Dear Stephen H. Webb,
I am going to refer to you, affectionately as I.I.A (Ignorant Insane Ass) for ease of use. I read your article today on how soccer is ruining America. For anyone who hasn’t read this article, yes I am being 100% serious; that is what the article is about. I hate to promote such insanity but here is the link for anyone interested in losing 10 points in your IQ by simply reading something. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123680101041299201.html?mod=WSJ_article_comments#articleTabs%3Darticle
I’m not sure if you were trying to do some sort of funny satire or if you’re really just that much of an I.I.A. Either way, it didn’t work. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion so I will try to be as nice as possible in this but that could have been the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life. And that includes the first chapter of Snooki’s book.
Let’s begin with your first argument where you say any sport which only allows use of feet is very wrong. I would have to argue that any article where you blame the downfall of an entire country on a sport is very wrong. You mention how God gave us opposable thumbs for a reason; well He also gave us a brain for a reason. Try using it next time you write an article. And apparently God only gave us hands, He is not responsible for giving us feet. Apparently feet are the work of Satan. God gave us hands which we should use, but Satan gave us feet which we should all just chop off and only use our hands. Makes total sense. (And by the way, if you are going to bring God into a discussion such as this; at least show the respect to capitalize “He” or “Him” when referring to Him.)
Your next argument is that kids should be broken down in sports before being built back up, like in baseball. Really? Because I remember in t-ball when I was younger and softball and baseball games as a young kid parents and coaches would allow roughly 17 strikes before calling a kid out. All sports when you’re younger pander to not making a kid feel bad. Yes, kids probably are coddled too much in sports when they are younger. I agree kids need to be shown there is always going to be a winner and a loser and that is how sports work, but you’re argument of baseball being some sort of gladiator event is one of the worst and largest exaggerations I’ve ever heard and does nothing to prove your point against soccer. Soccer can be one of the most heart breaking games on the planet. There is a winner and a loser and kids know that and learn from it. You’re entire argument in this section was nothing more than an opportunity for you to use some (what you probably thought were hilariously brilliant and cute) metaphors about the sport you actually do like, baseball. Congratulations, you’re ‘Buddhist monks on steroids’ was a funny expression but made no sense. So in the end, you still struck out. (Are you happy I used a baseball term there?)
Next we have soccer being a foreign invasion. It’s interesting that you say penalty shoot outs are anti climatic because most soccer haters say that’s the only part they like. It’s the part where everyone is on the edge of their seat to see who will win. Unlike your beloved baseball which could go on for endless hours before people are put out of their “misery” (as you say about watching soccer) for someone to finally win. You say Americans would never invent a sport where the better you get the less you score. So Americans don’t appreciate defense then I suppose? I guess in basketball or football after a team scores they should just sit down, wait for the other team to score, get back up and then they can score again. Defense is a strategic part of the game which helps to make it the beautiful game. Doesn’t it say something about the level of difficulty this game has to be a low scoring game? My Dad is a huge baseball fan, has been his whole life. He (along with plenty of announcers and commentators I’ve heard) always talks about how sometimes the most exciting games are the ‘pitcher’s duels’ where it is really low scoring and the defense and pitchers put on a show. Funny how in baseball a low scoring game can be the greatest thing ever but in soccer it makes it boring. In any other sport when the defense is so good that the opposing team can’t score it is called ‘exciting’ and ‘brilliant’ and ‘top notch’ but in soccer it’s called boring.
And your last argument, quite possibly the dumbest (although it’s hard to pick) is that it is a game for girls. You say your daughter will want to kick you after reading this, I think some boys may have more of an issue with this statement than us ladies. You also mention that girls are too smart to play baseball. So I assume by that you mean only dumb people play baseball. Congratulations once again; this time you not only didn’t prove your point but also insulted the people who play the sport you supposedly like. Your I.I.A-ness continues to impress me. This is one of the arguments that people toss on the table which gets me fired up the most. They say soccer is nothing but running. If it were nothing but running it would be called track, morons. Yes, running is a major part of the sport but so is strategy, skill, aggression, ball movement, anticipation, strength and ability. If you stop thinking for one second on the field, if you rest on your heels for one second too long, if you’re not strong enough or aggressive enough or if you don’t know how to anticipate movement and move on and off the ball you’re useless in the game. There are so many aspects of soccer that non-fans don’t see and are too ignorant in a lot of cases to ever try to see. My Dad, the baseball fan, is a perfect example. He hated the sport while I grew up playing it, not understanding it, calling it boring…the usual arguments. Once he started paying attention though and listening to me talk about it, learning more about what is truly happening on the field he has become a fan. It will not be for everyone; I am not saying every person in the world should love soccer. That won’t ever happen and it’s good that won’t ever happen. People have their own opinions, but the problem comes when people who do not know enough about the sport and are not willing to give it a chance start spewing their nonsense into the atmosphere without truly knowing much about it.
And just the fact that you made this political and religious is beyond me. I hate to break it to you, but a sport is a sport. That’s all it is. Last I checked Karl Marx didn’t create soccer to take down various countries one at a time. And before you even try to go political on me about it being a liberal thing let me state this very clearly for you: (read it slowly if you need to in order to comprehend it) I am NOT a liberal. This has nothing to do with politics; it has everything to do with a lunatic ranting about something he knows very little about and trying to make a political statement. It is called the beautiful game around the world for a reason. In this country it hasn’t even caught on nearly as big as it is in the rest of the world, but where it has caught on it has had nothing but positive impacts. Kids are losing weight, getting active, making friends and learning about winning and losing. Adults are losing weight, getting active and learning about a new sport that they can get behind and support their local teams. Soccer is a sport; a beautiful, underestimated one at that. I understand you think it is a political ramp for you to shout disillusioned, uninformed nonsense but at the end of the day it is just a sport, not a symbol for communism you nut.
I will give you kudos on the fact that this did make me laugh quite a bit. Not because you’re funny or clever, of course; but because it’s one of the most insane things I’ve ever read. Lastly I just want to say again, if you were doing this as a humorous satire then maybe you should have actually made it humorous. And if you weren’t, and you were actually serious about it…well…I really don’t know what else to say other than you are a true I.I.A.