Wednesday, May 10, 2006

When it comes to soccer, I am an Iranian mullah

My least-favorite quadrennial sports spectacle involves an activity that makes rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming look exciting by comparison.

I speak of the World Cup, an event that drives some of my friends to think of themselves as enlightened internationalists, don skirts, and claim interest in a sport that they never once mentioned in the preceding 47 months. This time around, the Fancy Lads' Spectator Bowling League is sending my co-blogger abroad, while another friend sashays to Old Europe because he thinks he likes soccer.

I'm hanging back with Mohammad Ali-Abadi. Ali-Abadi, head of Iran's Vice President for Physical Education, summed up my feelings quite nicely:
"I will ban athletes with an effeminate look ... It is really disgraceful for Iran that young people step onto fields wearing make-up. When a man enters the field with dyed hair and groomed eyebrows he is disrespecting society."
Amen to that, my brother.

I've watched little soccer, but I've seen enough to notice all of the haircuts and grooming that it requires.

Iran, you and I have more in common than I thought. We can all sit back and rip on A.J. Hawk, but at the end of the day, I want athletes to be unkempt and ugly. Sports should not incorporate glamour on the playing field. Soccer is about neat haircuts and preening, with some prissy, new-millenium European nationalism thrown in as seasoning. This is evidenced, among other things, by all the singing that goes on in the stands.

President Bush's waffling on this issue should make us all concerned. In his celebrated interview with Bild am Sonntag (the one where he lied about catching the biggest perch in world history) Bush simply does not go far enough toward labeling soccer un-American:
"When I was young, I did not see a single soccer match. Where I came from, [soccer] wasn't played," Bush said. "The sport simply did not exist. Therefore there is a whole generation of Americans who are not really [soccer] fans.

"However there is a new generation of Americans who have grown up with soccer. For them, the World Cup is of great interest and it's the most important sporting event in the world.

"And some of us, the old guys, are beginning to understand how important the World Cup is for the entire world."

I had to correct this article. The bracketed use of "soccer" replaces the word "football." I'd like to attribute this to screw-ups in English-German translation, but because Bush also used the word "soccer," I'm concerned that he might have called the sport football. If that happened, it strengthens my conviction that he must be impeached.

Also -- there are Americans who think that the World Cup is "the most important sporting event in the world"? Those born abroad, perhaps, and one of the fun things about living in New York is being around people who actually were born abroad, and thus properly give a shit. This is their sport. There may be a scattered native-born American who, by accident of geography or socialization, legitimately believes that she likes soccer. I don't know who such a person might be, but she could be out there.

We have three national pastimes -- football, baseball, and basketball. Hockey is a regional sport beloved by Canadians and Americans who live in the northern climes.

We have ice skating for the ladies. We have tennis and golf for the rich people. Their rich kids learn how to play lacrosse, a sport adapted from the Native Americans. These rich kids go to fancy rich-kid colleges, where they behave badly.

That's all we have, and we don't need any more. We have a system in place, and an entire world of beer commercials to sustain it.

The rest of the world can enjoy soccer without us. We don't need to fuck it up for them, and they don't need to give us another reason to behave like spazzes and assholes.

Stop pandering, President Bush!

There is no room for another sport. Stop encouraging it! Your instincts are right -- generations of Americans aren't soccer fans, because soccer is un-American. Iran understands this, and is doing its best to keep the grooming under control.

President Bush claims that he doesn't like soccer, but his attitude goes a long way toward empowering those who like their sport to come with hair gel and lots of aimless running. Sounds like the makings of a negative campaign ad.

Final score: Iran 2, Bush 1.

I originally found the quotes from Ali-Abadi and Bush over at Fanopticon, which, like my friends, is trying to stay amused before football season starts.


winston said...

it deeply disturbs me that little kids all over this country are being sucked into ayso leagues.

if i ever have to go to a youth soccer game, i will slit my wrists.

CrimeNotes said...

Winston -- let's encourage your kid to be a cornerback. You know, like Woodson, and CSB commentor Double Entendre.

Flop said...

C-notes always resorts to checking out haircuts and couture when he watches sports he doesn't understand.

When we were at the Yankees-Devil Rays game the other week, he noted that Seth McClung has impeccable personal grooming habits.

evil girl said...

so does c-notes think athletes should refrain from all personal hygiene, or just the prissy stuff, like using soap?

CrimeNotes said...

My view: hygiene good, trendy hair bad. When you add a bunch of people running around like it's second-grade recess, it becomes clear that Iran has figured it all out.

double entendre said...

I would be ineterested in your take on Brian Bosworth.

CrimeNotes said...

Brian Bosworth was one confused soccer player.