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Soccer-Bashing's Political Undertones

  • Guardian, Friday, January 18, 2008 4:15 PM
Guardian writer Steven Wells supplies a scary, if humorous snapshot of that uniquely American sports institution known soccer-bashing. Many of us, blinded by the growing support and awareness of soccer in the U.S., will be unaware that there's a whole online world devoted to hating the world's most popular sport. One of the most popular sites is soccersucks.net, run by 39-year-old commodities trader Jefferson Glapski. As far as he's concerned, soccer players grow up to be "knock-kneed milksops" and "flopping on the ground, writhing in pain homos." His site regularly attracts more than two million visitors.

As SI writer Alexander Wolff once said, "There isn't a US daily without a 'soccer stinks' beat guy". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Rob Janeda, for example, fears that soccer is a vast left-wing conspiracy. He writes, "If you can replace an American game with one that is not, you have come one step closer to the fragmentation of our society." His fears are echoed by Stephen Moore, a right-wing intellectual think-tanker: "I am convinced," he says, "that the ordeal of soccer teaches our kids all the wrong lessons in life. Soccer is the Marxist concept of the labour theory of value applied to sports - which may explain why socialist nations dominate the World Cup."

A little absurd, no? So how do you make sense out of this? "Their mania is in direct proportion to their insecurity," says NY-based soccer writer Miguel Almeida. "Hence its intensity."

Read the whole story at Guardian »

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