Saturday, July 1, 2006

A Symbol is only worth the reality of what it represents


Worse even than obnoxious explosions of fireworks throughout the city during Nationally recognized holiday times are the hysterical screams and mindless allegiance of soccer fans to their worshipped team during the World Cup.

That a bunch of grown men run around kicking a ball, bruising the shins of their opponents in the process, is frequently the occasion for mass riots, isolated acts of violence by fans and cars full of idiots waving their flags and honking their horns, is truly an argument against the notion that human beings are civilized.

Fine - you like Canada, or perhaps Brazil and you might like soccer too. But why must your ilk insist on loudly sharing your preferences with the rest of us, who simply DO NOT CARE?

An article from the Weekly Standard exposes the nothingness of the spectacle:
Soccer is the perfect game for the post-modern world. It's the quintessential expression of the nihilism that prevails in many cultures, which doubtlessly accounts for its wild popularity in Europe. Soccer is truly Seinfeldesque, a game about nothing, sport as sensation.

[..] Mostly soccer is just guys in shorts running around aimlessly, a metaphor for the meaninglessness of life. Whole blocks of game time transpire during which absolutely nothing happens. Fortunately, this permits fans to slip out for a bratwurst and a beer without missing anything important. It's little wonder fans at times resort to brawling amongst themselves in the grandstands, as there is so little transpiring on the field of play to occupy their wandering attention. Watching men in shorts scampering around has its limitations. It's like gazing too long at a painting by de Kooning or Jackson Pollock. The more you look, the less there is to see.

[..] . . soccer flies in the face of nature. In almost all other sports, the head is protected against injury. Players wear helmets and try to avoid contact with sticks, bats, balls, elbows, fists, roadways, goalposts and other things that might inflict injury on that big brain that gives humans the ability to plan ahead, calculate, strategize, coordinate eye and hand movements, anticipate the consequence of actions--in other words, to play the game.

But soccer players use their heads, deliberately, to contact the ball. This is contrary to all human instinct, which is to keep the head out of the way of danger. Duck, you idiot! Protecting the head against injury is deeply rooted in our nature. It's an evolutionary survival response. Sacrifice a limb if you must, give up an arm or leg, but protect your head at all costs. Yet in soccer the player is encouraged, no, expected to hit the ball with his head. This is as stupid an action as a human being can undertake.
Soccer haters, go read the whole article.

HT: Lew Rockwell blog

Crossposted at Dust My Broom

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

A very interesting article. But considering the source it’s quite suspect. This same writer may have the same view when it comes to hockey(depending on which half of the mason/dixon line he lives on). I have the same view of nascar…drive around an oval track 200 times as fast as you can..hoping you don’t crash and you may win…yah thats a sport or a cry for help would be more like it.

Soccer is a sport which has global appeal. It has professional teams on every continent and continues to grow by leaps and bounds..thanks to the herioc efforts of smaller countries like the black stars(ghana). You can take the fan base of hockey, baseball, basketball,football and nascar and only have a tiny fraction of the total world wide fan base of soccer.

It’s championships are every 4 years. Yet it grows bigger and bigger and bigger. Hell budweiser payed upwards of 200 million to get the rights as a exclusive beer….although no european would ever drink that soda water. North America is slowly catching up in terms of fan base. Proffessional leagues and NOW the building of stadiums for pro leagues.

The average north american pro athlete would drool over the salaries of these guys. Beckham is said to be getting 38 million pounds for 4 years or i believe almost 57 million American. Gretzky and other big stars can have a entire career with mega endorsements and not come close to these guys. Mama dont let your boys grow up to be hockey players..you want the big bucks let em play soccer…lol

Besides flying in the face of nature??? The writer obviously has never seen rugby.

Pietr said...

Anonymous?
Fair points.
I've got to say that when ENGER-LUND played Sweden, I was in the Jester Pub on the corner of St Clair and Yonge, and we were able to pay a little interest to the huge screen in between pints of Caledonian 80/- and conversation about computer adventures and work.
What I mean to say is, some of the play was exciting.Any sport can be exciting once you understand the skills and difficulty.
But I did go 3500 miles West to get away from World Cup Fever.In Canada it is really quite tame.

Brent Gilliard said...

Much as it might bother you, people want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. It doesn't have to make sense. Sport cannot be 'debunked' with logic anymore than religion.

If it feels good, people will do it.

Lisa said...

Brent;

My house plants are doing well. That pleases me. I think I'll drive my car around the city with my thumb on the horn.

That's stupid behaviour. Like a car full of noisy soccer fans honking and hollering.

Gordon Pasha said...

Lisa, I also find the carloads of noisy, pissed out of their minds fans to be extremely irritating. On the otherhand, I enjoy the spectacle and the shear intensity of the emotions that accompany the event. There is something about ancestral enemies meeting on a pitch to do battle that I find exhilarating (must be a Y chromosome thing, or perhaps a cerebral defficiency that I share with most humans). Again, I agree it should be left in the pub and the stadium and not dragged onto the public square in the form of obnoxious behaviour and, worse, violent outbursts. Yet, if its a trade off for hurling actual bombs back and forth between the ancestral enemies, it might be worth an evening or two of annoyance, every 4 years. I actually believe such punctual outlets for nationalistic feelings may serve such a purpose. Unfortunate that we humans would still be at that stage of evolution, but there you go.

Lisa said...

Keith;

But let us not forget that kicking the ball the wrong way has served as a pretext for war.

Brent Gilliard said...

Keeping house plants alive is an accomplishment! My attempts usually end in the plant getting fuzzy and losing its leaves :(

I think a ticker-tape parade is in order.

Gordon Pasha said...

Lisa,

Yes, well, sometimes the fans do get carried away.

Rumour has it a Royal Navy task force is gathering off Lisbon.

Pietr said...

I want to feel a part of something bigger than myself.
And own it.