How to Talk to Soccer Haters

Jason Gay offers a helpful guide to their complaints
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2014 12:56 PM CDT
How to Talk to Soccer Haters
Soccer fans react as they watches a televised broadcast of the World Cup soccer match between the US and Germany, June 26, 2014, at Ale Mary's inScranton, Pa.   (AP Photo/The Scranton Times-Tribune, Michael J. Mullen)

Believe it or not, there seem to be a couple of Americans who have not caught World Cup fever, even though the US team has done well, and the tournament has revived "the lost art of drinking on weekday afternoons," observes Jason Gay at the Wall Street Journal. Should you know one of these sad souls, Gay is here to help, offering some well considered and not-at-all tongue-in-cheek rebuttals to common soccer grouch complaints.

  • Soccer Is Boring. This is "the 'Stairway to Heaven,' of the Irrational Soccer Crank's argument," Gay observes. But this has been a thrilling, entertaining, and frankly crazy World Cup—this happened, for crying out loud! And let's all remember how little action is actually in an American football or baseball game. "Soccer is not boring. You know what is boring? That destination wedding you have to go to."
  • Soccer Is Being Forced on America. This is actually true. You can't go anywhere anymore "without a stern-faced referee grabbing you forcefully on a shoulder and shoving you into an already-in-progress soccer game."
  • Soccer Is a Media Conspiracy. Also true. "The conspiracy was overseen by ESPN's Bob Ley and the reprobate Men in Blazers and everybody drank from the blood of a Wilson NFL football before watching the 2013 NBA Draft backward."
  • Once the US Loses, No One Will Care Anymore. Hogwash. There's plenty of evidence that the US love for soccer is genuinely growing. And so what if ratings drop? "Mad Men loses in the ratings to Turtle Surgeries Gone Wrong. Does that mean it's not valid, beloved entertainment?"
  • There's Too Much Flopping: Wait, how do you know this if you're not watching? This sounds like grounds for a penalty.
For more quips, and Gay's final argument, read the full column. (More 2014 World Cup stories.)

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