Soccer-bashing in The New Republic

Discussion in 'Business and Media' started by edcrocker, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. edcrocker

    edcrocker Member+

    May 11, 1999
    I don’t if know if this has already been posted, but the following is a link to a column, appearing in a recent edition of The New Republic, that includes some soccer-bashing by columnist Jonathon Chait (it's about half-way down the page):

    Chait's commentary on soccer is deeply flawed. First, he fails to recognize that soccer is a significantly more popular spectator sport in the U.S. now than it was 10 years ago. As evidence for soccer’s increased popularity as a spectator sport, consider the following:
    • Ten years ago, qualifiers at RFK against Honduras and Guatemala would probably attract about 25,000 fans. This time around, RFK was sold-out for both matches.
    • The men’s national team got good TV ratings during World Cup 2002, particularly considering the times that matches were shown. And 10 years ago, neither Major League Soccer (MLS) or the Women’s United Soccer League (WUSA) even existed. And MLS has averaging about 15,000 per game over the course of its existence.
    • The US Women’s National Team was hugely popular in the last World Cup. In contrast, the previous Women’s World Cup was barely a blip on the national radar screen.
    • The Woman’s and Men’s National Teams have been on Letterman and have had covers on Sports Illustrated.
    As for Chait’s comment that, “Americans, not unreasonably, associate soccer with weakness.” Although some Americans associate soccer with weakness, I doubt it’s a large percentage, especially if our sample group is any person who lives in the United States who is over the age of 15. For instance, kids I know don’t consider soccer players wimpy. And every Latino I know realizes otherwise, and a lot of Latinos live in the U.S. But is it, as Chait says, “not unreasonable” for Americans to associate soccer with weakness? It’s completely unreasonable. Soccer is physically demanding and requires great stamina, balance and strength-per-weight. In addition, it’s good that soccer is no more violent than it is. Many American football players and boxers have suffered serious injuries playing those sports. And soccer’s level of contact is good. It allows for and fosters artistry.

    Finally, it’s ludicrous for Chait to suggest that the United States should stay largely isolated from the rest of the word. Assuming, as one should, that history is a good indicator, there is much to learn from the rest of the world -– even during “The American Century.” Think of politics (the Geneva Convention, Universal Health Care, World Criminal Court), science (Einstein, Freud, Plank, Bohr, Heisenberg, Watson and Crick, Pasteur and Alexander Fleming and penicilian), philosophy (Wittgenstein, Sartre, Frege, Bertrand Russell, Habermas, Derida), art (Picasso, Expressionism, Surrealism), literature (Kafka, James Joyce, Virginia Wolff, Thomas Mann, magical realism) and music (Stravinsky, Schoenberg, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin),. Moreover, we in the U.S. are more apt to learn from the rest of the world if we are an active collaborator in the global community. In addition, we can make a better contribution if we enter the fray. Consider the problems the U.N. has when we fail to pay our dues. And note that Mexican, Costa Rican and Honduran soccer has improved significantly at the same time that U.S. soccer has improved.
  2. beineke

    beineke New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Chait's an entertaining writer, but he's blinded by his obsession with American football. The following might come in handy: (for online letters to the editor)
  3. The Cadaver

    The Cadaver It's very quiet here.

    Oct 24, 2000
    La Cañada, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Luckily the readership of the New Republic is about as large and influential as an Earthquakes Wednesday night crowd at Spartan. This commentary will do soccer no harm - it won't be seen.
  4. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Bleh. This isn't even good soccer-bashing. This has got to be the weakest soccer-bash I've ever seen...
  5. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Led Zeppelin????????????????????????????????????
  6. vmax71

    vmax71 BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 11, 2002
    high desert
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yo Mr Reilly, Led Zeppelin is the definitive rock and roll band over the last forty years - more than the stones , beatles , Hendix, - - they even had Elvis worried when he had to follow them on stage - read Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis. They definitely belong on that list. Combine the fact the Robert Plant the lead singer is a huge Liverpool fan.

    I would welcome anyone to challenge me on this point.

    Thank you
  7. Godot22

    Godot22 New Member

    Jul 20, 1999
    Waukegan guys do realize that he's kidding, right?
  8. Rocket

    Rocket Member

    Aug 29, 1999
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  9. Godot22

    Godot22 New Member

    Jul 20, 1999
    No, seriously. He's kidding.
  10. Darryl

    Darryl Member

    Nov 27, 1999
    Arlington, VA
    True, but in each case the crowd was about 40% USA and 60% for the away team.

    At any rate, who cares about the New Republic. I didn't think anyone read that mag anymore.
  11. geordienation

    geordienation Moderator

    Apr 21, 2001
    Newcastle United FC
    There are many unkind things I could say about The New Republic, but the most important is this: nobody reads it.

    Ignore the writing troll. He had nothing better to do before the start of gridiron season.
  12. polarbear

    polarbear New Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    I wrote him an email that I am posting here:

    Start of Email

    Hey Chait,
    I read with interest your comments about soccer in your New Republic column. If liking soccer is akin to being a communist, then so be it.
    Oh, another thing ...
    You said in that piece that "no football-playing country has ever lost to a soccer-playing country."
    You are WRONG.
    Vietnam is a soccer-playing country that convincingly defeated the US in a war that you surely remember -- and it was football-playing
    Americans who ran away from Vietnam with their tails between their
    Good day, Chait.

    End of email
  13. GoFireGo

    GoFireGo New Member

    Apr 25, 2002
    I get a kick out of how people see soccer as Communist, now thats paranoid!!
  14. CrewStadium227

    CrewStadium227 New Member

    Jul 9, 1999
    The communist thing is really bizarre. I mean the game was invented in the U.K., not the USSR. Where does the communist thing come from?

    Also, the traditional American sports are coach's games, as opposed to player's games. The coaches decide how to react in a given situation, the players just have to execute. Though the coach has some input, soccer is more of a players game. You simply can't communicate to that many players, spread over such a large field, with no breaks in the action. Defenders have to decide for themselves when its safe to make a run forward etc. So soccer players are more free. American sports are centrally planned, like communism.
  15. ONE

    ONE Member

    Aug 11, 2000
    its communist in that its "un-american"....

    right. :rolleyes:
  16. Noonan

    Noonan New Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    The article is a tongue-in-cheek response to Foer's article which appeared in the issue immediately before the issue with Chait's article. It is a joke.
  17. Godot22

    Godot22 New Member

    Jul 20, 1999
    It doesn't make sense because it's not supposed to make sense. It's a parody. He's kidding.

    The notion of a soccer fan criticizing the worth of a publication by its relative unpopularity is pretty bizarre, dontcha think?

    Well, he's got that side gig as one of the nation's best political commentators he can always fall back on.
  18. CrewStadium227

    CrewStadium227 New Member

    Jul 9, 1999
    I wasn't really referring to this specific example of calling soccer communist. You see that claim from time to time from people who aren't kidding.
  19. MDFootball

    MDFootball New Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Zeppelin rocks man, best rock band ever hands down :)
  20. TRC Real Sociedad

    TRC Real Sociedad New Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    Long Beach CA
    The New Republic, are you kidding me.

    I wouldn't wipe my ass with the New Republic, let alone give two craps about anything it has to say. William F Buckley has smoked more weed than everyone on this thread combined, and I still don't trust him, anyone who smokes that much weed and is still a conservative kind of freaks me out.
  21. Godot22

    Godot22 New Member

    Jul 20, 1999
    William F. Buckley publishes the National Review, not the New Republic, and the article continues to be satire.
  22. PhilipReed

    PhilipReed New Member

    Jul 12, 1999
    I thought the "Links and Articles" was for threads like this.
  23. Flying Weasel

    Flying Weasel Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Harrisburg, PA
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: The New Republic, are you kidding me.

    Uhhh, nice knee-jerk response. However, you might want to actually get informed before you spout off. The New Republic is a left-leaning or moderately liberal magazine. William F. Buckley's magazine is the conservative National Review. No wonder American politics is the mess it is--everyone has an opinion, a strong dogmatic one, but hardly anyone actually has an informed opinion. I guess it's easier to be lazy, ignorant, judgmental, and loud, than to be informed and measured.
  24. Beau Dure

    Beau Dure Member+

    May 31, 2000
    Vienna, VA
    Disclaimer: My wife used to work at TNR, and I used to subscribe to it (I actually subscribed before she started working there.)

    I also met a staffer (whose name escapes me) at the U.S.-Uruguay game. He knew the game pretty well.

    Of course, despite this disclaimer, I have no particular insight into this other than to say this is obviously a joke! Hello?! McFly?!

    BTW, The New Republic's political leaning tends to be all over the map. Somewhat to the left for the most part, but we'll see what the ownership change brings.

    And I don't think they particularly care about unseating TV Guide atop the circulation figures. As long as politicians and Ivy League professors are reading, they're fine.
  25. lumbermac

    lumbermac New Member

    Jul 19, 2002
    just prior to and during the world cup, a conservative national review contributor espoused the virtues of soccer on their website. he thought soccers association with liberal political thought was blinding some from the games basic virtues.

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