Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post World Cup antipathy

Wednesday June 21, 2006

Count me among those who wonder why there is such venom from (American) football fans whenever the World Cup comes around. I don’t mean indifference or even a mild distaste; I mean a full-on “get this queer sissy-boy Communist boring ‘sport’ back on the Mexican-speaking channels where it belongs.” I’ll admit that most of what I see is regional. Despite thriving youth soccer programs and top collegiate programs in the Mid-Atlantic and South, the hatred of the sport by a lot of the football fans is almost palpable. Georgia’s own Lewis Grizzard summed up the feeling of the typical Southern football fan, “If soccer was an American soft drink, it would be Diet Pepsi.”

It works the other way too. I know that during the World Cup overzealous soccer evangelists come out of the woodwork. These people are as annoying to me as they are to most. No, soccer is not about to take over the nation. No, we don’t have a duty to watch the Americans. No, people can have plenty of sophistication and education and still not get into soccer. It happens, so stop trying to convince America that it must accept soccer. I think that some of the venom directed towards soccer is brought on by these evangelists, but honestly – there’s not that many of them, and most of us just want to watch and ejnoy the World Cup in peace.

But nothing puzzles me like the sports fan who goes out of his way to tell you how much some other sport sucks. We all have sports we follow and don’t follow, but that’s not good enough. Tennis / soccer / hockey / NASCAR / women’s sports / curling is booooooooring. Its fans are stupid gay redneck snobs. You know how it goes. It’s not just football fans either. I’ve spoken with many women’s basketball fans who would love to see football go away (despite football’s role in providing most collegiate athletic opportunities for women).

I’m glad to see some other college football bloggers talking about the Cup and even being way more into it than I am. I’ve found a few more sites I’ll be reading regularly come the fall, and I’m sure that there are others I don’t even know about. It makes sense to me, because the atmosphere around even the worst World Cup game is every bit as good as what you get on an SEC football Saturday. If anyone should get the passion of the World Cup and appreciate the obnoxious and vocal crowds rivaling Baton Rouge on Saturday night, it seems like it should be college football fans.

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