Ann Coulter Reminds Us That Only Asshats Hate Soccer For No Good Reason
In a syndicated column published less than 24 hours before what was perhaps the U.S. team's most important game in nearly four years -- when most soccer supporters were likely too busy and nervous to bother to respond to tired anti-soccer arguments --Coulter argued that a growing interest in the sport is a sign of America's "moral decay."
"Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in," Coulter writes, not bothering to check if her question actually has an answer (it does). "That's when we're supposed to go wild. I'm already asleep."
Among the reasons Coulter says she thinks soccer is horrible: liberal moms love it; some games end in scoreless ties; you can't use your hands; it's foreign; and it's like the metric system.
We wouldn't have wasted the time rebutting Coulter earlier today, but with the U.S. now through to the next round, we're here to help you understand just how stupid some of her claims are:
"I've held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone."
We could have waited another 10 years, but it's worth noting that World Cup soccer is actually almost always a 90-minute game, with a 20-minute halftime break and a few minutes added on for stoppage time. While games can go longer for extra time and possibly penalties in knockout rounds, game times are usually predictable, and much shorter than other major American sports, which have commercial breaks, timeouts and other general stoppages in play, which also halt the clock.
"There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child's fragile self-esteem is bruised."
In the U.S. World Cup game against Portugal, defender Geoff Cameron had a crucial miscue, which led to an early gift of goal. And how about U.S. player Jermaine Jones' rocket of a goal to tie it up -- was that not a heroic display of individual skill? And ask Argentinians if Lionel Messi isn't a national hero.
"Do they even have MVPs in soccer?"
Actually, yes! What Americans know as the most valuable player is called the "man of the match" in soccer. You can find a list of those guys from this year's World Cup matches right here. There's also a Golden Boot and a Golden Ball awarded to the highest goal scorer and best overall player in the World Cup.
"Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in."
It's true, players do run a lot, to the tune of 100-plus kilometers -- or for Coulter, more than 62 miles -- per team, per game. The U.S. team ran 114 km -- about 71 miles -- in its loss to Germany, and midfielder Michael Bradley ran 13 km alone.
"The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport."
Coulter must not know about U.S. forward Clint Dempsey, who's been playing in this World Cup with a broken nose, or any number of players who may or may not have suffered concussions, only to soldier on through the rest of the game. The players union recently brought this issue up to FIFA, the World Cup's governing body.
Whether or not risk of major injury or humiliation should be a requirement to be considered a sport, soccer possesses both. Coulter has clearly never listened to an interview with a soccer player, like Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who retired from international soccer following the humiliation of a costly blunder in the 2010 World Cup. She must also not be aware of the tragic story of Colombian defender Andrés Escobar, who was murdered in his home country in 1994 following an own goal that led to his team's untimely exit from the World Cup. Many believe his death was a result of the mistake.
In her attempts to fight claims that soccer is not, in fact, getting more popular, Coulter guarantees that "No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer." Sounds like an airtight argument, just like the rest of them. Too bad for Coulter, though, that the U.S. team survived Group G -- the so-called group of death -- and will advance into the round of 16 at the World Cup. Let's see how many fourth-generation Americans tune in then.
Don't get us wrong, Coulter -- you should feel free to hate soccer. But before you go writing a column about how doing so is "America's Favorite National Pastime," try formulating an argument that doesn't end up proving just how idiotic that "pastime" is.