August 7, 2012

A little over the top?

From the New York Times:
Perfectly Captivating for Their Imperfections
By SAM BORDEN 
The United States women’s soccer team is not a Dream Team. It can’t be. After all, Dream Teams don’t have “nightmares,” as Abby Wambach grimly described last summer’s shootout loss to Japan in the World Cup final. 
It is strange then how many and how widely the Americans continually captivate. Typically, fans in the United States fall in love with the fresh, new face — think the gymnast Gabby Douglas and the swimmer Missy Franklin — or become obsessed with a team based on dominance and power and might. The Olympic men’s basketball teams are made up of N.B.A. mercenaries, yes, but they are almost always effective mercenaries. They throttle. They pummel. They thump. 
The women’s soccer team does not, or at least it has not as often over the past few years. An Olympic team of veterans — only one player was not on the World Cup roster — the Americans are neither new blood nor the types who routinely bloody, and yet they are perhaps the most universally embraced group of Americans playing team sports. ... But what is the greatest allure of the Americans? The attraction, it seems, lies in their flaws. Unlike the basketball Dream Teams and unlike their sporting ancestors, the commanding women’s soccer squads of the 1990s, the current incarnation is gloriously imperfect.

Let me guess ... sports reporter Sam Borden has a daughter whom he loves very much.

I wrote about the sociology of why nice white people love the U.S. women's soccer team so much (and would never ever mention its lack of ethnic diversity) last year for VDARE:
Female soccer embodies many of the most deeply-held values of white American upper middle class families: gender equality; parental (especially paternal) investment in their children; organized practice instead of play; ambitions for college scholarships; tacit race and class segregation via spending; and chauffeuring … lots and lots of chauffeuring.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always root against the US girl's soccer team.

Turer said...

"I wrote about the sociology of why nice white people love the U.S. women's soccer team so much (and would never ever mention its lack of ethnic diversity) last year for VDARE..."

You forgot- one of the players is named Hope Solo. That goes over well with all the Star Wars nerds. And for the rest of the guys, she's not too hard on the eyes...

Matra said...

It is strange then how many and how widely the Americans continually captivate.

Judging by the Canadian media they are anything but captivating to Canada. One headline:

Ugly Americans rise again as soccer team disses Canadian effort

Anonymous said...

The lack of diversity in the US women football is a plus.

Luke Lea said...

If you watched the game then you know that the ref made two quick inexcusable calls in succession which effectively gave the game to the Americans. Otherwise it was a great game, for the Canadians, whose Sinclaire had a game for the ages.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.sfgate.com/olympics/2012/08/07/german-weightlifter-drops-432-pound-barbell-on-his-head-walks-away-photos/

ouch

Anonymous said...

http://prospect.org/article/olympic-girls-go-bad-boy

An article praising female Olympians for brawling and sleeping around like men. Of course if you google Amanda Marcotte you'll see exactly why she encourages other women to reject feminine charm.

Gloria

jody said...

the good thing about the women is they rarely flop, so the game is more watchable, if watching women play soccer is your thing.

Canadian Observer said...

The American women's soccer team's pre-planned vulgar celebrations after goals make them come across as aggressive eyesores and philistines. The Ugly American stereotype in female form. Not a great representative to have on the world stage.

Anonymous said...

There is definitely a class element to girls soccer in the States that does not exist with the boys. My high school's girl soccer team was made up of wealthy and upper middle class white girls while the boys team was a mixed bunch with a lot of Sud y Central Americanos.

Women's beach volleyball is the sport of these Olympics, not soccer. The gold and silver are going to America, while the US men lost to Latvia. Great match this afternoon between US and China.

Anonymous said...

Women's team sports like soccer and basketball are just so bad. They're just terrible facsimiles of the men's team sports.

Something like women's gymnastics is better to watch. You can appreciate it because they bring unique grace and flexibility. But women's team sports is like watching the physically undeveloped or disabled. It's like watching t-ball or pee wee football.

Anonymous said...

It's time for the U.S to put up a team to beat Brazil and take the cup from them.

Being the World's best at WOMEN'S soccer is not very impressive...

Research data said...

"I wrote about the sociology of why nice white people love the U.S. women's soccer team so much (and would never ever mention its lack of ethnic diversity) last year for VDARE.

White people don't love the US team because they are white. They are loved because they show athletic young women who WIN. A losing tradition in US soccer such as in men's soccer, which also is mostly white, does not attract an equivalent level of fan support. Trying to "spin" a "racial" angle here is ludicrous.

And the "classic" US soccer team that gave rise to US dominance in women's soccer had as one of its key players, the black goalie, Brianna Scurry. She retired with 2 Olympic gold medals and one World Cup Championship. And while goalkeepers traditionally do not get much press compared to attackers and others, white America loved her for the it, as did her fellow players who note her important role in some of their bios.

Solo is a strong, credible replacement for Scurry. Whether she will ever win a World Cup tending the nets like Scurry, remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

If you watched the game then you know that the ref made two quick inexcusable calls in succession which effectively gave the game to the Americans. Otherwise it was a great game, for the Canadians, whose Sinclaire had a game for the ages.

Who was the referee, Gary Bettmann?

Golden Bear said...

Great article, Steve, with your typical "Sailer" approach: interesting and well researched facts (with links), well written, and with the required distorted and sometimes odd racial spin.

Racial spinning aside, your point is well taken. I see the same class and "whiteness" issues in men's volleyball. All the same skills required in basketball are found in successful volleyball players. However, I saw NO Black players on the American Olympic team. In contrast, the women's team is pretty diverse (well, Whites and Blacks at least).

I recall a few years ago one summer on a business trip to North Carolina, I stopped by Duke and walked the campus (being a nerd, I always visit colleges wherever I am). They had summer sports camps going on for boys basketball and boys and girls soccer.

I was shocked at the complete lack of diversity of the basketball camp participants (I merely shrugged my shoulders regarding the all White soccer players). These kids weren't scrubs - they were very good. What was odd was that they were good AND obviously upper middle class to well off. I felt like I stumbled onto some secret training camp for WASP children.

Anonymous said...

Netball is the sport you are looking for. It's white basketball. And it's a female sport.

Anonymous said...

"If you watched the game then you know that the ref made two quick inexcusable calls in succession which effectively gave the game to the Americans. Otherwise it was a great game, for the Canadians, whose Sinclaire had a game for the ages."

That might have been the game you watched if you were a whiny Canadian with a massive inferiority complex vis-a-vis the Americans; however the calls were not that out of line, especially when you consider that the ref overlooked a lot of Canadian foul play during the match. Tancredi alone should have been red carded and that would have left Canada one player short and likely have cost them the game. Please see video of Tancredi stomping on Carli Lloyd's head.

http://blog.sfgate.com/olympics/2012/08/07/canada%E2%80%99s-melissa-tancredi-got-away-with-stomping-on-carli-lloyd%E2%80%99s-head-during-semifinal/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3ggsT2HWkc

Anonymous said...

I saw the US-Japan game last year. (It was last year, right?) Good football. Sorry, good soccer. The womens game used to be a bit of a joke, but not any more.

Anonymous said...

An article praising female Olympians for brawling and sleeping around like men.


Really? The article praises men for sleeping around?

No, I didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

It's time for the U.S to put up a team to beat Brazil and take the cup from them.

Being the World's best at WOMEN'S soccer is not very impressive.


We're not the world's best at women's soccer. And Brazil is not the worlds best at men's soccer. That would be Spain.

stari_momak said...

"I always root against the US girl's soccer team."

That's funny, I always root against the US men's basketball team -- at least after 1992.

And Steve, I think you are being too hard on the Swipples. Sure I'd like them to just admit their biases, or even better, to recognize the long term effects of their seemingly innate (but suicidal) do-gooderness. But how can you see and image like the women's crew team, or the women's waterpolo team and not be proud to be an American.

I went to a Uni that didn't have much in the way of NCAA sports, but did have a lot of club teams. And the girls that played La Crosse (chix with stix), or Ultimate (the Burning Skirts), were some of the most interesting, coolest, and (having lived in Europe) unique to America females around.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:04 AM

"We're not the world's best at women's soccer. And Brazil is not the worlds best at men's soccer. That would be Spain."

Spain has 1 and Brazil has 5, the record. Don't be stupid.

Truth said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2Dv83BM_5w&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Watched the game. The Canadians were a pretty good futbol team for a bunch of hockey thugs. Was I watching a soccer game or the '73 Philadelphia Flyers?

I love the idiots complaining about the after-goal celebrations. Didn't anyone see "Bend It Like Beckham"? Women's soccer is ALL about the celebration. I'd rather watch the girls turning cartwheels than the "men" humping each others' legs.

Are you serious about Scurry?! Five Hall of Famers (Hamm, Akers, Foudy, Overbeck and Heinrichs) might have had something to do with their success back in those days. If Solo had a force like Overbeck on the back line, Ms. Sinclair would have finished the game limping around nursing a serious headache.

I was watching the super heavyweight lifting, and the German guy, Matthias Steiner, 2008 Olympic Champion, was a riot. After he dropped the weight on his head, he was lying on his side with the bar across his thighs, looking around as if to say, hey, can someone get this thing off of me? Only tough guys need apply.

What I took away from the weightlifting is that we have 300 million people in this country and no one really competing for the World's Strongest Man title, leaving it to 2 Iranians and a Russian. One (1) American man qualified for the entire list of weight classes! I guess the US can compete in sports that require Speedos or leotards, but not picking up heavy stuff.

John Pepple said...

There is another sociological angle to this: the American left’s lack of interest in soccer. I got involved in soccer in 1972. I saw who got involved and who didn’t. The people who got involved were generally apolitical, or else in the middle or on the right. People on the left just didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

Let me note as an aside that the left failed a huge test with respect to soccer. When given a chance to show how open-minded they were about something foreign, they went scurrying back to the safety and familiarity of the sports they grew up with. Even today the multicultural movement here in America cannot bring itself to include acceptance of foreign sports as one of its themes.

Anyway, because the American left was never interested in soccer, they never pushed inner-city blacks to start playing soccer, and they never demanded that Latinos be included on national teams. Their interests were elsewhere. This wasn’t how I wanted things to turn out, but this was their decision and not mine. I had plenty of arguments with my fellow leftists about this, but they were determined not to have anything to do with soccer.

Danny Yang said...

"Truth said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2Dv83BM_5w&feature=related"


Ghetto Man Superhero in action
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGV9vE7H7I0&feature=related

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I felt like I stumbled onto some secret training camp for WASP children.

Oh noes! That must have been a harrowing experience.

I'm sure you carefully backed away from the scene and reported your find to the nearest MultiKult Kommissar's office.

Luke Lea said...

re: ref through the US-Canada game

anonymous: "That might have been the game you watched if you were a whiny Canadian with a massive inferiority complex vis-a-vis the Americans;"

I am American and was rooting for the Americans. There were no game-changing calls favoring the Canadians, let along two in quick succession.

For those who didn't see it the first call was a penalty kick at the top of the bow awarded because the Canadian goal-keeper didn't kick the ball before 6 seconds were up. A replay will show she was not stalling and was not warned. Even American tv commentators admitted they had never seen such a call in their lives.

The second call for a handball in the box resulted from a line-drive into the wall in which two American players turned sideways to avoid the ball, with their arms straight at their sides. There was no attempt to use their hands or arms and, again, this would not normally have been called for a penalty, certainly not at a crucial moment in a big game like this.

You can see the replays on You-Tube. Let the viewers judge for themselves.

The worst part for me was the US judge smiling broadly at the calls and then announcing afterwards she thought they were right. If the American squad had an ounce of self-respect they would either have refused the victory or else plan to give their golds to the Canadians in case they beat Japan.

I'm a big soccer fan, women's soccer included, and a big fan of the American team in particular. But what happened on Monday has left a bitter taste in my heart that won't go away. The ref's calls were more than wrong. They were evil.

Anonymous said...

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/it-is-no-dream-the-life-of-theodor-herzl/6441

"(The style has become such a cliché that Apple's basic iMovie video-editing program literally has "Ken Burns effect" as an option.)"

That true?

Londoner said...

Uruguay has two, but they ain't better than Spain. There's no doubt that Spain are the best in the world currently, and have been for several years.

poolside said...

I was involved in girls youth soccer for several years, and I think you are spot on, Steve.

Girls soccer in the U.S. is very expensive and very suburban, in part because at many clubs, the girls side subsidizes the boys, who tend to be majority Latino/African immigrants and on scholarship.

But the white parents are willing to pay, and pay handsomely. Why?

Because white suburban parents have three main choices for their athletically inclined daughters -- softball, considered by many to be a lesbian sport; basketball, which is dominated by blacks; and soccer.

Since you can begin playing soccer at age 4 or 5, that's where most young white suburban girls start, and many stick with it. Wearing a club or high school soccer shirt is a badge of honor in many suburban communities.

Along the way, many parents become soccer fans since they watch so much of the sport. I am one of those Americans who did not grow up with soccer but became a huge fan through my daughter's involvement. I watch the USWNT faithfully along with women's college soccer.

If Gabby Douglas can be an "inspiration" to young black girls, why can't our daughters look up to Alex Morgan or Heather O'Reilly? The fact that so many members of the USWNT are married (or dating men) makes them the best possible athletic role models for young white girls, at least in their parents' eyes. LOL

Anonymous said...

Spain has 1 and Brazil has 5, the record. Don't be stupid.


Spain are the current World Cup holders. Don't be stupid.

But then, you probably think that the Steelers are the best team in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

"Ugly Americans rise again as soccer team disses Canadian effort"

Is there anything more pathetic than anti-American Canadians?? It´s so transparent there obvious inferiority complex, it just makes them look stupid.

jody said...

"Women's beach volleyball is the sport of these Olympics, not soccer."

NBC has certainly forced this narrative, that's for sure. they have blown 40 minutes per day of prime time network television coverage on a non-sport, women's beach volleyball, to construct an ongoing story for good ratings. steve's criticism of the US women's soccer team actually belongs here. this is the reason for NBC's relentless coverage of beach volleyball, and not even men's beach volleyball. hey, it's good business, but this isn't the olympics. it's not even real volleyball.

few people play beach volleyball, so the US can send 2 teams of european women to the finals in a non-sport. it's repeat of the US softball team. hooray, USA number 1 (in a sport nobody plays)!

5 on 5 hardcourt is real volleyball with better athletes, people who actually have 40 inch verticals and crush the ball into defenders. beach volleyball is slow, with weaker athletes. in hardcourt 5 on 5 you can't just bump the ball into empty space and get cheap points, which is what happens on half of all 2 on 2 beach volleyball points. it's a fun, recreational sport, not taken seriously anywhere. i've played the competitive version of both and not even hardcourt is taken all that seriously at the NCAA level.

NBC hasn't shown a single minute of wrestling or boxing, core olympic events. nor will they, probably. unless one of the black american wrestlers medals (all the black american boxers were defeated). while it is not entirely about race, and they would only show a few matches of wrestling or boxing even if the americans were doing well, the last thing NBC wants to show is black american guys getting man handled in a physical sport. getting thrown by white guys, getting tossed around, getting their faces punched in and bloodied by white guys. these things are most certainly not part of the narrative.

NBC has even relegated track and field, the most important thing about the olympics, down to second behind women's gymnastics.

in fact, the entire NBC coverage has been very woman centric. i didn't pick up on this until week 2, but it's obvious now. they've turned the olympics into a woman power thing. not sure if the US men's basketball team has even had a single game on network television.

Truth said...

"If Gabby Douglas can be an "inspiration" to young black girls, why can't our daughters look up to Alex Morgan or Heather O'Reilly? "

Where in the fuck does it say they can't?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Jody, one of the NBC affliated stations has been carrying quite a few of the boxing matches.

Well, at least what they are calling boxing matches. I watch to hear the commentary of the stupidest (punch drunk?) color men in all of sports, Teddy Atlas.

Anonymous said...

I agree with jody - beach volleyball is a joke. Maybe the US can get flag football made an Olympic sport next?

Whiskey said...

Jody -- TV is now a female/gay ghetto almost exclusively. Decades of driving men away to chase female consumers for advertisers have made that so. NBC paid an ungodly amount of money for the Olympics, and most men don't like the "relationship" or human interest side that NBC emphasizes, while women gobble it up.

Pretty much everything save NASCAR, Golf, and Football/Baseball/Basketball is female oriented on TV. And not by a little, a LOT. Well, save maybe the History Channel stuff like Pawn Stars and so on.

Anonymous said...

I felt like I stumbled onto some secret training camp for WASP children.

A military academy?

Anonymous said...

Reading this sort of thing, you'd think women were actually competing against men and beating them or something:

"In 2012, winning Olympic gold is women’s work"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/in-2012-winning-olympic-gold-is-womens-work/2012/08/08/9be7868e-e1a7-11e1-a25e-15067bb31849_story.html

"Something remarkable is going on at this Olympics: Adult human males are now waiting in line for tickets to things they used to make fun of. Female athletes such as boxer Claressa Shields and soccer striker Abby Wambach, women with biceps bigger than your brother’s, are being treated as creatures of worth and even beauty. Apparently, strong is the new pretty.

Before you say it doesn’t matter who or what is pretty, stop. In fact, it matters hugely, and it especially matters to sponsors. Guys are unembarrassable about this. The female athletes in the London Games don’t need the approval of men, but they most certainly need their money.

If the trend continues, American women will win twice as many medals as men in London. When you think about their performances here, they are conspicuous not just for how many podiums they are taking, but for how viscerally, hugely, physically powerfully they are doing so before roaring audiences. The London Games are clearly a point of departure: This is the last time anyone will ever — hopefully ever — tell a young girl, “That’s not for you. Find something else to do.”

You’d like to say we passed that juncture a long time, but actually we didn’t. Not until just now.

Anonymous said...

There is a 6 second rule and the Canadian goalie was delaying the game by holding the ball for more than 10 seconds every time, and she did indeed receive one warning. It was finally called on an occasion when she held it for 11 seconds.

Anonymous said...

NBC hasn't shown a single minute of wrestling or boxing, core olympic events.

MSNBC has been showing boxing almost exclusively every day for several hours after the stock market closes. They've been showing way too much of it. They should show more of the other sports, especially the obscure ones. Olympic boxing is not that fun to watch. It's too technical. Watching 130 lb. guys trying to score points isn't that exciting to watch. And boxing is on TV frequently throughout the year. Whereas most of the Olympic sports are rarely on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with jody - beach volleyball is a joke.

Women's beach volleyball and basketball are awful.

Women's handball isn't that bad because the goal is large.

They should replace women's basketball at the Olympics with netball. Netball is similar to basketball but you can't dribble and you can't block shots. It's easier for women to play.

Here's netball: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgr2zmq9CUk

irishman said...

There is no way Spain are better than Brazil.

Brazil didn't win the World Cup in South Africa because Holland kicked them off the pitch. Now Holland kicked Spain around too but their is no doubt in my mind that had Brazil played Spain they would make easy work of them.

Brazil are head and shoulders above the rest of the world and always will be for demographic reasons.

Anonymous said...

Typical Ugly American response - cant you just be happy winning without stepping on the loser's heads?

Anonymous said...

"Where in the fuck does it say they can't?!?!?!?"

They're not even allowed to look up to the partially White, Lolo Jones.

Anonymous said...

Interesting..people keep quoting the 6 second rule as gospel, but no one seems to be able to recall ever seeing any ref call this, and never in such an important match..after the game, Wambach gloated that she had influenced the ref by counting off the seconds to her as she dogged her up the field..additionally, there were incidences where Hope Solo held onto the ball for longer than 6 seconds and was not penalized..fair?

In the Gold medal match the Americans were not penalized for an obvious hand ball in the box that would have resulted in a penalty kick..the same call went against the Canadian women in their match, allowing the Americans to tie the game.

As far as the dissing comment goes..Sinclair, the team captain for Canada, scored 3 goals in the match, an incredible feat in an Olympic game of such magnitude, and Hope Solo's response was " we made her look good" Stay classy, ladies.

The Canadian girls are coming for you next time.

Kursk