Saturday, June 17, 2006

Wherein We Answer Bryan Curtis' Question About Soccer

Slate's Bryan Curtis poses the question in an over-analyzed essay, entitled, Among the Brainiacs, about the attraction soccer and the World Cup hold for America's self-declared intellectual class. Curtis' question: "What would being a soccer fan say about me?"

Of course the question is rhetorical, and Curtis provides his own, self-affirming answer. Unfortunately, the pencil-necks are unable to praise soccer without insulting popular American sports:
Well, it would say a lot of things, many of them flattering. Taking an interest in soccer indicates a certain cosmopolitanism; the game is an international one. A rooting interest in a British club like Arsenal might indicate Anglophilia, which never hurts in polite society. Soccer-love also says—and this is perhaps most important—that you reject the overweening hype and made-for-TV packaging that surrounds American sports for something that, in theory, approaches a purer experience. "If you're an intellectual, the kitsch that shrouds, say, football is almost intolerable," says Franklin Foer. "If you look at a European soccer crowd, all the shouting is coming organically from the crowd itself—that's so much more appealing." Soccer, largely divorced from shrieking announcers and Jumbotrons, feels more like an artistic endeavor than a television show.
Well you're wrong, Bryan. Being an adult intellectual who has chosen to be a soccer fan says only one thing about you.

It says that you have not had a positive sporting experience since you played soccer in middle school, and you feel threatened by people who have.

In other words, you're a pussy.