Thursday, June 15, 2006

Yanks Bite Back!

This was my original post from yesterday:

It is a curiosity that, in a world dominated by the United States, there's such apathy on the other side of the big pond towards the world's most popular sport.

More than ten years after the country hosted The Greatest Show On Earth, America's lack of interest stands out like a teetotaller in a Munich beer hall.

In many respects, such isolation is symptomatic of the United States' isolation - and, many would argue, overbearing arrogance - on a world stage. When Gordon Brown announced that he would be cheering on Becks and the boys this summer the surprise wasn't that a Scot would actually public support England, but that he wasn't standing alone alongside the United States.

As The Economist recently noted of America's disregard for football, 'behind all this lies a bigger debate about America's cultural idiosyncrasy...America's exceptionalism has provoked a fierce debate between 'red' Americans, who are proud of their country's oddness, and 'blue' Americans who think that America should pay more attention to the rest of the world.'

Mediawatch has never before stumbled across the States-based twincities.com, the website of the leading newspaper for the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in the heart of middle America, but the opening lines of its World Cup editorial suggests that it is redder than the sunburnt cardinals standing in front of the Red Sea eating tomatoes:

'If the government really is serious about identifying illegal immigrants, it soon will be provided a unique opportunity to record their whereabouts.

'All the Department of Homeland Security has to do is monitor the city-by-city television ratings of this month's World Cup soccer tournament. Agents should be dispatched to any area in which the ratings reflect an unnaturally high level of interest. That likely signals a concentrated pocket of illegals.'

As for 'real' Americans, 'We don't like soccer because we do understand it. And it's awful.

'It's time to quit apologizing and tell the truth. When it comes to soccer, we're right, and the rest of the world is wrong.

'Many spectators in soccer-crazed countries warm up for a big match by hitting their neighbor in the head with a brick. And as soon as little Nigel or Fiona is old enough, mum and dad take them out back and practice squishing them against a chain link fence.

'Yes, America may be the only country that doesn't go goofy for soccer. We also are the only remaining super power. Don't you see a connection there?'

America is also the most-despised country on earth. Perhaps the more pertinent question is whether they can they see the connection there.


and these are the comments i've recieved so far:

Comment 1 (Bill):

www.twincities.com is the website for the Pioneer Press, the (much smaller) St. Paul newspaper. www.Startribune.com is the website of the Star-Tribune, which has pretty much crushed the PP, is more liberal, and has been carrying Cup finals on it's main page.

Comment 2 (Anon):

To Whom It May Concern:

I will have to concede that there is a lack of interest in the United States for the game of soccer, which has been blocked out for the game of Baseball, and American Football. However never feel that this applies to all Yanks, I sir am an avid soccer fan! I have both played the game & watched the World Cup for quite some time now. Although I’m likely in my country in the minority I love the game! I will agree that American’s are not the best of soccer players but then again I don’t see any other countries signing up to play American Football or try there luck against the USA in Basketball! I wish America would get more involved in soccer but then again I wish everyone would stop including all Americans in the actions of the government! Until the USA gets serious about football i.e. soccer I guess we will just have to cheer on the Brits, Canadians, or Mexico!

Yours truly,
Damn Yank!
Bill: Cheers for that
Anon: You and a lot of my american readers frequenting this blog is proof enough that 'football' is alive in the US, to some extent at least. I 'm not one to generalise and I'm hoping majority of our readers don't generalize either when it comes to the actions of your government - as we know aroung 50% of yanks are perfectly sane :-)
I thought it was an interesting article i read on F365 - hope I haven't offended any of you as that was not the intention.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Bill said...

twincities.com is the website for the Pioneer Press, the (much smaller) St. Paul newspaper. Startribune.com is the website of the Star-Tribune, which has pretty much crushed the PP, is more liberal, and has been carrying Cup finals on it's main page.

02:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Whom It May Concern:

I will have to concede that there is a lack of interest in the United States for the game of soccer, which has been blocked out for the game of Baseball, and American Football. However never feel that this applies to all Yanks, I sir am an avid soccer fan! I have both played the game & watched the World Cup for quite some time now. Although I’m likely in my country in the minority I love the game! I will agree that American’s are not the best of soccer players but then again I don’t see any other countries signing up to play American Football or try there luck against the USA in Basketball! I wish America would get more involved in soccer but then again I wish everyone would stop including all Americans in the actions of the government! Until the USA gets serious about football i.e. soccer I guess we will just have to cheer on the Brits, Canadians, or Mexico!

Yours truly,
Damn Yank!

05:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sport of football is actually gaining in popularity in the U.S. Youth leagues abound, and though feeble by International standards, the MLS is still alive and kicking (pardon the pun). What is sadly lacking is media coverage. It's just my theory, but I believe it's due to the fact that sports on television in the U.S. is wholly subserviant to advertising. Football does not lend itself to commercial breaks like the other major U.S. sports, therefore, networks are reluctant to show football for lack of revenue. This in turn leads some to infer that "if it ain't on t.v. it can't be any good."
Once the children who have spent their youth playing football reach the age of the advertiser's target market, we may see some improvement, but it will be a long time coming.
In the interim, the rest of the world will only see the ignorant and close minded spout their ill informed opinions.
Thanks for not painting us all with the same brush.There are more fans of the game than you may imagine, we just aren't as loud as the complainers.
PS - your site kicks ass.

Regards,

Luke

18:50  
Blogger Sean said...

Dan, in the US, football will come around. Hockey is almost officially dead here. Thank God. You're part of that history with your blog! Thanks. Oh, and nice to see the goals coming from two Reds today! Lampost needs to sit on the bench I think :-D

05:53  
Blogger Dirty Dan said...

anon. you're spot on.

sean - couldn't agree more - lamps needs to be on the bench against sweden. Sven and his big club syndrome will probably make sure it aint the case.

17:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will now have to give the USA a little more credit! They played a great first half against Italy, which was a roller coaster game. It showed that the USA could rebound from their loss to the Czech’s; I can’t remember the red card Happy Official but I hope he does not return any time soon! Guana is next for the USA and it don’t look good – this team plays tight and fast, I can only hope USA wins but to do so United States will have to bring there absolute best game to the field. It is my understanding that the young man that elbowed McBride in the eye apologized which is just good sportsmanship in a physical game, the only one that should have apologized was the Official from Uruguay! Goodluck to all the teams out there – So far it’s been a fantastic World Cup!

Damn Yank

06:50  

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