A sign of the nation’s moral decay

Is “Ann Coulter” just a very long-lasting Poe? She must be, right?

This time it’s Association Football.

I’ve held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of the average soccer game — so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay.


In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised. 

Oh right, that’s why nobody’s ever heard of David Beckham. That’s why there’s no movie titled Bend It Like Beckham. That’s why there’s no fuss when someone scores a goal. That’s why the goalie smiles happily whenever the ball gets past him.

Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.

Seriously? I’m the most unathletic person on earth; I loathed all team sports when I was in school; yet even I goggle at the skill involved in good football. Also fuck her for the casual denigration of girls.

Then there’s even more stupid shit. It’s not violent enough – it’s no good if people aren’t wrecked for life in every game. You can’t use your hands. (That’s a good one. Right and in tennis you can’t just kick the ball; in chess you can’t just grab the queen and throw it out the window; in Monopoly you can’t just grab all the property cards and all the cash. That’s what makes them games. Sit down there in the back, Ludwig.) It’s force-fed (by libbruls, of course, in between slugs of latte). It’s foreign, in fact, it’s French. It’s immigrant.

If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: 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.

Now that’s a professional asshole.



  1. Al Dente says

    It’s not violent enough – it’s no good if people aren’t wrecked for life in every game.

    Not a lot of crippled baseball players out there, Ann.

  2. says

    I think we can conclude that Anne Coulter has actually never watched a football match.
    Look, I’m the first person who will say something bad about football in general*, the FIFA in specific and all with an extra bit of hate for the current World Cup, but this is true and utter bullshit.
    I guess it’s the envy that us football-loving nations’ top athletes are still able to walk and talk and write their name 10 years after they finish their career**

    *Actually, I don’t even dislike football that much. I loved to play it as a child. I just hate the fandom. Passionately
    ** With the exception of Lothar Mattäus who’d always had problems walking and talking at the same time.

  3. yazikus says

    I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.

    This is just blatantly untrue, pulled from her seemingly endless pile of assfax. Also, she could’t even bring herself to say ‘grandparents’ in this quote.

    Reading this I seriously thought it must be a joke. Like a link to the Onion I missed, or April Fools. Or something. But nope, appears to be pure Coulter.

  4. Pen says

    …in Monopoly you can’t just grab all the property cards and all the cash

    You can’t?! But… but… that’s the centrepiece of my strategy! I wondered what those seven-year-olds were complaining about!

    Also, if I was Ann Coulter and I wanted to make a case for soccer being linked to moral decay, I would have referred to the boozing that accompanies it, the content of the chants, the soap opera side show involving the players, the biting people’s ears off as an unofficial strategy.. Hasn’t that aspect of the game reached America yet?

  5. Your Name's not Bruce? says

    Gosh, it’s not even coded as a dog whistle. It’s just undisguised anti-immigrant, anti rest-of -the world bile.

    I guess she knows her audience.

  6. badgersdaughter says

    Yeah, I’ll just take a drive up to Strabane this weekend and tell my Irish family that “footie” is responsible for what’s wrong with Northern Ireland. They ought to love that.

  7. JoeformerlyofBrooklyn says

    Hey: Here’s the way to deal with professional assholes:


  8. Ed says

    I’m just blown away by the politicization of a sports preference.

    Is she going to write something this winter about decent law abiding American mittens vs. subversive leftist homosexual Muslim gloves? Or: Corn flakes or reason bran? Our nation’s destiny hangs in the balance!

    This is the very definition of a totalitarian mentality. I thought I just liked “soccer” because it’s fast-paced and fun to watch.

    Maybe when she finds out how much nationalism and violence can be involved, she’ll change her mind.

  9. Claire Ramsey says

    Awww she didn’t say anything about futbol “so as not to offend anyone” – as if she ever cared one bit about offending readers. She enjoys offending. It’s the key to her performance.

    She’s so ignorant and constructs such bad arguments. Why oh why is she still in print. . .

  10. cartomancer says

    A very telling piece of ignorance she slips in here is the assumption that an American will have only one great-great-grandfather. I don’t know how inbred the Coulter clan must be, but the majority of human beings have eight…

  11. RJW says

    “these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time”

    Probably not, in Australia football was once just that ‘funny game immigrants play’, not any more, it’s steadily increasing in popularity, particularly as a participatory sport for kids.

    Both the most popular spectator sports, rugby and AFL are body contact and sometimes result in severe injuries, paraplegia is a risk, particularly for rugby players, so my money’s on football in the long run.
    America might be the only nation that’s immune to football’s allure, however I doubt it.

    BTW I think modern football is an English invention.

  12. BobGee says

    @ Pen #4

    Ummm… you’re joking, right? You’re not really claiming those things don’t occure in any other sport popular in the Us, right?…Right?

  13. DrVanNostrand says

    Fully half of my great grandparents and all of my grandparents were US born and I’m a huge soccer fan. Maybe I don’t count because I picked up my love of soccer as a young kid in South Texas, so I was tainted by all the evil Mexicans. Of course, that’s the least of the factual inaccuracies in the article. That’s probably the least of the inaccuracies in anything she’s ever written.

  14. Menyambal says

    “Soccer”, the name of it, I mean, is short for Association, supposedly. That commemorates the English group that invented the game and set the rules. If she doesn’t like things that the English started and spread all over the world, she had best find another language to speak.

    Seriously, American football commonly only gets three touchdowns per game. It’s giving 7 points for each that jacks up the score.

    And, if anybody forgets, American football requires a troupe of scantily-clad women dancing about and encouraging the spectators to cheer.

  15. Shatterface says

    If she called it ‘football’, which it is, instead of ‘soccer’ she might realise how dumb it is to complain you can’t use your hands.

    Now, calling American football ‘football’ really is absurd. That should be called ‘rugby for people who need helmets, padding and 100 substitutes to make them look tough’

  16. Smokey Dusty says

    Part of the fun of being a sports fan is trash talking rival teams and codes. Indeed some of the more enlightened commentors here have decided to fight Coulter’s fire with fire. Part of the fun is trying to place one’s sports fandom in philosophical or social context.

    Just last Friday I was holding forth to my soccer-fan friend that he was a history-denying, fascist for calling it ‘real football’. And that rugby league was the most emblematically Australian of sports because it hides its skill from the uninitiated and revels in accusations that it is unsophisticated.

    From that perspective I’d say this is among Coulter’s least offensive work. That is until she has a dig at new Americans.

    That’s one of the joys of rugby league here in Sydney. The vibrant cosmopolitism of the crowds. There I go again. Social context…

    On American Football ruining people. It seems a fair few soccer players are getting CTE from heading the ball. I myself have been knocked out playing soccer. That said using a helmeted head as a weapon in American Football is stupid. Stupider still is that they coach the technique in junior football. I saw some very distressing footage on an investigative piece on CTE of 8 year olds deliberately colliding head to head (as a training drill) The result was two stunned, crying chidren. Of course deliberate brain trauma is a good way of building Coulteresqe characters…

  17. smrnda says

    This isn’t that new for right-wing hacks like Ann Coulter. Since they don’t have any intellectually credible arguments they just decide to attack other people’s preferences in sports, food, drink and entertainment.

  18. Smokey Dusty says

    @Shatterface. Football was a vibrantly democratic game where every village and school had its own rules. Inter-village games needed rules to be negotiated before the match. The oldest complete printed rules of (quote) ‘Football’ are from a village in Scotland. That village specifically prohibited kicking the ball.

    Many attempts at codification preceded the Football Association including Rugby rules and Australian Rules ( which both allow picking the ball up). Indeed the first soccer rules (Oxford slang for Association as apposed to Rugger or Rugby Football) awarded free kicks for catching the ball on the full.

    The oldest reference to ‘Soccer’ was from an Oxford alumni and England captain in about 1885. The first teams to play the codified Association rules, Barnes and Richmond, later defected to the Rugby Union.

    The etemology of the word ‘football’ are lost in the mists of time. But given that many rules permitted handling the ball; speculation is that it was foot as apposed to horse (ie it was not polo) not foot apposed to hand.

  19. Trebuchet says

    Coulter is the ultimate troll. She’s doing it for the reactions. FSM only knows what she actually thinks. If she thinks.

    And apparently it doesn’t matter where your great-grandmothers were born.

  20. carlie says

    That article was so weird – it reads for all the world like a joke piece, but then if it were, it wouldn’t contain things she actually believes (like the slams on liberal moms). But that’s a problem conservatives always have with satire – they don’t realize that it can’t be made up almost entirely of things they actually believe and still be “satire”.

  21. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    Something tells me perhaps Coulter’s Great-Grandmother was NOT born in the US.

    Also, funny this: 1620- In North America, native American Indians in the original Jamestown settlement played a game called pasuckuakohowog, meaning “they gather to play ball with the foot.” It was a rough game, played the beach, the field a half-mile wide with goals 1 mile apart, with as many as 1000 players at a time.

    So one could argue that the original Americans played soccer long before any of the other big sports. National Past-time anyone?

  22. Francisco Bacopa says

    I’m just waiting until immigrants to Canada make cricket popular here. It’s rather strange to be part of the Commonwealth and have no cricket fandom to speak of. I mean, I don’t even know the rules.

    Cricket is popular in a lot of US cities that have large Indo-Pak and Caribbean populations. I’ve been to a couple of Jamaicans vs Pakistanis matches with a Jamaican coworker. I have never been able to learn the rules because my friend lapses into patois to talk about the game rather than using his Queen’s English. I do know that “knocked for six” means that a team is awarded six runs when the ball is hit where fielders can’t get to it. And I have also met white people speaking Jamaican patois.

    I wonder if the UK equivalent of Ann Coulter argues that Americans are wimps because we like baseball, which is a popular girl’s game in large parts of the UK.

  23. zubanel says

    Not being a sports fan of any kind I have to wonder why anyone pays any attention to what Coulter says. She always sounds like that unfortunate member of the community that you always keep at least in the corner of your eye when they’re around just in case they managed to get a gun but otherwise not dangerous.

  24. says

    #23 all seconded. And geez, has this useless schlub never heard of the football war? Moral decay is the least of our worries. The greater worry: those who have forgotten* their history are doomed to write columns like that one.

    And seriously, yeah, much as I’m generally amused by sports-wide disses (admirable sample: soccer is 90 minutes pretending you’re hurt; rugby is 80 minutes pretending you’re not*), trust a class act like Coulter to milk even that good fun for maximal sexism, culture warfare and general xenophobia, and find some way therein to throw a bone to the John Birch Society. All the perfectly legitimate targets in that game, and instead she’s gotta make stuff up about it being some kind of gateway drug to communism? I… erm… sense a certain theme, here. Honestly, I begin to wonder if she can as much as ask someone to pass the salt without turning it into a Randian diatribe. Has no one told her this gets a bit stale? It’s like watching a standup comic who only ever does jokes about airline food.

    *Or just never read.

    **More seriously, I used to enjoy playing soccer (it’s been some years now; the retirement is in the interest of saving what remains of my knees for other things), though it’s not a sport I generally watch; ain’t just ethical issues with FIFA; I must confess it’s never much engaged me, for I dunno what reason; I’ve watched bits of World Cup games next to people I know who do get into it, inevitably find myself wandering off.

  25. says

    Joe @ 7 (so now Ed is @ 8) – I know. It’s just that this one is so silly in such a silly way that I wanted to poke fun at it. Sometimes it’s just for fun.

  26. Ed says


    Coulter is someone who could be very funny if she only had a sense of humor.

    Reading her feels like watching a comedy film made by a director and actors who didn’t get the writer’s jokes.

  27. AsqJames says

    As a good free-market, anti-regulation capitalist Coulter should love soccer, she just doesn’t know enough about it.

    Soccer has very few rules, in fact it may be the least regulated of any major sport. Many of the rules which do exist are flexible (the pitch can be anything from 100 -130 yards long by 50 – 100 yards wide* and a team consists of between 7 and 11 players**). There are no fixed playing positions – any player can go anywhere on the pitch, even the goalkeeper is sometimes seen in the opposition’s penalty area. Yay, personal liberty!. True, most of the players can’t touch the ball with their hands, but literally any other part of the body can be used. The USMNT’s Clint Dempsey scored a goal with his groin a few days ago – when is the last time a basketball player scored with anything other than his/her hands?

    There are very few regulators too – just one referee and 2 assistants to monitor fair play (and in professional games a 4th official to keep track of time and substitutes). Of course this small government approach allows players to get away with a good deal of cheating, but we all know the market (i.e. the fans) will flock to follow the teams with honest players and shun the cheats…just like consumers reward or punish corporations based on their ethical behaviour.

    The barriers to entry for learning to play the game are extremely low, all you need is something to kick and somewhere to kick it. Low barriers to new entrants into a market are important for innovation and to prevent monopolies or cartels forming. With talent and hard work anyone can get all bootstrappy and be a successful soccer player.

    At the organised level (professional leagues) soccer is also much closer to Ms Coulter’s free market ideal than the major American sports. Promotion and relegation allow well-run teams to climb the “league ladder” and poorer teams to fall. If they fall far enough they may eventually cease to exist – just like a failing business is allowed to go bust. I understand the NFL and NBA reward failure by assigning teams which finish lower in the league earlier picks in the draft for the next season. Sounds socialist to me!

    And what’s with these “drafts” anyway? Where’s the open and competitive employment market where the teams are free to offer whatever contracts they want to whoever they want, and players are free to choose between the offers they receive?

    * – Bear this in mind next time an area is described as “the size of x football pitches”!

    ** – If one team has a full team of 11 and the other has at least 7 players the game goes ahead (and continues until injuries/red cards reduce one team to fewer than 7 players). One or other side being short a full team happens regularly at the amateur/junior level and has even happened occasionally in professional games. The results are often predictable. “Mercy rules” are an American invention.

  28. Omar Puhleez says

    Soccer actually has quite a violent record, when compared with other codes of football, said violence taking place amongst fans and spectators rather than players.

    I am inclined to an explanation based on spectator frustration. Thanks to the presence of the goalie and the narrowness of the goal mouth cf other codes, the scoring rate is pathetically low. It is always nil all or 1-0 or 1-1 (with extra time), or maybe on a really high scoring day 2-2 or even an astronomical 4-3. So referee bias and sheer bloody chance can be seen as playing a big part in any given outcome, which can in turn trigger a perfect storm in the crowd.
    In Argentina this got so bad that the referee commonly dived into a cage on wheels after blowing the final whistle, and thus could be wheeled off the pitch more or less intact.
    So in discussion once with an Englishman and keen follower of soccer, I suggested that the way out of this hooliganism problem was to increase the goal mouth to at least the width of the Rugby goal posts, and get rid of the goalie altogether.
    I was accused, charged and found guilty of sacrilege. Fortunately, I was able to calm him down before it came to Rugby-style biffo (read ‘blows’.)

  29. Jenora Feuer says

    And if she could think back TWO decades, she’d remember that the World Cup was actually held in the U.S. in 1994. Where it was the highest-attended World Cup ever.

  30. lorn says

    Give my druthers I would rather see a good rugby game instead of a soccer game, rugby is visually involved enough to keep my attention, barely, but quite frankly I find no sport very interesting when viewed as a spectator.

  31. Minnow says

    Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level

    That is a very odd thing to say. My children are still in primary education and they play all team sports in mixed sex groups. That includes cricket, football (soccer), lacrosse, netball and even rugby. Not even Ann Coulter could find rugby effete, surely.

  32. RJW says

    @37 Iorn,

    Agreed, sport is participatory, spectator ‘sport’ is really mass entertainment–a few hours at the arena.

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