Friday, July 02, 2010

Is Soccer a Socialist Sport?

Marc Thiessen, that conservative torture-defender, thinks so:

Think about it. Soccer is the only sport in the world where you cannot use the one tool that distinguishes man from beast: opposable thumbs. “No hands” is a rule only a European statist could love. (In fact, with the web of high taxes and regulations that tie the hands of European entrepreneurs, “no hands” kind of describes their economic theories as well.)

Soccer is also the only sport in the world that has “hooligans”—proletarian mobs that trash private property whenever their team loses.

Soccer is collectivist. At this year’s World Cup, the French national team actually went on strike in the middle of the tournament on the eve of an elimination match. (Yes, capitalist sports have experienced labor disputes, but can you imagine a Major League Baseball team going on strike in the middle of the World Series?)

At the youth level, soccer teams don’t even keep score and everyone gets a participation trophy. Can you say, “From each according to his ability…”? (The fact that they do keep score later on is the only thing that prevents soccer from being a Communist sport.)
Damn if all those conservative, suburban Soccer moms aren't carrying the Marx/Engels/Lenin torch with them to their kiddies' soccer matches!

But the worst of it is that this attitude seems to be fairly common among his true-blue Tea Party ideological compatriots (probably some of whom are secret Soccer moms and dads). After all, what kind of sissies and ninnies like to watch a game that features small, wiry, thin dudes running up and down a field, kicking a ball to each other in a game that is characterized by low scoring and plenty of ties? How un-American can this sport be, especially when compared to football, basketball, or baseball?

Well, Mark Thompson has some other thoughts on this and points us to the following below as evidence against Thiessen:

What's great about the World Cup, and what Thiessen simply can't wrap his mind around simply because the US doesn't dominate this sport, is that, unlike the NFL's Superbowl, or the NHL's Stanley Cup, or the NBA's Championship, or MLB's World Series, where the only people who really get gung-ho fanatic (and not even in a patriotic way) are the home towns of the teams playing in the Championship match-ups, is that the USA's performance in the World Cup is something all US citizens, liberal and conservative, red-state and blue-state, urban and rural, can take common pride in. You'd think the World Cup would be embraced by conservatives as a chance for true patriotic solidarity. But, no. For a variety of silly reasons, but mostly because the USA doesn't rule the Soccer World Cup, Thiessen has to belittle and demean the sport as "socialist," thus impugning those who get caught up in it as, I presume, some kind of socialism enthusiast. Some fair-weather patriot he is. But more importantly, Thiessen is a fool and tool.

PS: Anyone who saw both World Cup matches today, with the underdog Dutch knocking out the heavily-favored Brazilians, and the entire, heart-stopping Ghana/Uruguay game knows that Thiessen is so full of sh*t about the excitement, skill, and competitive intensity of the game that an overnight enema is in order.

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