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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


September 3, 2014 - 10:37 am

Lifelong soccer fan here. My team, Arsenal, was established by brawny men who crafted weapons for the British military at a time when the sun never set on their empire. They have a cannon in the frickin’ logo. They have another frickin’ cannon parked outside their stadium in London.

They’re called, even in our politically-correct age, the Gunners. The NBA team formerly known as the Washington Bullets envies their aggressive branding.




Back when I was kid soccer player and fan, football coaches would smear the sport as a “Communist plot.” That smear would continue right up until the coach needed a kicker. Then, whaddya know, he’d go for a soccer player, because they know how to kick a ball with power and control. Soccer goal keepers also make good punters and tight ends.

But there’s a story out today that has me re-thinking the whole commie plot angle.

A letter is circulating on behalf of the NESCAC Men’s soccer coaches to parents of student-athletes, saying the conference will only allow ‘positive’ cheering from fans, furthering the wussification of sports in America.

The NESCAC (New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference) is comprised of schools such as Williams, Amherst, Tufts and Middlebury.

According to the email, NESCAC coaches ask that fans refrain from any ‘action that could potentially be construed as negative or confrontational,’ including booing and holding up signs that ‘could be interpreted as offensive in nature.’

Oh please.

Because I pay way too much attention to soccer, I get where this is coming from. It’s coming from Europe. Some fans in some countries (mostly Russia, but also Italy and Spain) engage in racist chants and hold up racist signs against non-white players on their rival teams (but not, of course, on the team they support). Some players, like World Cup vampire Luis Suarez, get a little racist on the field once in a while.

Those selectively racist fans get banned from stadiums for life when they’re caught, and the teams usually have to pay a price too. That tends to come in the form of having to play games with sections of their stadium seating left unsold, which costs the club money.

But in the US we don’t have that problem. We’re not as backward as Europe is on race relations.

Europe’s soccer fans do lead the world in hurling negative but non-racist, sometimes obscene, abusive chants at the enemy on the field. Many of those chants are hilarious and add to the atmosphere of the game.

But that also doesn’t really happen in US soccer. It’s not a part of our game here. We lag in the atmosphere indicator. The best US fans are probably the ones who support Portland and Seattle in MLS. They pack the stands and the Timbers have a logger guy who cuts a log with a big chainsaw when they score. That’s not politically-correct (a tree had to die!), and therefore it’s pretty cool. But I guess it qualifies as “positive.”

timber joey

Yet some Yankee soccer people are writing emails warning everyone not to get all negative when cheering for soccer? I bet they vote leftwing Democrat and think Barack Obama is just grand, too.


Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (7)
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It's probably not a communist plot, but it's still stupid.

Oh, by the way, that "wussification" deal?

Get back to me when they stop fainting.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am not kidding, when I attended a large state university in Ohio in the 1980s the band director used to lead the entire band in chanting, "The ref beats his wife! The ref beats his wife!" Completely tasteless and totally unacceptable (for all we know, he did beat his wife) but times have changed. In the ensuing years most people -- even drunken college students -- have figured out it's not cool to laugh at domestic violence. The same is true of racism, save for a handful of knuckle-draggers who should be booed out of stadiums. Common decency is needed, not busybody speech codes.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the past, I may have been known to rant just a titch against the World I'm not exactly a pro-soccer partisan. But this just sounds like a nosy group of people trying to fix a nonexistent problem (in the US). Pure nanny-ism. Leave soccer alone.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Soccer is a good sport for children. Other than that? Awful.

Yes, I'm that guy.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
in the 1990s I worked for the U. of South Carolina. Only went to one of the Gamecocks football games, tickets for which were heirlooms. But the baseball games were free for employees, and there was the added bonus that baseball started mid-February. Before each game there was an announcement warning against vulgar/obscene or racist language. Fans still got to be creative with their taunts. Same with the then Capital City Bombers.

Negative cheering is fine, just be creative.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with soccer for most of us Americans is there's a lot of movement with very little result. Kind of like an old man trying to have sex.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Um, no. That analogy doesn't fit at all. It implies at least an attempt at manliness.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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