Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Just When.....

......... I was starting to think that xenophobia as expressed through anti-soccerdom was dying out in the USA. 

Not of course that we are uniquely sinful in sports related circular reasoning .  (I.E.  The sports we like are superior because we're superior and we like them; and the fact that we prefer superior sports that are superior because we like them is proof of our superiority etc.)  There was for example this bizarre culture-scolding from the Dutch speed-skating coach after his team triumphed in the Sochi Olympics. A man utterly convinced that speed-skating is THE one universal test of moral character because his own culture values the sport.  Never mind that the US finished well ahead of the Dutch in the overall medal count.  We did so in sports that are not speed-skating and therefore no more than other people's silly games. 

Indeed soccer culture itself will often take on an air of hegemonic entitlement that the USA is often accused and is unfortunately sometimes guilty of.  There is, for example, no good reason to be bothered by the fact that we've chosen to tag the word 'football' onto something else and choose to call this game soccer instead.  This breaks no one's pocket and picks no one's leg.  Spanish speakers have all liberty to call the game 'bola del pie' and French speakers all liberty to call it 'pied balle' or whatever it'd be.  There is nothing forcing them to smooth out a foreign word to their own pronunciation and never has been.  It's clear that a large part of soccer's mass appeal is the mass appeal itself.  There are many who like the game because there are so many who like the game; enthralled by the ideal of One True Sport that the entire species 'knows' is best and needled by a sense that their passion is devalued by the mere existence of those who don't share it. 

I do love the game myself, don't get me wrong, just not as much as I dislike hype, bullshit and masturbatory pseudo-logic.  Now I have a feeling that Spain vs. Chile will be very good  and I'll be sure to keep track of the score while I go about my life. 

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