« Two words: Referen. Dum. | Main | Book Report: The King Must Die »

Provincialism's nondescript head

It’s like this: Your Humble Blogger just doesn’t care about soccer.

The reason I am bothering telling you so is that it seems that Glenn Beck, Jonah Goldberg and their ilk actively dislike soccer and are badmouthing the World Cup. I don’t want to be associated with them and their xenophobic sneering. I just have way too much sports on my plate to invest the necessary effort into watching and getting enjoyment out of soccer.

I have a vague sense that soccer is one of the games with a fairly low investment-to-enjoyment ratio; most people in the world seem to be able to watch it and argue about it very easily, while drunk off their proverbials. So I imagine that a few hours of reading and then watching and then reading about what I have just watched would pay off with a lot of enjoyment very quickly. On the other hand, my Giants are winning ballgames (no, really) and there’s the England ODI series against Australia coming up (the Ashes start again in November). And baseball and cricket are spectator sports that require not only a massive initial investment but substantial regular maintenance. Who is hurt, who is up and who is down, who is just starting to get on a roll, who has just had his weakness exposed and will be a flash in the pan. Hardly any point in following the games if you haven’t been paying attention. OK, that’s not true, but I find that the attention paid in between games (or matches) makes the games (or matches) much much more enjoyable (or frustrating), so I put in my time there.

And enjoy putting in that time. I suspect I would enjoy putting in that time with footie, if I once got started. Of course, that would be more entertaining if I had a friend or a bunch of friends who had already made that investment and were footy fans. Which would be more likely if they were foreign. Or if they had friends and family who were foreign. All of which is to say that I do think that in this country Liberals, on the whole, are more likely to enjoy this World Cup than Conservatives—more likely to have friends who already like different sports than they do, more likely to live in cities near footy fans (and places to watch the matches together with other people), more likely to value the novelty of picking up a new spectator sport, or more likely to have picked up footy in childhood or somewhere along the way. And like any sport, fans are likely to look down on people who don’t get it, and people who don’t get it are likely to resent that.

So while I tend to agree with SEK that Mssrs Goldberg and Beck hate soccer and are racist (tho’ I think this is xenophobia rather than racism as such, not that they are unconnected), I think it’s actually quite understandable that they are viewing the whole World Cup as some sort of Liberal Bad Thing. And what with the sense that the opposing political camps have that (a) pissing off the other side is a Good Thing in itself even when it doesn’t further any political or policy aims, but just makes heads explode all over Other Blogovia, and (2) everything the other side does is done out of a petty and small-minded desire to make heads explode all over Our Blogovia, rather than out of either actual political or policy aims or just personal taste and inclination, it can scarcely surprise anybody that Glenn Beck thinks that the liberals are trying to force the World Cup down his throat out of nasty liberalism, rather than because anybody in this country is actually excited about the biggest sports event in the world.

As for me, my tendency is to assume that nobody cares if I am watching the World Cup or not, and I don’t really care if anybody else is watching it or avoiding it, either. I just can’t be arsed.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


I especially... what's that word that doesn't mean 'liked'?... the NRO posting about how soccer is Modern America's metric system: another attempt to undermine American Exceptionalism by forcing us to adopt something popular in rest of the world.

Also: You heard it here first. By the time of the 2014 World Cup, there will be a right-wing movement in this country to call the sport "Freedom Ball".

Also also: thank you for setting up an RSS feed, so I can read your posts via LiveJournal!

Yeah, the only reason anyone ever wanted to use the Metric system was to piss off the conservatives.


I thought metric was so we could feel like we were driving faster.

I thought metric was so we could feel like we were driving bicycling faster.

Fixed that for you.


Thanks, I can feel my carbon footprint shrinking already.

I thought metric was so we could feel like we were driving bicycling snarking faster.

And with the smaller carbon footprints, you have a better chance of scoring a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!

I thought metric the RSS feed was so we could feel like we were driving bicycling snarking faster.


Comments are closed for this entry. Usually if I close comments for an entry it's because that entry gets a disproportionate amount of spam. If you want to contact me about this entry, feel free to send me email.