Marc Thiessen explains the real reason why Americans don’t care for soccer.
The world is crazy for soccer, but most Americans donâ€™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 hasnâ€™t caught on in the good old U.S.A. Itâ€™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. â€œNo handsâ€ 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, â€œno handsâ€ kind of describes their economic theories as well.)
Soccer is also the only sport in the world that has â€œhooligansâ€â€”proletarian mobs that trash private property whenever their team loses.
Soccer is collectivist. At this yearâ€™s World Cup, the French national team actually went on strike in the middle of the tournament on the eve of an elimination match. (Yes, capitalist sports have experienced labor disputes, but can you imagine a Major League Baseball team going on strike in the middle of the World Series?)
At the youth level, soccer teams donâ€™t even keep score and everyone gets a participation trophy. Can you say, â€œFrom each according to his abilityâ€¦â€? (The fact that they do keep score later on is the only thing that prevents soccer from being a Communist sport.)
Capitalist sports are excitingâ€”people often hit each other, sometimes even score. Soccer fans are excited by an egalitarian 0-0 tie. When soccer powerhouses Brazil and Portugal met recently at the World Cup, they played for 90 minutesâ€”and combined got just eight shots on net (and zero goals). Contrast this with the most exciting sports moment last week, which came not at the World Cup, but at Wimbledon, when American John Isner won in a fifth-set victory that went 70-68. Yes, even tennis is more exciting than soccer. Like an overcast day in East Berlin, soccer is â€¦ boring.
And finally, have you seen the World Cup trophy? It looks like an Emmy Award (and everyone knows that Hollywood is socialist).