Ann Coulter is an American who writes and says stuff. Let us leave her description like that. If you know who Ann Coulter is, then you have no need for me to describe her further. And if you do not know who Ann Coulter is, then I applaud your good fortune, and recommend that you remain ignorant of her. Except, I feel compelled to point out just how very many errors and misconceptions she included in her latest ‘polemic’, which was bizarrely aimed at the world’s most popular sport: football. Next week Coulter will explain why people should dislike pizza and the week after she will be directing her ire at sunlight. But this week football is the target of her venomous pen. So let us enjoy a good laugh at her expense, whilst she explains why people should not enjoy football as much as they do…
AMERICA’S FAVORITE NATIONAL PASTIME: HATING SOCCER
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.
Ann Coulter makes a living by writing and saying offensive things. Also, most of these things are untrue. Ann Coulter is now writing about football for these reasons: the World Cup is currently taking place; the World Cup is the kind of global event that even the most insular Americans notice; and Ann Coulter craves attention.
But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.
Or it could be a sign that Americans like to watch sport on television. Or it could be a sign that desperate hag pseudo-journalists will write anything about anything, if they think people will read it.
(1) Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer.
In the sense that football is a team sport, this is true. In the sense that millions of people recognize the names of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben, then Coulter is full of shit. In fact, these football stars are much more famous, and much richer, than Ann Coulter is. They are also more famous than everybody who currently plays basketball, baseball and American football. I would name some US sports stars to illustrate my point, but I cannot, because I do not know any. Except for Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard, who are representing their country in the current World Cup.
In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls — all in front of a crowd.
I am not sure what point Coulter is making here. In the real sport of football, they have crowds. Brazil’s Maracanã stadium can accommodate 80,000 people – which suggests they expect some people to turn up in person to watch the World Cup final. Some people will also watch via TV – maybe 1 billion people will see the World Cup final, and about 200 million on average will see each game, if the last World Cup is anything to go by. During the game, some of the players will kick the ball, whilst others will kick each other. I struggle to understand how, when a footballer kicks something, this is not an example of an individual doing something in front of a crowd.
When baseball players strike out, they’re standing alone at the plate. But there’s also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.
I can only hope that US goalkeeper Tim Howard saves a penalty at the World Cup, just to see how Coulter explains the lack of individual glory that must inevitably follow. For other counterarguments, see: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar et al.
In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway.
A typical NFL American football team has a roster of 90 players. Some of those guys go on the field for about 30 seconds per game, because their job will be on ‘special teams’. In other words, they have to do something extraordinarily specialized like trying to stop the opposing team from running the ball back on the rare occasions that someone actually kicks the American ‘football’ (which is designed to be carried in the hands, not kicked by the foot). What chance do most American footballers have of scoring? The only players who regularly score in American football are the running backs, wide receivers and kickers, with the occasional score for a quarterback, tight end or maybe a defensive player following a turnover. Contrast the chance that a typical American footballer will score, with the chance that one of Team USA’s players will score in the World Cup. During their 3 group games, USA scored 4 goals by 3 different players out of a total of 18 different players who have been on the pitch. That means 1 in 6 of the players have scored, far better odds than you will find in the NFL.
There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised. There’s a reason perpetually alarmed women are called “soccer moms,” not “football moms.”
At this point, it becomes clear that Coulter’s argument consists solely in repeating herself. Over and over. And over again. No matter how wrong the argument is. Does she get paid by the word?
Do they even have MVPs in soccer?
Do journalists do research? My question is hypothetical; nobody seriously believes that Coulter is a journalist. Football not only esteems its best players, it gives them a title which is far superior to the dreary American neologism of ‘Most Valuable Player’. In football, the honorific is ‘man of the match’. It is ironic that a woman like Coulter, who despises her own gender whilst sycophantically kissing up to men at every opportunity, is unaware that football lauds its best man, whilst Americans usually talk about the most valuable player.
Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That’s when we’re supposed to go wild. I’m already asleep.
People only remain awake whilst reading Coulter’s articles so they can count the number of errors. And the number of repetitions. But to be truthful, I lost count already. In that sense, she scores very high. That is the only sense in which she delivers a winning argument.
(2) Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.
Coulter likes to suck up to rich Americans, which makes it odd that she is unaware of horse riding, the gender-neutral sport of the rich. Coulter backed multimillionaire Mitt Romney for President, whose wife’s investment in an Olympic dressage horse was probably meant to be serious, even if many voters considered it evidence that the Romneys are out-of-touch elitists who have nothing in common with ordinary Americans.
(3) No other “sport” ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: “2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0.” Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: “1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0.”
This argument would be more impressive if Coulter was not quoting the scores of games that were still in progress. Even the craziest game of American football starts 0-0. And baseball games take three hours on average, meaning many of them are still scoreless by the point when a 90-minute football game has ended.
Even in football, by which I mean football…
By which she means American football. You know, a sport that Americans call football even though they use their hands instead of their feet.
there are very few scoreless ties — and it’s a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you.
In American football, you can score 6 points by throwing a ball half the length of the pitch, if it is caught by somebody standing in the big wide area at the end. Or you can score 3 points by kicking the ball half the length of the pitch, if it goes over the posts. By Coulter’s reckoning, real football is too easy because you have to use your feet (not your hands) to put a ball into a small net, even though lots of unskilled, uncompetitive girls/boys/hermaphrodites will try to stop you. And even though it is really really really hard to score if you have half of the pitch between you and the goal. Somebody should pick Coulter for a woman’s football match, so we can all laugh at how easy she finds the game. Her massive ego would surely demand that she racks up a dozen goals during the first ‘period’.
(4) The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. Most sports are sublimated warfare.
Mitt Romney. Olympic dressage. Coulter’s pick for President. Decide for yourself if Coulter is an idiot or a hypocrite.
As Lady Thatcher reportedly said after Germany had beaten England in some major soccer game: Don’t worry. After all, twice in this century we beat them at their national game.
Nice quote! However, Margaret Thatcher never said that. A real journalist would know by, ummm, checking Wikiquote. The saying was reportedly coined by a journalist, Vincent Mulchrone of the Daily Mail, just before the 1966 World Cup final.
Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game — and it’s not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box.
Repetition, repetition, repetition. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, though in Coulter’s case the exchange rate is closer to 3 million words for every single point she makes. The best counterargument to Coulter’s repetition comes in the form of a picture of former England defender Terry Butcher. Other counterarguments include: Bert Trautmann playing with a broken neck; Patrick Battiston’s clattering by Harald Schumacher; and everybody bitten by Luis Suarez.
(5) You can’t use your hands in soccer.
Which is why they call it football. Now Coulter should explain why she insists on lauding ‘football’ (meaning American football) because of how even the most valuable players use their hands.
Coulter should review the history of American football, and where it got its name from, rather than revelling in her ignorance. American football, a sport where players rarely kick the ball, is derived from rugby football, a sport where players can use their hands to play the ball backwards, but must use their feet if they want to move it forwards. Rugby football evolved from the same sporting activities that also gave rise to association football. These sports were known as football because players used their feet more than their hands. The alternative name of ‘soccer’ is derived from the word ‘Association’. If Coulter was as rational as she believes herself to be, than she should stop referring to American football as ‘football’, and should be calling it ‘mericer’ instead. The defining quality of football is that the players use their feet. The defining quality of American football is that the players are American.
What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul…
Nothing sets Coulter apart from the beasts. If Coulter was stabled with Romney’s dressage horse, there is a serious risk that Romney would put a bit between Coulter’s teeth and start riding her around.
…is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!
See also: running. And the opposable quality of thumbs is not a significant factor in boxing.
(6) I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer.
She ignored it for a decade, knows nothing about it, but says it has been ‘force fed’ to her? No wonder she is so upset about the decline of American morality. Perhaps she should take out her gun and kill the people who make her watch football, in order to restore some moral balance. In Coulter’s world, the number of handguns in circulation is correlated to the health and vitality of society, but kicking a ball for pleasure is immoral.
The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO’s “Girls,” light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is “catching on” is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating.
At this point, it became literally impossible to imagine a football game as boring, or as endless, as Coulter’s article. Even in a nil-nil draw, players do not randomly shamble around the pitch, in the way that Coulter aimlessly rambles through each paragraph.
I note that we don’t have to be endlessly told how exciting football is.
By which she means ‘American football’. Somebody should tell the rest of the world that American football is exciting. Then we could change the name from American football to something more appropriate… like chuck-the-ball-forward-o.
(7) It’s foreign. In fact, that’s the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not “catching on” at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.
This point is very funny. Everything in America is foreign, with the exception of the descendants of the few native Indians who were not massacred by rapacious immigrants. As an example of foreign things in the USA, let us take African-Americans. They are so foreign, there is a clue in the name. Because these Americans were imported from Africa (against their will) they lost touch with the culture of real Africans, and adopted the culture of their slavemasters instead. Meanwhile, real Africans love real football. Just like the French. And the Iranians. And the Koreans. And all those people who come from American countries (with one exception).
In short, the world is like football, in that it comes in two halves. One half is the USA, which ‘hates’ football. Apart from the liberal Americans who do not hate it. So really we are talking about a half of a half that hates football. The other half of the world is everybody that Coulter considers ‘foreign’. Some quick mental arithmetic suggests Coulter might be in a minority.
(8) Soccer is like the metric system…
Clearly Coulter has never heard of the six-yard box.
…which liberals also adore because it’s European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren’t committing mass murder by guillotine.
Coulter is so ignorant she cannot even get her liberal insults correct. The new political correctness is to insist that the Chinese invented football, whilst the English only codified the rules, and the French pioneered its corrupt administration, which is now being sold to the Arabs.
Despite being subjected to Chinese-style brainwashing in the public schools to use centimeters and Celsius, ask any American for the temperature, and he’ll say something like “70 degrees.” Ask how far Boston is from New York City, he’ll say it’s about 200 miles.
Coulter is so boring and lacking in direction that she starts ranting about the metric system halfway through a rant about football. That is a bit like needing Beyonce to perform a halftime show because your showcase sporting final takes so frigging long. Without the halftime show, many viewers of many Superbowls would have slipped into a coma. Gratefully.
Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more “rational” than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man’s thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That’s easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?
What does any of this have to do with football? Is Coulter now so irrational that she can only visualize 100 metres (a distance run by Olympians) by imagining 100 belts lain on the floor end-to-end, and then observing that each belt is not much shorter than a metre?
(9) Soccer is not “catching on.” Headlines this week proclaimed “Record U.S. ratings for World Cup,” and we had to hear — again — about the “growing popularity of soccer in the United States.”
The USA-Portugal game was the blockbuster match, garnering 18.2 million viewers on ESPN. This beat the second-most watched soccer game ever: The 1999 Women’s World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. (In soccer, the women’s games are as thrilling as the men’s.)
Up next from Coulter: why it is boring to watch the Williams sisters play tennis, and why Billie Jean King should never have been allowed to beat a man in the ‘battle of the sexes‘.
Run-of-the-mill, regular-season Sunday Night Football games average more than 20 million viewers; NFL playoff games get 30 to 40 million viewers; and this year’s Super Bowl had 111.5 million viewers.
In other words, the biggest American football game reaches a smaller global audience than every single game of the World Cup.
Remember when the media tried to foist British soccer star David Beckham and his permanently camera-ready wife on us a few years ago?
No, but Coulter clearly does.
Their arrival in America was heralded with 24-7 news coverage. That lasted about two days. Ratings tanked. No one cared.
They cared so little that it gets cited as an example that everybody is expected to remember.
A quick review shows the following:
Perhaps Coulter should pay more attention to the Beckhams. These figures suggest that Posh ‘n’ Becks have a superior grasp of both celebrity and how the capitalist system works. The Beckhams have amassed a wealth 41 times greater than Coulter by giving very large audiences things that they enjoy, not by insulting their taste.
If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.
And where were their great-grandfathers born? In a country which loves football, most probably. That is the real demographic switch, not that the ahistorical and insular Coulter would care to mention it.
One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.
Although oddly, old Americans still speak English, another foreign fetish they imported.
A quick review of the real world (where football is so popular that every corrupt son of a bitch wants a piece of the action) suggests that Coulter lives in a fantasy world of her own creation. Keep that in mind, when Coulter recommends who should be the next US President.
COPYRIGHT 2014 ANN COULTER
And here is the proof that Coulter lives in a fantasy world. She has no need to worry: nobody is going to copy this without giving her all the credit she is due. However, I was careful not to infringe the copyright of any images of Coulter. I found that the image of a dressage horse is a close enough facsimile. They both have a long face and nice hair, are mindless playthings that serve the rich, do no real work, have no useful purpose, and exist purely for show.
After all, if you want an American conservative to criticize football, everybody knows you should turn to P.J. O’Rourke. O’Rourke can be relied upon to make the same observations as Coulter, except that when he does it, the resulting article is witty, self-aware, skips all the needless name-calling and nationalism, and was delivered four years ago.