Here at MFUSA and our subsidiary MFR, we don't just bring you the soccer, we ask the hard questions. Questions like “What would Giuseppe Rossi say about Italy crashing out of the World Cup?” and “Why are some Americans so against soccer?" which we could legitimately boil down to "Why are some Americans giant douches?" - but we won't. It's not for us to judge these things, but we do find it fun to try and get inside the heads of the haters. There's something seedy about this instinctual quadrennial dance and while it would be easy to moan and complain about bloggers and professional writers who feel the need to waste hundreds of words on soccer hate (have we done that here?...crap), we've decided to go for understanding.

In that spirit, we managed to secure a phone interview with a somewhat prominent employed sports columnist who is an admitted soccer hater. While you've probably never heard of him and no one really cares enough to harass him, he was adamant about using an alias. He mumbled something about "hooligans", and rather than waste our time correcting him, we just felt it was easier to go with his request.

So here it is, a look inside the mind of a guy who really hates soccer and feels the need to tell everyone, a man we'll call Jim Ballbag. Enjoy.

MFR: You've written that soccer is boring and that Americans will never like it - if that's true, why bother writing about it all?

Jim Ballbag: Because it's being shoved down my throat, and I'm sick of it. You soccer people just can't go away, leave the word "football" alone, stop with your no-hands nonsense. We have hands for a reason, people, and it's called the fly route. Every four years we hear about how soccer is going to catch on in America, and every four years it makes my blood boil. We have our own sports here, we don't need yours.

MFR: Shoved down your throat? ESPN is simply presenting a product a lot of people want to see, which doesn't really constitute throat-shoving of any kind. Besides, why don't you just change the channel?

JB: I can't change it, I might miss the LeBron coverage. Yesterday his mom bought Nathan’s hot dog relish at the grocery store! You know where Nathan’s is from? New York! He’s joining the Knicks! Besides, my remote is broken and my TV is stuck on ESPN.

MFR: can't get it fixed?

JB: I haven't gotten off my couch in six months - look, the bottom line is that Americans love football, not futbol, and we have plenty of other things to focus on. We don't even know what Brett Favre is going to do yet, and there are only eighty games left in the baseball season. So you go enjoy your socialist sport and I'll stick with a real man's game, one where they throw balls at each other's heads.

MFR: That all sounds very nice, but you act like people can't be soccer fans and love all of those "American" sports you mention. There are a lot of us that love our "football" and our "futbol."

JB: Nonsense. You soccer people are militant. You only like soccer and you can't shut up with your "nils" and "pitches". It's ZERO and FIELD, got it? We know you turned your back on American sports because they don't feed your elitist agenda. That little run you had as the biggest thing going was nice, but it's time for you to climb back in your hole.

MFR: It's amazing that our mere existence offends you. Do you feel this way about any other sports? Why single out soccer?

JB: I only have so much time in my day, and beating up on soccer is easy. Do you know that I haven't written an entirely new "Soccer Sucks" column in twenty years? I just update a few references, sit back, and watch more World Series of Poker. Now there's a sport.

MFR: Lovely attitude you got there. Your employers must be proud.

JB: I didn't cover high school football in Paducah for two years to have some jackass in a tie tell me what I can and cannot write. They know where their bread is buttered, and it's buttered with illogical hate for something I don't understand.

MFR: I suppose I should ask what you make of the television coverage being shoved down your throat.

JB: I feel bad for Chris Fowler. That's a quality football - the real kind - professional forced to talk about European poofs kicking around a ball with a name that sounds like tropical disease. If someone told me they got "Jabulani", I'd ask them how long they had to live. And what's with this guy "Ruud Gullit"? Name sounds like a colloquialism for acid reflux. If he says "therefore" or "sussed" again, I might have to get up off the couch to change the channel.

MFR: Alright, general question: why so angry?

JB: One word: vuvuzela.

MFR: Okay, you got me there. But you can hardly hold the vuvuzela against soccer; it just popped up for this World Cup, and you probably won't hear them again after the tournament is over. Besides, they’re only slightly worse than “Thunder Sticks”.

JB: Fine. Low Scoring.

MFR: Pretend every goal is seven points.

JB: Diving?

MFR: Have you watched Manu Ginobli play?

JB: Well, Landon Donovan doesn’t even look like an athlete.

MFR: And John Stockton did?

JB: Did I say Socialist?

MFR: Can we say “profit-sharing?”

JB: Look... I don’t REALLY hate soccer.

MFR: You don’t?

JB: (sniffles) It’s just... scary.

MFR: Scary? It’s only a sport.

JB: But, there’s so much to learn. And all those leagues to have to pay attention to! And the names! (starts weeping) Have you ever tried to spell Kryzstof or van Hooijdonk?

MFR: Look, it’s not that bad. You don’t have to watch every league. Take Scotland, you only have to watch the Old Firm matches. None of the rest even matter.

JB: They don’t?

MFR: No. Unless Celtic and Rangers are playing each other, the matches don’t count for anything. It’s like four times a season, you have an MMA event at a Superbowl.

JB: But what about America? Isn’t there parity in The MLS?

MFR: There is, but LA will win anyway. And probably beat New England.

JB: (wiping his tears) Kinda like the NBA?

MFR: Exactly. But we boo Mexicans more.

JB: You... you don’t like Mexicans?

MFR: We have drinking songs about how much we hate Mexicans.

JB: Maybe I could get into this sport. But the offsides rule is still stupid.


I think we've had a breakthrough with Jim. It's good to know that after a little prodding, we could get to the source of his anger. The excitement over hating Mexicans is a bit disturbing, and it's obvious Jim needs to get some sun and exercise, but at least he's given us some insight into the mind of the soccer hating sports columnist.

But damn, that's one sad individual.
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