FanDuel - WFBC

July 06, 2006

Soccer as nihilism: it might be cobblers, but it is a very entertaining read.

posted by Fat Buddha to soccer at 04:11 PM - 34 comments

It's definitely bollocks. I've read similar takes on the whole, soccer is life/soccer is philosophy thing, and this was middle of the road as far as that meme goes. That said, the follwoing line line stood out to me, which has nothing at all to do with sport:

Our country has yet to succumb to the nihilism, existentialism, and anomie that have overtaken Europe.
.Having a significant part of my adult life in both Europe and in the US, this statement (obtusely) is 100% true, and at the core of it, it's both what makes the US great, and what makes it suck.

posted by psmealey at 04:23 PM on July 06

What a load of old tosh. I'm guessing the writer isn't a fan of boxing either. Or any other contact sport. Even American football is contrary to nature given that you put yourself in a position where you get tackled. Jealousy is a terrible thing ;)

posted by Fence at 04:54 PM on July 06

You have to understand that the Weekly Standard is a Republican war rag (hence the slap at "suburban liberals" trying to force soccer on the rest of us poor, unsuspecting decent Americans), and they're not going to support anything that isn't one hundred percent red, white and blue (Unless, of course, it's a burning American flag). Especially something like soccer, with its 22 guys in shorts running around all queer-like. I do enjoy the fact that the article makes a premium of cranial safety, while that most American of sports, American football, is set up for head-to-head collisions between just about everybody on the field, just about every single play, and the players are typically much larger than soccer players, resulting in concussions as an everyday fact of life. Guess that whole "protect the brain" point rings a little hollow when you think about it. Of course, a lot of articles in the Weekly Standard ring hollow when you think about them.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:06 PM on July 06

I live in a society where football is a minority media sport. Therefore I'm used to being patronised every four years. At this time, there is always a torrent of abuse from know nothings who either (a) don't understand the rules and structure of football or (b) make inane suggestions to make the World's Most Popular Game more 'entertaining', at least for them. This one falls into Category (a), is badly written and shows as much understanding of philosophy as a poor episode of Seinfeld (which is name checked, I note).

posted by owlhouse at 05:06 PM on July 06

"Might be cobblers"...? If the masthead says "Weekly Standard," you can bet the house on it. So clever and witty -- and it only took them two authors to produce it. These clods extrapolate an ignorant world view that soccer is nihilist because the American team supposedly played a good game and failed to score a goal: "Soccer is the perfect game for the post-modern world. It's the quintessential expression of the nihilism that prevails in many cultures, which doubtlessly accounts for its wild popularity in Europe." Of course, while we're tabulating scorelines with the number ZERO and talking "nihilism," it's worth remembering the Weekly Standard more than any other editorial board of any magazine made more noise advocating war provocation and screaming "THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT!" and "WE KNOW WHERE THEY ARE!!" etc. ad nauseum about Saddam's lethal stockpiles of "THE MOST LETHAL WEAPONS EVER DEVISED BY MANKIND!!!" In reality, there was nothing but a pile of sand. A big fat ZERO. But, alas, the warpigs are "heroes in error," whilst soccer is for "dim-witted quadrupeds" and those wacky Euros are denigrated as nihilists. Small inconvenient irony: No magazine prostyletizes about capitalism and the free market system more than the Weekly Standard does. But the sad reality is after a decade of publication, the lame magazine *still* can't turn a profit and instead requires the CORPORATE WELFARE of Rupert Murdoch's deep Australian pockets to keep it afloat. Unless your middle initial is W. and you think you are Napoleon, the magazine is not to be taken seriously and not worth the rectal inflammations it's vegetable-based ink gives you when you wipe yer arse with it. Garbage in. Garbage out.

posted by the red terror at 05:08 PM on July 06

Great stuff, the red terror. :)

posted by scully at 05:33 PM on July 06

thankfully, that is the first and last article from Weekly Standard that i ll waste my time with. What a bunch of losers. I m surprised they didn't mention the lack of commercial breaks, that must be un-American in their eyes, according to their intelligence.

posted by sauceysays at 05:33 PM on July 06

hey you guys up there! i have to break the news to you that soccer or football really is a nihilistic sport that is dreadfully boring. sports with ties, low ones at that, are pointless. no one likes a tie. what is a tie. there is no such thing as tie goes to the runner, you are either out or safe, there are no ties!! complete utter waste of time! watching the world cup has made me understand why it is really about the ridiculous behavior of the fans. the rioting, the literal crying and morning for their team's loss!!!! e.g. brasil. it is nationalism at a whole new level. we as humans get so caught up in nationalism that we forget about people as individuals on one planet. leading to all sorts of political and social ills! anyway.........soccer is just a bloody GAME!!!!!!!!!! if you like it enjoy it, if not don't. don't intellectualise it for bloody sakes. have fun! it's entertainment.

posted by jakeamo15 at 06:08 PM on July 06

ahmen jake

posted by xeddie at 06:19 PM on July 06

Frank Cannon and Richard Lessner, consultants with Capital City Partners, have spent most of the World Cup watching ESPN re-runs of the world's strongest man contest.
This about sums it up with regards to these critics! lol - lmao

posted by zippinglou at 06:29 PM on July 06

That article was awesome. It has to be satire. It actually finshes proclaiming that donkeys, having four legs, are superior soccer players. What condfidence!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:46 PM on July 06

I find myself in agreement with the authors. I'm an American and I don't care for soccer, and...wait...there is no and. The rest of the article is bilge!

posted by ctal1999 at 08:05 PM on July 06

i have to break the news to you that soccer or football really is a nihilistic sport that is dreadfully boring I'd ask you two to explain how one has anything to do with the other, but I'd settle for your understanding of nihilism. Which isn't even an ethos.

posted by yerfatma at 08:14 PM on July 06

it is nationalism at a whole new level I'd rather we played a World Cup every four years and got excited about our national teams (and those of other countries) than spent our time organising and prosecuting a war where people get killed. The whole point is to get caught up in the emotion and drama. And the intellectualisation. It might be trivial, but it's a better use of time than thinking up new ways of, and justifications for, killing.

posted by owlhouse at 08:39 PM on July 06

Hey, yerfatma, who are the "you two " you're referring to?

posted by ctal1999 at 08:53 PM on July 06

If soccer (football) were truly nihilistic on the basis of there being ties (draws), you wouldn't get 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw - you'd get no points for anything and fuck the panalty shootout. Next week: why paintings in galleries in the US will from now on be required to have a numerical rating (known as the Mona Lisa Scale) attached when displayed in public so that people can quantify how good or bad they are and really get the most from their art viewing experience. "Hey, Hank, how was the gallery today?" "You know what, Brenda? It was swell, and what's more, whereas in the past I'd have had to think about how to describe it to you, thanks to the new Mona Lisa Scale, which rates each painting compared to the painting of that Italian lady done by Tom Hanks, now I can just tell you that today was an 84." "Oh my - an 84! - sounds like a great day, honey." "It was, Brenda, but there's no need for us to talk about it now that we have established its value. Now... any chance of a 69?" The glory of football is that it reflects life as it is (largely boring, but occasionally magnificent), unlike baseball (or any number of other sports) which seeks to be better than life, fairer than life, more certain than life.

posted by JJ at 02:43 AM on July 07

The glory of football is that it reflects life as it is (largely boring, but occasionally magnificent), unlike baseball (or any number of other sports) which seeks to be better than life, fairer than life, more certain than life. Well put. The problem with most American sports fans is they don't want a sport with its occasional doldrums and more frequent failures. They want the best case scenario every time, "reality" and certainty: SportsCenter, the Apprentice, American Idol, Survivor, and sudden death overtime. It still boggles my mind the people can call soccer dull and still sit through the middle innings of a baseball game, or really anything other than the last two minutes (20 minutes in real time) of an NBA game.

posted by psmealey at 04:44 AM on July 07

Hey, yerfatma, who are the "you two " you're referring to? Sorry: jakeamo15 and xeddie.

posted by yerfatma at 06:06 AM on July 07

Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

posted by Scott Carefoot at 09:05 AM on July 07

see this is what i'm talking about. all you psuedo intellectuals, including Yerfatma, still talking about soccer as more than just a boring game. excuse me if my argument did not present an ethos for bloody sake. we are talking about a GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not the the origin of the universe!!!!!!!! get a life this is a sports blog! you can take your aristotle logic and shove it! and by the way baseball is a great game and there are no ties and it is not timed! and you obvious do not understand the game! if you want to get into an intellectual battle about baseball just try me.

posted by jakeamo15 at 11:38 AM on July 07

see this is what i'm talking about. all you psuedo intellectuals, including Yerfatma, still talking about soccer as more than just a boring game. excuse me if my argument did not present an ethos for bloody sake. we are talking about a GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not the the origin of the universe!!!!!!!! get a life this is a sports blog! you can take your aristotle logic and shove it! ... Shut the fuck up, Donnie. You're out of your element.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:50 AM on July 07

and by the way baseball is a great game and there are no ties and it is not timed! and you obvious do not understand the game! if you want to get into an intellectual battle about baseball just try me. Based on your two comments, I will make the following conclusions about you: you can't capitalize your almost-sentences; you can't be bothered to check your spelling; you can't use punctuation except as a weapon. Why would anybody want to engage in an intellectual "battle" with you?

posted by Amateur at 12:53 PM on July 07

I was wondering when the Lebowski quotes would start! What is football anyway?

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:18 PM on July 07

Why would anybody want to engage in an intellectual "battle" with you? It's brave of him to offer to fight unarmed.

posted by psmealey at 02:21 PM on July 07

... unless, he was doing an improvised interpretation of how the Kevin Kline character from "A Fish Called Wanda" would comment on this post. In which case, I applaud you sir, I applaud you.

posted by psmealey at 02:26 PM on July 07

"I am not an ape. Apes don't read philiosophy!" "Sure they do Otto, they just don't understand it.... The central message of Buddhism is not 'every man for himself'."

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:51 PM on July 07

Nihilism is not the belief that scoreless ties do not exist. Ethos is not a layer of the Earth's atmosphere. These are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up. On edit: Doggonit, Weedy. Stole my thunder. Er, rumble? One hand clapping?

posted by BullpenPro at 02:59 PM on July 07

I was wondering when the Lebowski quotes would start! Dude!

posted by yerfatma at 03:05 PM on July 07

I love that name... Weedy McSmokey

posted by rcparis555 at 03:14 PM on July 07

Hi all, I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in. And it turns out it's a swiss fuckin' watch.

posted by chicobangs at 03:17 PM on July 07

I've had a had a rough night, and I hate the fucking Eagles, man.

posted by Fat Buddha at 03:44 PM on July 07

if you want to get into an intellectual battle about baseball just try me. LEHRER: Good evening distinguished panelists. As determined by a coin toss, the first question goes to you, jakeamo15. You have two minutes. A green light will come on when 30 seconds remain in any given answer, yellow at 15, red at five seconds, and then flashing red means time's up. There is also a backup buzzer system if needed. Is George Steinbrenner bad for baseball? Go.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:29 PM on July 07

godamnit BullpenPro, haven't we seen enough !!!!!!, the mark of a true genius, for one thread?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 12:51 PM on July 08

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