We get (angry) e-mails

This morning I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column deliberately provocative and dripping with sarcasm that essentially poked fun at Americans who don’t watch the World Cup.

(And that is most folks out there; sadly only 18 percent of Americans say they will watch the tournament, according to one survey I saw today).

I wanted to point out that all those Americans who don’t watch because soccer isn’t an American game or don’t watch because the U.S. likely won’t win the World Cup are missing a lot.

Those parochial folks are missing an event of enduring multiethnic, multinational and multicultural appeal. And I tried to go to pains to point out that upsets do occur and that can happen in the favor of the lightly-regarded U.S. no matter what the so-called experts (including this one) say.

I figured I might get a few angry e-mails from fans of pointyball-football or soccer-haters, which was, after all, my intent in part. If I have to goad people into watching the beautiful game, so be it.

Instead I got a half dozen e-mails from futbol fans who completely missed the point.

Some (unedited) excerpts:

*Good afternoon ignorant, I felt very sad reading your article about futbol, it’s not soccer. This sport is know worldwide and play by almost everyone except those fatty people who play, football and baseball, every time that I go to parks I see those fatty people trying to kick a ball with a bat meanwhile other players standing, that is boring and sad. I hope that some day American people discover how wonderful is futbol no soccer. – Diego (I’ve removed the last names).

*I just would like to say I read your article today in the daily bulletin title “it’s ok to think the worst for U.S.” and your article was by far the worst piece in today’s paper. It is obvious that you have no understanding of the game of soccer as well as no respect for the people who represent our nation or anyone who plays the sport. You are an ignorant columnist who has no understanding of the most popular sport in the world and one that is growing rapidly in the united states. – Oliver

*The whole time I was reading the article I was hoping that all the negativity against the World Cup was going to turn around towards the end of the article. But obviously, it never did. I am not a huge fan of soccer but I can appreciate the prepartion and training an athlete goes through in order to prepare for a large event like this. Some people strive their whole lives to reach that mark of just playing in a World Cup match regardless if they win or not. You proceeded to defocate all over that dream. – Chris

*I’m only 17 but and I don’t know much about writing of articles, but I do know enough that the article you wrote is shit. That is the worst article I have ever read. You obviously don’t know much about the underestimated talent of the us soccer team. We are very capable of upsets but I agree we may no win. But its pieces of shit that you why soccer doesn’t catch on in america. The team deserves support even if there not the best. So ill be there along with other thousands of americans to rub it in your face when england chokes and us pulls an upset like the 2-0 victory against 1 spain last summer. – Nikki

*I hope you enjoy living in your cave of ignorance, filled your amazing sports and athletes. There’s not many who can compare to a Manny Ramirez or C.C. Sabbathia, I mean, talk about top notch athletes. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean you have to hate it. Soccer has the biggest following of any sport, in the world. Have baseball or basketball games ever stopped a war? We don’t need people like you watching the world cup anyway. You can stay in your corner and face the wall and watch your silly idea of what sports are. The other 90% of the world is going to watch the biggest sporting event of the world. – Warren


I e-mailed every respondent urging them to re-read the article and go in search of their sense of humor. Most got the point on the second reading.

But dammit not a single non-soccer fan responded. They just ignored the article, turned the page and awaited tonight’s Lakers game.

Better, um, defocate (as a reader put it above) better than that, I guess.


Good to see at least one reader understood the point of the column.

And he’s Brazilian – where they love the game more than any nation on earth:

Hi there,
My name is Luciano.
I am a 33 year-old Brazilian.
I am writing to let you know that I got tears in my eyes after reding your article: http://www.dailynews.com/ci_15248759
I feel lucky that I found your aticle on the web.
Best regards,

Thanks, Luciano, I needed that.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Jason

    that article was funny because all of those facts are true. fans of the game should have picked up on that, i honestly don’t feel that people are excited for this world cup. i’ve had more friends be excited about the last one than this one although that may change come friday that remains to be seen.

    great article Nick

  • Studs Up

    Don’t lament too much Nick, 18% of US population is still larger in numbers than the population of most FIFA nations. Watch those numbers sky rocket if US makes it out of group play. This World Cup has the potential to be THE soccer-awakening for this country. Just think, we have the most fans travelling to South Africa. Amazing.

    USA 3:1 England

  • Torrance Mom

    Some of us Americans are truly excited that the World Cup is finally starting! It is the only reason I kept my cable connected. I have arranged my work schedule around all the games I possibly can. I will try to cheer loudly in place of all the ignorant Americans who don’t get the point. Soccer is the GREATEST sport in the world! Keep writing Nick!

  • gfutbol fan

    Sad to say but our country is always the only 1 not on the same page as the rest of the WORLD, and that’s not a good thing. I was in France for the 98 Cup – some of the most fun ever!! It would be nice for those against Soccer to not put it down nor us fans – fine you don’t like it whatever – but you don’t have to get so negative. As for hopes of more of a following here in the US – a few good wins might help, but it probably comes down to $$$ like everything else in this country. Big corporations won’t promote or support anything unless they think they will make BIG bucks from it. As for 18% being large?? In most other countries it is their life blood, you are raised playing it, watching it, and having “your team”, that is part of what unifies these countries for international events like this. But yet once again here in America – divides us ;-(

    STOP ALL THE HATE – GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where’s your patriotism??

  • Thank you gfutbol and all the commenters for your support.

  • Boris Badenov

    Comrade Soccer Blogger, why you not mention Greatest National Team in World, from Great Socialist Motherland? We have great players, great manager, great fans, great federaton, great vodky…all we need to beat capitalist running dogs and bring World Cup back to Gulag!

    BTW, who is this Landon Donaldson? Is good player, yes? Fights like heroes of Stalingrad during Great Patriotic War. Must contact Nincompoop Novgorod about him before galactial locals find out, comrade.