Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Hottest Take: If You Like Soccer, You May Be A Terrorist

Illustration for article titled The Hottest Take: If You Like Soccer, You May Be A Terrorist

Mamma mia, this is one spicy take.

National Review has published a post with the headline "Soccer: Official Sport of Terrorism." Read it if you want, though we can't be held responsible should your computer or phone immediately combust on account of an excessively hot take.


Anti-World Cup columns are an entire genre. There have been a few of these recently, like this one or this one, which actually claims that soccer rejects individualism, discourages teams from enjoying massive advantages over rivals, and believes "drawing attention to yourself is distasteful." Going from "soccer sucks" to "soccer is a sport for terrorists" is truly a level up, though.

As you'd expect, the piece touches all the bases. We've got the "soccer is simple" argument:

This is true in a strictly technical sense: There is more strategic thought involved in a first-down running play that gains two yards than there is in all 12 or so hours of a soccer match.

The "[bad person] liked soccer" argument:

When will the people of the near east realize that soccer is just a crusader plot to make Arabs appear weak? Even the late Osama bin Laden got goggle-eyed over this poisoned export from the European id.

Oh snap, a dictator hat trick:

Is it really an accident that Benito Mussolini was among the first beneficiaries of a home advantage at the World Cup; or that one of the world's most beloved living footballers, Diego Maradona, is a louche socialist, a friend of Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and a flagrant cheat in both taxes and soccer?


The "soccer doesn't belong in America" argument:

You say the U.S.A. is too yokelized to appreciate the beauty of soccer. I say soccer has lost fair and square in our very crowded beauty contest.


Then there are other opinions randomly shoehorned in, like a defense of Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea:

It was Dennis Rodman, not David Beckham, who braved the world's contumely with an underappreciated effort to bring down Kim Jong-Un's dictatorship from inside the paint.


And a reminder that the Redskins' name isn't a big deal:

FIFA takes stabs at punishing bureaucratic threats to its apparatus, but you certainly won't see that organization's long line of non-entities engaging in the kind of forelock tugging Americans engage in over non-issues like hypercompetitiveness or the team name of the Redskins.


In all, it's a real achievement in hot take writing.

You can't take any of this at all seriously, of course, because it's just a vague expression of hostility and suspiciousness; the actual point has nothing to do with sports, but rather with how coastal liberals, brown people, and effete Europeans like something, and how it's therefore not to be liked. What you have to wonder is how people like this get through life, utterly unable to judge anything on its merits and constantly worried that someone somewhere with whom they disagree might be getting a kick out of something. OK, so soccer sucks because the wrong people like it. But what about other stuff—beer, say, or bicycles, or trees? Is pizza illiberal? Mussolini did like it, after all...