How soccer is ruining America

I am posting this article on ‘How Soccer is Ruining America’ mainly to irritate a handful of philosophy majors I know that love soccer.  I also always enjoy taking high level culture critique or philosophical jargon and directing it toward petty things (the blog discussion on Heidegger and the gas vs charcoal grill debate remains one of my favorite discussions from this blog).

Author: Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.

7 thoughts on “How soccer is ruining America”

  1. I wish I could argue that soccer is NOT ruining America, but being a soccer player myself, I feel compelled to avoid confrontation :(


  2. Come on, Alex. At least take a dive and flail around on the ground for a while like your leg is broken before popping up and jogging away.


  3. As a former soccer player, I can forgive Kleiner for posting this because I know he’s still haunted by an endless replay of D. Sproles sweeping left and going untouched to the endzone, haha.

    I have to say the flopping thing has always surprised me since I came to hear about in the media. I don’t remember much of it when I played, though I think I recall our couches saying “sell the foul” a lot, which I thought was monumentally stupid, especially since I was playing Jungle ball in gym class a lot then.

    I even remember being yelled at about it during (of all trivial, stupid, pointless things) a pickup game of church basketball. Apparently it mattered that someone’s hand wasn’t knocking me over.


  4. Fine, fine… A couple of uneducated observations:

    Rec. soccer, I suppose, could be ruining America. The kids all dress the same, everyone is given a trophy at the end, and parents are required to feed their little monsters twice (halftime/end of game), yadda-yadda-yadda.

    Should you make the mistake of signing your kids up in a rec. league, don’t worry, it isn’t a complete disaster! Observant parents should take note of a few things (non-observant parents can continue to oogle the single mom/dad across the field):

    If your child is the type of ‘player’ that runs around in the pack, sign him/her up for home-school. These kids always end up doing drugs, having premarital sex, or joining the Church. If your kid seems to be kicking other kids more often than the ball, good news: you’ll be taken care of when he/she is older. These kids always end up joining a frat, find the show ‘Friends’ to be funny, and are always successful later on in life despite the fact that no one other than their parents are rooting for them. Finally, if your kid is picking flowers on the field… sign them up for music lessons.

    In response to the author:

    1. Concerning the use of hands, I have no disagreement here. One of the best players ever to play, Diego Maradona, tried to raise awareness of this issue on June 22, 1986. As usual, the Brits just complained.

    2. My parents did a good job of letting me know the insignificance of my life, they didn’t need to sign me up for sports to do that. This seems to be more of a parenting issue, blaming this on soccer is irresponsible.

    3. Soccer is a European sport, and yes, it is boring. But America, always the crafty nation, plays her cards carefully. To conceal to our rival countries that we are the greatest, the US consistently show up on the world’s soccer stage with the worst team. Yes, we choose to lose. It keeps the rest of the world’s moral high. We’re even thinking of throwing a baseball game or two.


  5. Thank goodness! Finally, a “First Things” article to which I can heartily assent!

    Then again, I am bored by any game whose excitement consists in moving a small object from one place to another, with a set of rules to make it more difficult.


  6. I’m still thinking about this article, but two thoughts come to my mind in defense of soccer:

    (1) The FIFA video game series is immeasurably more fun than Madden.

    (2) Soccer players–both guys and girls–are a curiously good-looking bunch, even relative to other athletes.

    I’ve never played the sport myself, but I’d like to think it’s not ruining America ha ha. It’s definitely in my blood, as my father played soccer competitively in Germany and has coached high school soccer here in Utah.


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