules but the modern game of Gridiron is only slightly less boring than Soccer itself so it hardly qualifies as exceptional.

    One thing we can be certain of, this particular American, Beck, is exceptional alright but not in any positive way.

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