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Archive for June, 2010

Awful game invades awesome country

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Yes, that’s what evil right wingers apparently think according to the liberal magazine The Nation.   They presented their extremely balanced case about us bastards who want lower taxes and our views on kicking a ball around a field entitled:Why the Far Right Hates Soccer.

The premise is…well…the only premise there ever is…

Beck rejects soccer because his idealized “real America” - in all its monochromatic glory – rejects it as well. To be clear, I know a lot of folks who can’t stand soccer. It’s simply a matter of taste. But for Beck it’s a lot more than, “Gee. It’s kind of boring.” Instead it’s, “Look out whitey! Felipe Melo’s gonna get your mama!”

Get it?  Glenn is racist! —>When he says something like the “real america” he really means “white America!”—>He thinks someone named Felipe is coming for our women!—>Racistey Racist!

First, to answer for Glenn—none of these are the reasons Glenn hates soccer—and anyone who has ever listened to him knows it.  Glenn hates soccer because Glenn hates sports.

The Nation pulled this quote from the show:

“It doesn’t matter how you try to sell it to us,” yipped the Prom King of new right, Glenn Beck.“It doesn’t matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn’t matter how many bars open early, it doesn’t matter how many beer commercials they run, we don’t want the World Cup, we don’t like the World Cup, we don’t like soccer, we want nothing to do with it.”

That’s Glenn attempting to describe how much America in general hates soccer.  Not why, but how much. However, for Glenn himself—he just hates sports.  The only notable part of his stance on soccer is that unlike football, baseball, and basketball, his opinion aligns with other American men.

Speaking for myself though—the main reason why I think soccer is an awful, awful game—is because nothing happens in it.  I have tried to watch soccer.  It is horrible.  Horrible.  I would like to see a study of what percentage of the game is spent going sideways or backwards rather than forwards.   The goal is the other way, sir.

In baseball, you don’t run from 2nd base to 1st.  Try to reverse field in football, and you’ll probably lose 10 more yards.  In basketball, it’s illegal to go to the backcourt after crossing it.  You never hit a tennis ball backwards unless you’re running away from the net, and in golf you only hit it backwards when chipping out of the deep rough after a massive failure.   In hockey, you see some backwards movement, sure—but at least it’s a fast game.  I’m not a really a hockey fan, but the best commercial for hockey is soccer.

Soccer is like basketball if the court was six times longer, had ten times as many people on it, goaltending was allowed, and you couldn’t use your hands.  Except basketball would still be better.

I’m a big fan of Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, the sports radio host now on Sirius/XM (just like us) , who explained one of soccer’s larger problems better than anyone a few years ago.   After he was bashing soccer for a while, a caller chastised him:

CALLER: “You just don’t understand the subtleties of the game!”

RUSSO: “The problem is, in soccer, the subtleties of the game don’t lead to goals.”

It’s all manufacturing and no product.  It’s like watching Modern Marvels, seeing all the machinery, and then never knowing what they’re making.

But, it goes beyond the typical complaint of no scoring.  I was watching some “highlights” of the World Cup this weekend—and in one of the games the losing team (Nigeria) had one shot on goal.  Not one goal.  One shot on goal.  One shot in 90 minutes?  I have never played competitive soccer in my life and I had one less shot than their entire team.

I figured that this would be the  exception to the rule.  An unbelievable anecdote to illustrate my overall point about soccer.   But no, Nigeria is just one of  three teams with only one shot on goal—not to be confused with the six other teams with two shots on goal.  Nine teams, fifteen shots on goal. Awful.

It’s not our politics that make us hate soccer.  It’s soccer that makes us hate soccer.

I could go on for hours about this…and I will.  More on soccer in the coming days.

Stride Makes Willy Wonka A Reality

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Somewhere, Violet Beauregarde is a smiling blueberry.

If you remember, Violet turned into a blueberry when she decided to eat gum from Wonka that had not been perfected yet.   The gum was supposed to simulate a three course meal, starting with tomato soup, then roast beef, and finally ending with dessert–blueberry pie.  Of course, the gum hadn’t been released to the public, mainly because it turned people into giant blueberries.  Also, no one would ever want to chew tomato soup flavored gum.  And, Willy Wonka had to deal with the minor issue of being a fictional character.

Yet, with all of those hurdles, flavor changing gum is finally here.  Something called Stride Shift has been created, and while there isn’t any flavor that simulates tomato soup, the gum actually changes flavors a few minutes in.  Start with a piece of berry or citrus gum, end up with a piece of mint.  It’s really weird and I don’t know how it happens exactly, but it’s the sort of thing that you grow to expect from living in America.

Which brings us to the larger point.  Willy Wonka ran his business like a socialist dictator at the end.  Instead of focusing on making his business as efficient as possible, he was constantly throwing money at perks for himself (like the Wonkavator and an office with everything cut in half for no apparent reason)  not to mention coming up with schemes to help (read: imprison or enslave) people like the Oompa Loompas.   Then, at the end, instead of selling the company through an IPO or something, he just gave it to some supposedly deserving poor kid that STOLE FIZZY LIFTING DRINKS.

Well, Willy–you know what poor kids don’t do well?  Run candy companies.

So, in the end, we needed Kraft—a capitalist company that formerly was part of the Phillip Morris/Altria empire—to step in and do Wonka’s work for him.  That’s right—when we needed a problem to really be fixed—we went to Big Tobacco.   They completey destroyed the weird child-molester-ish guy dressed in purple and the thieving poor kid and his equally guilty grandfather (who sleeps four to a bed), and brought us Stride Shift gum.   If Slugworth were around, he would have finished this project years ago!

So…God bless capitalism…and Slugworth.  

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