Why soccer is un-American

Soccer (or “football” as it is known virtually everywhere outside the United States) is a great source of entertainment for many fans across the world. We are reminded of this every four years when the national teams compete in the World Cup, which allows nations like Brazil, Argentina, France and Italy to best all the other nations in the world for a change. I’ve been to a soccer (football) game in Germany and it was a blast. Fans were excited the entire time, hooting and hollering continuously while the action on the field only paused briefly whenever one of the players pretended to be injured, only to jump up and get right back in the game after a minute or so of wriggling around in faux-agony on the ground.

So I enjoy soccer (James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal jokingly calls it “metric football”), and my comment that it is un-American isn’t meant to offend. However, I just look at a result like today’s match between England the U.S. and wonder what a “draw” is. I found out that it means there was actually a tie. To me, this is distinctly un-American and totally contrary to the notion of sport and competition. When in a competition, one team must lose and the other must win. One team must be destroyed, and the other lifted up to greater glory in hopes of destroying more teams as they progress through the tournament. This is also another reason why I have never been able to fully embrace hockey, which also allows tie games.

As a corollary, it is easy to demonstrate why baseball, though it can be infinitely more boring than soccer at times, is such a quintessential American sport. The longest professional baseball game in history took place in 1981 and lasted for 33 innings until a victor finally emerged. Very inspiring stuff.

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Long time no see

Hello again, fellow surfers of the Interwebs. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, although I’ve had no shortage of ideas for topics. I’ll post a few thoughts here in this entry that hopefully I can expand upon later.

  • The BP oil spill. First, Obama is not responsible for it. I don’t want him to get angry or outraged, and I certainly don’t need him to kick someone’s ass. When will the public and the media learn that there are limits to government power, no matter what your political leanings are? Secondly, I think it’s certainly in BP’s interests to clean up the spill as quickly as possible. Threatening them with fines or making them pay for all the people who are out of work because of the government’s temporary ban on deepwater drilling (!) makes pretty much zero sense unless your goal is political demagoguery, and not actually finding ways to fix the problem.
  • The Democrats are in trouble for the fall election. Though I typically vote Republican, this news doesn’t fill me with great pleasure like it does for the strongest partisans. I would like to point out, however, how wrong all the journalists and columnists were who said 2008 portended a new era for the Democratic party and the possible beginnings of irrelevance for the Republican party. Once again, hubris strikes and is going to take down a fair number of politicians with it. Please let at least a few of the Republicans (or Democrats) who win their elections this fall enter office with some humility about what they are actually able to accomplish.
  • The health care issue is still not dead. It will be interesting to see how the constitutional challenges to ObamaCare play out, but it’s interesting to note how many polls still show a large portion of the electorate disapproving of the recently passed bill (though not a majority in some of the recent polls).
  • The financial regulatory reform bill is a disaster in the making. If only this headline were really referring to me instead of some unknown representative from Kansas.

More to come later. Namaste.