There’s Football, and then there’s sports…

I was stunned recently to hear Joe Scarborough, co-host of my favorite morning magazine on cable show, Morning Joe Presented by Starbucks, state that there was no way his children would ever “play football.” A few things must be noted first, before I assert his statement was ridiculous, churlish, petulant and girlish.

Joe Scarborough is a decent human being, a compassionate conservative and a passionate advocate of causes in which he believes. He is a southerion by birth, a native of Atlanta, raised the pan-handle of Florida, in the port city of Pensacola. He is a protestant who graduated from a  Roman Catholic High School, matriculated to the University of Alabama, and received his law degree from the University of Florida. He has practiced law, served his country as a United States Congressman, elected by his constituents three times, and currently is co-host, along with Willie Geist, and the beautiful and brainy Mika Brzezinski, of the Morning Joe show on the somewhat liberal cable network, MSNBC.  I am providing this back ground information on the likely chance that you are not one of the half-million or so viewers of the show, and really don’t know Joe.

He is also, regrettably, a soccer fan, or more correctly, a soccer fanatic. What a flaw in a man of such character, in a man of such intelligence; Joe Scarborough,  a sniveling Euroamerican!

Don’t misunderstand me, soccer is a wonderful game for children. The kids run helter-skelter back and forth across a grassy field, building cardiovascular capacity, their skin churning out vitamin D, their boyish hair and girlish locks bouncing in the wind. The game is not about winning or losing, it is not even about scoring! It’s about a day, a beautiful day in the neighborhood, with shiny black BMW’s, violet Volvo’s and maroon Mercedes’ lined neatly along the graveled rows lining the “pitch.”  It’s about children sweating, not a characteristic of modern youth, and about socialization, and socialized society, and political correctness, and “can’t we all just get along.”  Above all, its about being nice, not hitting or tripping anyone, or anyone up, and most significantly, looking down at your feet. Don’t yell, don’t hurt, be nice. Be French!

Joe, what the hell are you thinking! In the same conversation in which you cast dispersions on playing football, you admitted that you played football in high school, perhaps even earlier. You seemed pained at the recollection of the experience. Third String Joe? Bench warmer? Get the snot knocked out of you, and for what? Never scored, you look like a flanker or split end, did they have you at tackle, were you a pulling guard? Come on Joe, say it ain’t so, tell us you played every down, went both ways, you were a real 60 minute man.

What a horror it must have been to attend two football schools, ‘Bama and Florida. Did those jocks get your girl, those bullies kick sand in your face? Tuscaloosa and Gainesville, towns without pity for a closet soccer lover. How it must have grated on your nerves to hear the cheering crowds, to smell the waffling scent of tailgate BBQ. To see coeds flushed crimson, not quaffing a pint, but guzzling brew.

Soccer is a European game, it is game that teaches boys how to grow into men that run. And run they do. They learn not to hit, but to dodge; not to knock, but to skirt. Oh, no doubt somewhere in the highlands, some kilted retired Black Watch Scotsmen are playing it rough, but Joe, it was well said the “the wars of England were won on the fields of Eton.” A noble sentiment indeed, but when has England last won a war? Or France, or Germany, or those cute little meso-americans who kicked heads across temple flats.

America, modern America, is born of leaders who played football, or who wished they could.  Unlike soccer, football teaches us to hit, to be hit; to hurt, to be hurt. We find that pain isn’t so bad, that we can handle physical blows to the body, that we can be knocked senseless and rise and survive.  Unlike soccer, football teaches us the absolute importance of teamwork; eleven men to a side, all doing what is critical to the success of others. Funny, for most of the twentieth century there were eleven men in a rifle squad, which in multiples comprised  a platoon, which made up a company, a brigade,  a division.

Chance Joe, just by chance, eleven?  There is no scrimmage in soccer, no plays, just continuous movement, and a concern to do your own job well. If you fail, someone else, some Pele or Maradona will bedazzle the retreating…note the word… defense man in front of him, and once or twice an hour, there will be a score. Not really like we have heard combat described, is it?

And Joe, consider this.  I am certain that the game of football is the reason we never had a second Civil War in America. At the very time young men whose father’s had died in defense of their state’s, their sovereign rights; and those whose father’s lived in the wound of defeat, at the age when manhood flowers, at that very time, football was invented!  Auburn defeated Georgia, February, 1892! Why kill Yankees when we can knock the snot out of ourselves.

There we have it Joe. A game that saved a nation from civil war; a game that taught us coordinated team work based on planning and execution of set plays reflecting well considered strategy’s; a game that taught the players how to improvise, how to change tactics when faced with defeat; a game that defined the character of the finest generation of Americans, the generation that saved us from Hitler and Tojo; and finally, lead by a football player who became the actor who played the “gipper,” defeated the soviet menace and spared us nuclear holocaust.

Joe, are you serious?  So you weren’t good enough, so you didn’t score or they didn’t yell your name at the pep rally, or the girl you wanted went instead with the quarterback.

Look at you, you are a good, decent man; a public servant, an incipient media mogul. And you’ve got your own show, and the company each week-day morning of the beautiful and intelligent Mika; ya, and Willie too.   Football, it seems to me was good for you, and Joe, it wouldn’t have hurt your sons.




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2 Responses to There’s Football, and then there’s sports…

  1. Rory says:

    You understand soccer about as well as a jock strap understands baseball. Soccer, even youth soccer, is no more about running around in nice weather than youth football is about getting dirty. Your blessed American football is nothing but a bastardization of the bastardization of soccer (ie, it’s a reformed version of Rugby which was soccer with hands). The reason American toss-ball has eleven players is because soccer has eleven players. You laugh because soccer players run for 90 minutes, we laugh because toss-ball players run for seven seconds then take a 40 second break while their clock continues to count down. You call 300 pound guys with guts the size of kegs while lumbering around the line of scrimmage athletes. You think players should be able to be subbed out at any given time while they all take half the game off to watch the other side of the ball do their thing. Your players can learn to play offense or defense, not both. Your shorter, narrower field limits the running your players have to do between their 40 second breaks. You need your daddy figure on the sideline to call each and every single play of the game while soccer players have a coach who has to train the players to think for themselves… heck, your daddy figure even has to have specialists to call the plays for either offense or defense. You have a socialist salary cap and a communist draft that assigns players to teams to help promote socialist parity while soccer lets the market determine who plays where.

    Yeah, soccer isn’t American… but then, neither is Golf (Scottish), Tennis (European, probably French), basketball (Canadian founder), or in a way American Football (based on English Rugby based on English Football) or baseball (English Rounders). Even George Washington played Cricket, I guess that makes him a British loyalist/communist pinko.

    Enjoy your socialist toss-ball where failure is rewarded with the best college player and 12 minutes of actual action is spread across three hours of your life so beer companies can get force you to see their commercials.

    • Bull Sullivan says:

      Thank you Rory! At least there is one soccer player, or fan, as the case may be, who actually has the balls to speak up for his sport. My experience has been that most euroamericans, those who are descendants of continental Europeans, who support the sport, hail from the Northeast, and that most southerions, those who are descendants of the Founding Fathers and who are naturally found south of the Mason-Dixon Line, support collegiate football. Of course, in the American South, soccer is widely played; in fact, it is the predominant sport of girls and prepubescent boys.

      I completely agree with you about the soccer being a sport in which the players run continuously, and seem far better conditioned. This sport was wonderful training for the hasty retreats of the French and Italian Armies in the last World War, and the general disorganization of such retreats is testimony to the failure of the sport to teach teamwork and coordinated action. In football, the failure of one player can easily, and normally does, doom the success of a play, and each play when run is evaluated, immediately, as to its success, and the indication of the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses. While soccer is considered a team sport, many of the team members do nothing, but wait, until the action moves toward them. This is also a fault of American baseball, and why it and soccer teach so few useful life lessons.

      While I respect the athleticism of soccer participants, and recommend it as a conditioning activity to young men and women, I do not believe that I would ever call soccer an American sport, nor do I think Team USA Soccer represents America. It is best played by Euroamericans and Latinos, and has great value within those cultures. But Rory, it ain’t knock knock, it ain’t busting your butt, it ain’t kill the enemy bastards, it ain’t Win! Win! Win!

      Most importantly, it doesn’t teach the value of having the snot knocked out of you, seeing stars, and gasping for breath…over and over…and getting up of your ass …over and over… and doing the same to the other guy, the other team. No pain, no gain. Soccer players don’t go head to head, they go toe to toe, kind of like a rough ballet!

      You make a good point about the origins of many American sports, but you fail to acknowledge the improvements we made in all the listed sports, allowing access to anyone with the guts and heart to play ‘em, and rewarding those who play well with free education and at times ridiculous salaries.

      As to your comment about the Father of Our Country, George Washington, playing cricket, the sport evolved in the North American Colonies as a gentleman’s sport, with the Republic can the notion of equality, and Cricket and Polo lost currency with Americans, whilst remaining quite fashionable in Britain’s overseas empire, notably India. It might be fair to consider that the three sports mentioned, soccer, cricket and polo, remained popular sports in England even as dumb ol’ American jocks saved England, indeed all of Europe, twice from defeat and even invasion and assimilation by the Hun.

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