From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:
Soccer, while traditionally lacking in highbrow accoutrements like sophisticated statistics (although those are improving) or literature (the most memorable English-language book on the game is American writer Bill Buford’s memoir of English soccer hooliganism, Among the Thugs), is a wonderful sport for acting out the primordial instinct of territorialism. You get your lads together and we’ll get our lads together and see who wins. And if there isn’t enough action during the game, well, the stouter fellows can meet afterward behind the stadium for a little semiorganized mayhem.Read the whole thing there.
Soccer is the only sport whose organic ties to its populist fans truly scare European elites …
Likewise, the modernization of soccer into a more corporate media-friendly spectacle has been carried out largely by men of the right like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and Rupert Murdoch in England.
But every four years during the World Cup, white American liberals project their status strivings onto soccer and their convoluted ethnic resentments onto traditional American sports. Even though the World Cup embodies nationalist chauvinism at its most frenzied, liberal whites in this country see it as a repudiation of patriotic Americans. For example, former New Republic editor Peter Beinart trumpets in The Atlantic: “Ann Coulter Is Right to Fear the World Cup: America’s growing coalition of soccer fans looks a lot like the coalition that got Obama elected.”
This might come as news to the core of the Obama coalition, African Americans.