Today In The Soccer Wars

21/07/2010 16:56



The world is crazy for soccer, but most Americans don’t give a hoot about the sport. Why? Many years ago, my former White House colleague Bill McGurn pointed out to me the real reason soccer hasn’t caught on in the good old U.S.A. It’s simple, really: Soccer is a socialist sport.

Think about it. Soccer is the only sport in the world where you cannot use the one tool that distinguishes man from beast: opposable thumbs. “No hands” is a rule only a European statist could love. (In fact, with the web of high taxes and regulations that tie the hands of European entrepreneurs, “no hands” kind of describes their economic theories as well.)

Soccer is also the only sport in the world that has “hooligans”—proletarian mobs that trash private property whenever their team loses.

He's obviously never been to a football game at Ohio State.

Thiessen does produce one decent bit of evidence, a link to a hilariously pathetic Wall Street Journal story about the closing of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame:

The place never had more than about 17,000 visitors a year, hardly enough to sustain it. ...

Outside the core group of supporters in town, however, the hall's passing seems to have gone almost unnoticed. The local newspaper barely covered its demise.

"This thing was probably doomed from the beginning," says Richard Miller, the mayor of Oneonta, who once served on the board of the hall. His theory for why the hall, and soccer in general, don't have more supporters: "Parents get enough of it watching their kids play."

When Oneonta lost its single-A minor-league baseball team in March, on the other hand, it took just a few weeks for town leaders to come to the rescue and land a replacement, a collegiate summer-league team called the Oneonta Outlaws.