Hi, Soccer here.
A BUNCH of people have asked me to write a rebuttal directly to Ann Coulter after her column (sorry, “click bait”) blew up the internet and, um, blew her back into relevance for at least 27 hours.
My initial reaction is I don’t have time to play games because I’m too busy …playing games. But that sounded a little crass, so I did put together a quick response to her nine salient points, one that included the almost correct usage of the word “sublimated”, about me.
For starters, I just wanted to say that Soccer (yes, referring to myself in the third person—deal with it Coulter) has a not-so-secret secret list of people that I go to bed every night hoping are not fans.
Though it’s against FIFA regulations to reveal the whole list, here’s a sampling:
• Scott Peterson
• Grumpy Smurf
• Any person whose name begins with the words Kim and Jong
• The stylist who chopped Keri Russell’s hair before season two of Felicity
• Jake Gyllenhaal (no good reason here, just something about him I don’t ‘get’)
• The inventor of boxer briefs (sorry, never liked ’em, they just always bunched up in the wrong spot)
• Hacksaw the Roadie (long story: Basically when I was playing bass for David Lee Roth on the Eat ’em and Smile Tour, Hacksaw was tripping balls on something and wouldn’t let me on the bus in Cheyenne. I had to take a Greyhound all the way to the Twin Cities and missed two tour dates, not to mention Midwest groupie action… there’s more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it)
• Herpes (and bedsores)
• Any of Tom Hanks’s guest-starring roles on a sitcom while he was looking for work post Bosom Buddies (he beat up the Fonz with karate on Happy Days and drank the Keaton’s vanilla extract because he was such an alcoholic uncle on Family Ties—what a dick)
• That TMZ guy. I just don’t get a good vibe from him
• Ann Coulter
• Pol Pot (obvi)
• Sy Sperling of the Hair Club for Men (I haven’t had hair since the ’90s and Sy wasn’t a huge help in that department)
And here’s a short rebuttal to your points Ms. Coulter:
1) “Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer.” Individual achievement does not seem to be big a factor in your writing or that of your contemporaries either Ms. Coulter. Though the post about me may well have been written by someone who can sign your name (your intern, or your intern’s work-release intern), you Ms. Coulter, like other LifeLock shills Bill O’Reilly, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Jonah Goldberg, Larry Elder, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, are known to frequent the use of ghost writers. In fact, some speculate Ms. Coulter hasn’t put pen to paper anything this side of a credit card receipt since the Clinton Administration. Now that is teamwork.
2) “Liberal moms like soccer” because girls can play with boys. A better sentence might have been, “Liberal moms like 50 Shades of Grey and soccer is a good sport for their kids to try so they can be outside and not play first-person shooters where the goal is to kill one another all the time …and not get Type 2 Diabetes.” But again, Ms. Coulter’s (intern’s) call, not mine.
3) “No other sport ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer.” Are you sure you want to go there with me about not scoring enough, Ms. Coulter? Trust me Ms. Coulter, then ask around. I score plenty. But that’s not the point. The point is the quality of the score, not the quantity. Right? Or let me put it in your terms: I shudder to think of the type of balls that get past your keeper on a regular basis.
4) “Most sports are sublimated warfare.” Well, at least the intern looked up a synonym for simulated and subbed in sublimated almost/kind of the right way, that’s something. Now, we all have grudges and we all have people we don’t like. Of the 7 billion people on Earth about 6.9-large-and-change like me. Why? I dunno why? Maybe because I can put two teams representing countries that have been at war over something man wrote a long time ago pretending it was actually god who wrote it and instead of shooting bullets, or lobbing bombs or throwing rocks and teargas at one another, they shake hands, play a little game with two nets and a round ball and sweat and run and spit and cry and laugh and throw their heads back in exaltation or clutch at their hair in utter agony and slink to the ground in defeat. But then someone, often from the opposite side, lends a hand and picks them up and it starts all over again, you know—as a metaphor for life—for the human existence… for the very reason we’re here. No, sports is not war. Sports is the prevention of war. To keep this whole thing going in the name of competition instead of killing one other. To bridge cultural and religious and whatever gaps by agreeing on a single set of rules that helps us navigate, even celebrate those differences on neutral ground. Because we’re all here and that’s special. Because in life, the clock doesn’t stop for injury or if you’re tired or when a mistake happens. You have to keep running, you have to get up when you don’t want to and you have to fight when there’s no fight in you. And sometimes you DON’T win. But you know what, even at your lowest you’re IN THIS GAME. And that’s something. You’re in it until the final whistle blows and the flag goes up and then, you know what else? Because you have this very human spirit, this very drive to exist and persist and be relevant and co-exist—you go a little further, into injury time, into the great beyond …on to unfathomable heights in the face of your enemy, your friend, you. That’s who I am. And that’s why some people even dare call me beautiful.
5) “You can’t use your hands in soccer.” I’m sure two key positions would disagree with Ms. Coulter there. Then again, I can see this being a sticking point for someone who’s been so long without experiencing the touch of a human hand on her scales.
6) “The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the once demanding that we love HBO’s ‘Girls’, light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton.” Great. What’s next? She’s going to attack Modern Family reruns, red wine and school carpools? You can come at me, Ms. Coulter. But leave the hard-working mothers of your country out of this.
7) “It’s foreign.” Technically, since the US is playing the World Cup in Brazil, they’re foreign. Only unlike Ms. Coulter, we don’t yell about building walls to keep the US out even as they help buoy the economy. Yet.
8) “Soccer is like the metric system.” Fuck, I have no idea where she’s going with this one, other than the fact that maybe the intern writer wanted to make it an even 10 reasons, then decided against it. Then this made it to the final draft to make it, um, nine. Or maybe she thinks a yard stick is too short to measure my tremendous length?
9) “No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.” First off, leave my great-grandfather Kicking Rock into Cave out of this. Also, most of American’s “native-born” great grandfathers were greeted by a country that had segregated drinking fountains and buses and restaurants. Smoking was allowed …everywhere. Opportunity for women was (including, or especially the outspoken kind like Ms. Coulter) nonexistent outside the home. And in the home it was no picnic either. Great gramps was worried about smallpox and measles and polio, the latter even took down the president in the old man’s day. But let’s not dwell on the past, because I’m sure Ms. Coulter’s great-grandfather had his regrets too …starting with letting her great-grandmother pull the goalie.
In a strange way, I think Ms. Coulter is a lot like me, more than she thinks. What I try to teach through the kicking around of a little ball is really just a simple lesson: your foe is just you looking you back in the mirror. Because we’re all trying to find a reason and making things up as we go along and not always coming up with the right words (or synonyms).
We all want what’s best for our families and friends and community and country, just like that guy does on the other side of that line. The color of his skin may be different and so may the color of his jersey. But underneath all that, all that window dressing and pomp and flag waving, is the same bone and blood and the same tiny miraculous four-valved motor that beats within all of us.
I envy you guys out there. Because unlike you, I’m not even a thing, not really. Not without you. A ball. Two nets. Some grass. You make me possible. All of you (including you, Ms. Coulter). You watch me and maybe learn a little something about yourselves. And that’s all that really matters.
So thank you Ms. Coulter. Thank you for making me a feel a little more alive today.
I hope I’ve done the same for you (or at least your career which unlike me, probably won’t be around in a decade).