Sorry, Ann Coulter, Soccer Is the Most American Sport and a Shame We Don't Embrace It
I've held off writing about Ann Coulter for a decade -- or about the length of time her average fan takes to read one of her books -- so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any attacks on the sport of soccer are downright un-American and offensive to the sacred American ideals of unheralded capitalism, total oligarchy, and utter dominance by the privileged elite.
If you haven't read Ms. Coulter's latest column, declaring soccer un-American and chock full of so many worn-out soccer jokes that they could have been pulled from a 1996 Jay Leno monologue (so much for American ingenuity, huh, Ann?), don't be fooled. It's propaganda. It's cowardly and crooked apologetics for America's soft-bellied socialist sports culture that really call into question Coulter's so-called conservative ethics.
American sports leagues with their salary caps and revenue sharing are downright SOCIALIST compared to the free-market beauty of European soccer leagues.
The biggest sports story of the past four years, one that has gone down right here in Miami, has been the tale of three grown men deciding to accept less money and personal glory in favor of friendship and achieving their dreams together. Talk about bleeding hearts! This is the direct result of the NFL's and NBA's socialist policies that call for sissy ideals like "parity." Imagine! Big governing bodies that control how much a team can spend and then forcing the most commercially successful to pay taxes to prop up the rest of the league if they go overboard! Karl Marx might as well be the NFL's next commissioner! There's no such thing in most international soccer leagues. They believe in the free-market ideals that the richest should be able to buy whatever they want!
American sports leagues coddle their losers.
Over the past ten years, eight teams have won the Super Bowl. That's a full fourth of the NFL.
In the past decade, only three teams have won the championship in the Spanish soccer league (with two teams taking nine of those victories). England's Premier League has also seen its championship won by only three teams during the past decade. Italy has the same number. In Germany, it was just four. In France, one single team won every championship between 2002 and 2008.
So I have to ask, Ann, which leagues are really handing out participation ribbons and which teams are reserving the gold medals for the real champions?
In fact, you know what happens if you're playing in the major leagues in international soccer and your team sucks? You get kicked back down to the minor leagues. But not in America! We coddle even our worst professional sports teams. We say to them: "Oh, don't worry about it! You're still major league! Here's your revenue-sharing check and the top pick in the next draft! Don't lose your self-esteem! Maybe you'll do better next year. Hang in there, bud!"
Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
Soccer really knows how to commercialize a sport.
You know what the most valuable sports team in the world is, Ann? It's not the New York Yankees. It's not the Dallas Cowboys. Nope. According to Forbes, it's Real Madrid. Second is Manchester United, and third is Barcelona. Soccer teams know how to make money.
In fact, in American sports there are things we believe are just too sacred to slap advertisements on. There are no such anti-corporation ideals in soccer. They'll slap a corporate sponsor's logo on anything. Their jerseys are wearable billboards, and then their fans go out and pay for the honor or wearing those billboards themselves. But it's not just jerseys. They'll sell the rights to team names, championships, and even entire leagues.
If American sports weren't so anti-corporate, we'd have seen the Miami Carnival Cruise Ships take on the Wrangler Jeans Spurs in the FedEx Basketball Association's Championship for the Golden iPad Trophy, but apparently Americans have been brainwashed to hate successful corporations too much for that to happen. The only thing we sell are naming rights to our (often socialistically funded) arenas.
American sports players get leisurely off-seasons. Soccer players are always working.
Even our best football players play at most 20 games a year. Even in the other leagues they get long, leisurely off-seasons that make kindergarteners jealous. Not so in soccer. The top talent is always working. Most Europeans soccer leagues are in session for all but two months of the year, not including exhibition games, international championship tournaments, and the time the best players spend playing for their national teams. Which athletes are really the best role models for our children's work ethic?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.