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Bread, Circuses, and World Cup Soccer--Croatia's National Team Is Actually NATIONAL
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If you pay any attention at all to non-political news, you know that the Soccer World Cup is being played in Russia. We just got through with the semifinals, and now know that the final, for the championship, will be played between France and Croatia this Sunday, July 15th, in Moscow.

The last semifinal game was played this Wednesday between England and Croatia. Croatia won the game, two goals to one. A couple of my acquaintances thought I must be in distress about this, being English by birth, and sought to console me.

I appreciate their kindness, but it’s misplaced. For one thing, I’m not English. I have the immigrant’s sentimental attachment to the Old Country, but in a very mild form. Since getting naturalized sixteen years ago I’m a happy and patriotic American, with no other national loyalties. I’m one of the 44 percent of Americans who’d be willing to fight for America, supposing my sorry old hide would be any use in a real fight.

If England got into a war I’d cheer them on, but wouldn’t do what David Niven did. Niven was a Hollywood star already in 1939; but the day after Britain declared war on Germany in September that year, he sailed for home and rejoined the British Army. He was still a British citizen, though. I’m an American.

For another thing, I have no interest in soccer. I actually dislike the game. I once wrote a column arguing for soccer to be banned from the U.S.A. by constitutional amendment.

My secondary school played rugby, not soccer. In England there is — or was, when I lived there — a clear class line between the two sports. Working-class boys played soccer; the middle classes preferred rugby. As the saying went: Soccer is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans, rugger is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen.

The class angle is different here in the States. When I wrote that anti-soccer column back in 2000, political pundits were all talking about soccer moms and the soccer mom vote. Middle- and upper-class American parents were encouraging their kids to play soccer, apparently because they thought it European, and therefore classy, like French wine, German cars, or British tailoring. Plainly these soccer moms had never met a European soccer fan.

Now, a couple of decades on from that, we don’t hear much about soccer moms. I have the vague impression soccer’s gone downmarket in American public consciousness, associated now more with Mexican busboys than with Beaujolais, BMWs, or Burberry raincoats.

Possibly mass immigration has cured the American middle classes of their infatuation with soccer. For me, as a patriot and soccer-hater, that’s nothing but good news. Even mass Third World immigration has an upside, I guess.

Now you may say: OK, Derb, but you must at least allow that soccer enthusiasm is a last refuge of masculinity. No doubt there are female soccer fans, but they’re a rare species, and probably lesbians.

Well, yes, but what kind of men are we talking about? My own prejudices aside, the real case against soccer, and against mass sporting enthusiasm in general, is the bread-and-circuses case. Events like the World Cup are spectacles designed to distract our attention while ruling elites pick our pockets.

The vlogger who calls himself Black Pigeon had a good piece on this theme the other day. He raises the case of the disturbances in London last fall, when thousands of supporters of the German soccer team from Cologne demonstrated angrily in the streets of London. Cologne was playing Arsenal, a London team, and the Cologne supporters didn’t think they’d been allocated enough tickets. They shut down traffic in central London.

Where, Black Pigeon asks pointedly, were these bold lads from Cologne when the women of that city were being molested by gangs of Muslim invaders at New Year’s 2016? There was some grumbling about those attacks when news of them finally leaked out, and a few half-hearted demonstrations by twenty or thirty people — who were promptly arrested by the German authorities, of course — but nothing like the fired-up mob of thousands of soccer fans who shut down London last September over an issue of seating arrangements.

The ruling elites of Europe are wonderfully skilled at directing the natural tribal emotions of young European men awayfrom their proper outlet — the defense of their homelands against invading foreigners — and towards the bread and circuses of pseudo-nationalist extravaganzas like the World Cup.

As if to rub in how phony it all is, the big European countries field teams hired in from the Third World.

The team that won the 1966 World Cup for England was entirely English. Not even British, but actually English; if memory serves, every one of them was born in England, although the right back had a Jewish great-grandfather.

Compare this year’s French team: Steven Nzonzi, Samuel Umtiti, Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe, … I turned a couple of shades darker just reading the names.

So that’s today’s young European guy: Cowering fearfully at home while mobs of foreigners rule the streets, torching cars and molesting women; then turning out fired up with pseudo-tribal passion to watch hired-in teams of those same foreigners kick a ball around for ninety minutes.

Having gotten all that sourness off my chest, I’d like to add a friendly word for the Croatian team that beat England on Wednesday. Well done, guys!

Thirty years ago there wasn’t any such country as Croatia; it was part of the old Yugoslavia. Now here they are, a nation of four million people, humbling England, population 56 million — not to mention Nigeria with 186 million, Brazil with 209 million, India with 1.3 billion, and China with 1.4 billion.

And so far as I can judge from the faces, and the sheer number of diacritical marks used to spell their names, they are all Croatian!

Tell you what: This weekend I’m going to suspend my disdain for soccer as best I can and root for Croatia in Sunday’s final. I may even stay awake through the whole game if it means watching Mandžukić, Perišić, Kalinić, and Kramarić beat Nzonzi, Umtiti, Dembele, and Mbappe.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Immigration, Soccer, World Cup 
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  1. Derb, I’m sorry to report that AfricaFrance won the game. People who know a lot more about soccer than I do (this was the first game I ever watched for a full half) have said that the French team got some big gifts from the refs.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    , @Truth
  2. @Rex Little

    French team got some big gifts from the refs.

    She also got some “help” with Mandzukic’ own goal. Plus a dubious free kick (after dive by French player) after which France scored the second one.

    • Replies: @Vojkan
  3. George says:

    ” root for Croatia in Sunday’s final.” Nope, don’t do it. Once you root for one side or the other the Nation State system owns you. They might have won if NATO did not blow Yugoslavia to bits. Why can’t Croatia and other countries field a combined team to they could compete with immigrant nations? For example, Catholic nations Croatia+Mexico sounds formidable. Or Croatia+Nigeria to show brotherly love or something.

  4. Truth says:

    For one thing, I’m not English. I have the immigrant’s sentimental attachment to the Old Country, but in a very mild form. Since getting naturalized sixteen years ago I’m a happy and patriotic American, with no other national loyalties.

    Oh, immigrants get to choose now? Does that option exist for the right-winger-whatever on the pitch for jolly-Ol’ Nigeri…er-England?

    Events like the World Cup are spectacles designed to distract our attention while ruling elites pick our pockets.

    OK Derb, you’ve redeemed yourself.

  5. Truth says:
    @Rex Little

    People who know a lot more about soccer than I do (this was the first game I ever watched for a full half) have said that the French team got some big gifts from the refs.

    Well Rexy, I probably know a hair less about soccer than you do, but I can make a fairly logical inference here, that those people you know are weak, milquetoast, whiny little punk-beeeotch sore losers.

    • Replies: @Rex Little
    , @Anon
  6. @Truth

    those people you know are weak, milquetoast, whiny little punk-beeeotch sore losers.

    I don’t personally know anyone who watches soccer; I was making reference to this blog post by someone who plays on an amateur soccer team in Italy. If you were to call him those names to his face, it would amuse me greatly if I could somehow witness the outcome.

    • Replies: @Truth
  7. Hail says: • Website

    And so far as I can judge from the faces, and the sheer number of diacritical marks used to spell their names, they are all Croatian!

    You are right.

    Racial ancestry of each World Cup team

    Player-by-player racial-ancestral analysis for all European teams

    — Belgium: 70% White, 22% Black, 17% Muslim
    Croatia: 100% White, no Muslims
    — Denmark: 90% White, 10% Black
    — England: 63% White, 37% Black, No Muslims
    France: 33% White, 52% Black, 33% Muslim
    — Germany: 83% White, <7% Black, 11% Muslim
    — Iceland: 100% White, 98% Icelandic
    — Poland: 100% White, disproportionately from western Poland
    — Portugal: 77% White, heavy African-colonial presence at 20% Black
    — Russia: 84% White, 16% from Soviet periphery (Central Asia, Caucuses)
    — Serbia: 94% White, 4% Muslim, 4% Gypsy[?]
    — Spain: 92% White, <6% Black, No Muslims
    — Switzerland: 70% White, but only 44% White-Christian
    — Sweden: 91% White, <5% Black, No Muslims

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  8. — Russia: 84% White, 16% from Soviet periphery (Central Asia, Caucuses)

    People of Caucasus are white race.

    • Replies: @Anon
  9. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:

    The French Team is proof of BAMMAMA or Blacks are more muscular and more aggressive.
    Blacks are only 5% of France but dominate its sports.

    This means Africans will physically bully, beat up, and humiliate white French boys. That will means black guys will be the face of French manhood. Blackilles will be French Achilles. Dancelot will be the French Lancelot. Funkules will be the French Hercules.
    That will mean French women getting jungle fever and welcoming Afro-colonization of white wombs.
    France will become like the US where pathetic wussy white boys worship black athletes who humps 1000s of white women.

    When nations go global, the local/national hero is sacrificed for universal domination of the Negro Supremacism. Mass open borders immigration leads to blacks dominating the sports of all nations.
    This is because black athletic advantage is huge. Jamaica produces faster runners than Russia, China, India, EU combined. Japan has few blacks, but already its fastest runner is a mulatto resulting from a Japanese woman who went with a black guy.

    Globalism means world monopoly by a few.

    Blacks dominate all the sports and pop music. Jews dominate all of banks, media, gambling, and high tech. US military occupy all lands.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  10. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    People of Caucasus are white race.

    Many are. But some are closer to Asiatic or Middle Eastern.

  11. Anon[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Truth

    BAMMAMA: Blacks are more muscular and more aggressive.

    Negroes can kick white boys’ ass. Whites are reduced to being weak, milquetoast, whiny little punk-beeeotch sore losers. THAT is why we need racial separation. White manhood needs safe space from tougher and rougher black manhood. Once integrated with blacks, white boys are cucky-wucked.

    BAMMAMA leads to ACOWW or Afro-colonization-of-white-wombs.

    Globalism means black manhood imperialism and occupation of all nations. It’s happening even in Japan.

  12. Truth says:
    @Rex Little

    By all means, forward, to him, this link.

  13. Corvinus says:
    @Hail

    Actually, nations, even white Europeans, want to win, especially on the global stage. It makes no difference if being a fan is a modern phenomenon. And if that means “less white” for their “sportsball teams”, they will wholeheartedly endorse the plan to ensure victory. It’s all about being competitive, not ethnicity. Any teammate will tell you that talent wins, and it makes no difference if it is a darkie, or a brownie, or a white dude, so long as the job gets done in the end. Support for bringing in “foreign ringers” is not about “ruling ideologies”, but about achieving a particular goal–a championship.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  14. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Now, a couple of decades on from that, we don’t hear much about soccer moms. I have the vague impression soccer’s gone downmarket in American public consciousness, associated now more with Mexican busboys than with Beaujolais, BMWs, or Burberry raincoats.

    Possibly mass immigration has cured the American middle classes of their infatuation with soccer. For me, as a patriot and soccer-hater, that’s nothing but good news. Even mass Third World immigration has an upside, I guess.

    On Sunday, America’s Major League Soccer set an attendance record with more than 72,000 fans turning out for a match between Seattle and Atlanta. MLS fandom seems very SWPL. I don’t think it attracts many Mexican busboy fans. Soccer is segmented, and MLS aspires to and apes the top European leagues rather than Latin American ones.

  15. I find myself in agreement with all the major points of this post.

    1) Were I to find myself accidentally watching an Olympic basketball game between the American team and a white team from WHEREVER, I’d be rooting for the white team.

    2) If American football fans could come up with even 10% of the energy, intensity, and often rage, that they put into their fandom of the game, watching a bunch of thugs run around a field into raising some legitimate well-deserved hell against the US Feral gov’t that screws them daily, it’s be something to see. Imagine marches on Washington, FS, with visits of thousands at a time to the offices of congressmen’s/judge’s offices. At least your old land has the Free Tommy protests, which are pretty encouraging.

    3) Yes, this game of Communist Kickball is a sorry excuse for a sport. My main problem with it is just that when a ball comes at you in the middle of any kind of game, you have every right to catch it with your hands and throw the damn thing somewhere else. Didn’t we fight a war about this some time ago? We may have our different reasons, but I’m glad you were the 1st to the soccer-detesting club, joined later by Ann Coulter and yours truly. I can’t wait to read your column.

    • Replies: @Anon
  16. Anon[351] • Disclaimer says:

    When the French wouldn’t leave Algeria, Algerians took up arms and resisted French imperialism and colonialism. But when the globo-homo collaborationist regime of UK lets in tons of Africans and Muslims, privileged white Britons like Cleese just leave!

    What a coward. He should fight.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  17. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    1) Were I to find myself accidentally watching an Olympic basketball game between the American team and a white team from WHEREVER, I’d be rooting for the white team.

    Pointless. Black team will invariably win.

    It’s better to have white teams play only white teams. Keep blacks out of
    white sports.

    Greeks understood this. Greek Olympics were about Greeks Only.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  18. @Anon

    What a coward. He should fight.

    And by “fight” you mean exactly what? Basic Boot, then more extensive tactics courses, with a bit of training on special operations? In UK, LOL. I am surprised they didn’t declare kitchen knifes to be dangerous weapons yet (or maybe they did? I don’t know). I am sure 78-years old John would look swell with AK. In fact, unlike Hollywood hysterical a-holes, he had the guts to make a statement with his leaving and that is a legitimate fight, especially him being a person of such huge visibility. I, meanwhile, am still waiting on Alec Baldwin to leave the US after Bush win. Any news on that?

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  19. @Corvinus

    Gotta disagree with you there (if only out of habit ;)

    These are national teams, which means, simply enough, teams comprised predominantly of people belonging to that NATION. That doesn’t mean whoever has foolishly been granted permanent residency or citizenship but has no ancestral genetic and cultural heritage in that nation of people.

    The other fellows who don’t actually belong on these NATIONAL teams may be nice guys on top of great athletes, but that doesn’t change their genetic and cultural ancestry or make them part of the nation.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  20. @Anon

    Pointless. Black team will invariably win.

    Well, it’s not like rooting for any team is gonna make them win. I guess you knew that … and if so, you may mean I’d be sorry for my expenditure of emotion on them. Believe you me, I don’t really give that much of a crap about any game unless I’m in it.

    I’m just saying, that if I had to be in a sports bar, where they seem to get pissed if you tell them to “Please turn off those damn TVs!”, and that kind of game was on, I’d be glad to glance up and see that the white team was winning or had won. That’s as far as I go with that “circus” aspect of our “bread and circuses”. As for the bread, I’m partial to potato bread.

  21. Corvinus says:
    @RadicalCenter

    “These are national teams, which means, simply enough, teams comprised predominantly of people belonging to that NATION.”

    Right. And the Africans and Muslims who are citizens of France are part of that nation. Strange that you are actually agreeing with me.

    “That doesn’t mean whoever has foolishly been granted permanent residency or citizenship…”

    Not foolish…smart. Especially if a nation wants to win in a sportsball competition.

    “but has no ancestral genetic and cultural heritage in that nation of people.”

    How quaint.

    “The other fellows who don’t actually belong on these NATIONAL teams may be nice guys on top of great athletes, but that doesn’t change their genetic and cultural ancestry or make them part of the nation.”

    I would say tens of millions of white Frenchmen and Frenchwomen would disagree in light of their national team hoisting up the World Cup trophy, which is a source of national pride.

  22. From my blog:

    Jan 9, 2010 – Get Rid of the Damn Goalie!

    Having played some soccer and watching this dull game on television at times, I am amazed that it is the world’s most popular game. Just a couple of points are scored during the entire game, and it’s often decided by a single penalty kick. I like the idea that size doesn’t matter, so everyone has an equal chance, but there is far too little scoring, which is why “futball” never caught on the USA.

    I have a simple solution — get rid of the damn goalie! One team works to get the ball downfield so someone can try a clean kick, but there is this oddball standing in front of the goal who reaches up and catches the ball. What’s with that? Imagine if goal tending was not illegal in basketball, so a 7-foot guy could stand under the basket at all times and block good shots, even free throws.

    Without a goalie in soccer, you’d have scoring like 24-22. Kicking off after each score would take too much time, so a quick inbounds kick from the sidelines is better. I realize foreigners would object, but if American soccer tried this it would be a huge improvement that may be adopted worldwide. Try it at a local game and everyone has more fun.

  23. Racist article.
    I’m french and I remenber that the guys at Monte Cassino were not all ” white “.
    And 1/3 of my soldiers in Afghanistan were muslims.
    Never been a problem.
    I don’t care if a man is white , red, blue, yellow or martian, catholic, protestant, muslim, jew, shintoist,
    As long as he is French and respect our law and constitution.
    Simple as that.
    ( not surprised some people supported Croatian Oustachis.
    Ukrainia, Croatia, Latvia, Estonia and so on nazism is on the rise in Europe thanks to USA and CIA.)

  24. And how stupid to pretend that NATION is a just color of skin.

  25. bomag says:
    @Corvinus

    I would say tens of millions of white Frenchmen and Frenchwomen would disagree in light of their national team hoisting up the World Cup trophy, which is a source of national pride.

    That’s a pretty cheap source of national pride, and probably reflects a decline in other areas if this has to be shilled as a reason for “diversity”.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Corvinus
  26. Corvinus says:
    @bomag

    “That’s a pretty cheap source of national pride, and probably reflects a decline in other areas if this has to be shilled as a reason for “diversity”.

    Actually, it is a deeply enriched source of national pride. Sportsball is a powerful unifying force among people. And it’s not shilling, is simply NOTICING.

    • Replies: @bomag
  27. @Carlton Meyer

    but there is far too little scoring, which is why “futball” never caught on the USA.

    You need to update yourself a little bit on this statement.

    you’d have scoring like 24-22

    That will surely kill the game. There is much more to it than scoring and it has a lot to do with culture.

  28. Derb, any chance to disable autoplay for this stupid embedded video?

  29. @aleksandar

    And how stupid to pretend that NATION is a just color of skin.

    Race-ethnicity (blood)-culture–in this order. That is how nations are formed. In the end, Fred Frimpong was pretty straightforward and humorous, and correct, in his statement when describing Les Bleus as an African team:

    http://www.allnigeriasoccer.com/read_news.php?nid=28336

    In the end, France in 2010 after a disastrous French exhibition in South Africa DID have discussion on the fact that its team was basically a collection of Senegalese athletes who had very little affiliation with France and French culture to be dying for nation on the field. I sure as hell remember Les Bleus of the times of Platini, Rocheteau, Giresse, Battiston and, yes, two amazing black dudes: Tigana and Tresor. THAT team, both in 1982 and 1986 encapsulated the meaning of the French style (enormously attractive) throughout 1978-1998 by which time it was becoming increasingly black-dominated. With it came the end to truly French style which was formed in the times of Just Fontaine, Raymond Copa and others in 1950s.

  30. @Corvinus

    No, I’m not using “nation” as synonymous with “country.” The root of the word “nation” has to do with birth, not just being born on certain land but being born as part of a certain people — what we today understand as necessarily having a genetic component.

    Hope you enjoy calling “genetic and cultural heritage” quaint. Much of the world would disagree and find those things to be very important. Moreover, calling someone’s argument or observation “quaint” is not an argument in response.

    As for the white French being proud of their world Cup victory, they’ve shown that they lack judgment, common sense, courage, and the ability to think beyond today. They are nothing less than suicidally naïve in their approach to mass settlement of Third Worlders, especially Muslims, in their land. Along with their equally brainwashed and pathetic buddies, the Germans, another rapidly aging, dwindling, demoralized people with no self-respect and no will to fight for what they have.

    “Hey, people who let themselves be assaulted, raped, spit on, intimidated, and then lectured by their attackers’ brethren and their white enablers, and then PAY for every aspect of their invaders and attackers’ lives — white Frenchmen — they think their World Cup team and their country is just fine, so it must be true.” Yeah, they have a lot of credibility with their recent track record.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  31. @Corvinus

    P.S. I appreciate the faggotty-left snark of the odd, awkward term “sports-ball.” Nice touch.

  32. @aleksandar

    We didn’t say or imply that “nation” is defined only or predominantly by skin color. Not at all.

    You should be aware that genetics plays a role in determining a Hell of a lot more than skin color, as we are discovering more and more as time goes by and genetic-testing technology and analytical methods improve (and databases become much larger).

  33. Corvinus says:
    @RadicalCenter

    “No, I’m not using “nation” as synonymous with “country.” The root of the word “nation” has to do with birth, not just being born on certain land but being born as part of a certain people — what we today understand as necessarily having a genetic component.”

    Nation –> A large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

    So, it could be people who were born there…or it could be people who had immigrated there in the past or recently.

    “Hope you enjoy calling “genetic and cultural heritage” quaint. Much of the world would disagree and find those things to be very important. Moreover, calling someone’s argument or observation “quaint” is not an argument in response.”

    No doubt it is important to some people about their genetic and cultural heritage, but not in the sense that you portray it ought to be.

    “As for the white French being proud of their world Cup victory, they’ve shown that they lack judgment, common sense, courage, and the ability to think beyond today.”

    Says who, YOU? Are you the arbiter of what MUST constitute “proper” judgement, common sense, and courage of white people? So who bestowed you this distinction?

    “They are nothing less than suicidally naïve in their approach to mass settlement of Third Worlders, especially Muslims, in their land.”

    The same way that the Irish, Germans, Italians, and Poles invaded our shores–ethnic groups considered by WASPs as being absolutely incapable of assimilating?

    “Along with their equally brainwashed and pathetic buddies, the Germans, another rapidly aging, dwindling, demoralized people with no self-respect and no will to fight for what they have.”

    Listen, hotshot, why don’t YOU fight. I hear St. Breivik is calling…

    “Hey, people who let themselves be assaulted, raped, spit on, intimidated, and then lectured by their attackers’ brethren and their white enablers, and then PAY for every aspect of their invaders and attackers’ lives — white Frenchmen — they think their World Cup team and their country is just fine, so it must be true.” Yeah, they have a lot of credibility with their recent track record.”

    Mighty fine virtue signaling there.

    “P.S. I appreciate the faggotty-left snark of the odd, awkward term “sports-ball.” Nice touch.”

    Actually, that term is associated with the Alt Right, in particular The Z Blog. Surprised you are not familiar with his work. He’s right up your alley.

  34. Vojkan says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    I didn’t watch the first half, the Wimbledon final was at the same time. I watched the second though, and the after-match video analysis. With VAR under all angles. And if one is to believe the VAR, thee was a foul on Griezman for which the free kick was awarded, Pogba was covered by a Croatian defender’s feet so there was no offside, the penalty was awarded because the ball hit the Croatian defender’s hand palm side, not back side, it was justified. The only unjustified decision I saw was the yellow card to N’Golo Kante which prevented him from harrassing Croatian midifielders and allowed them freer movement.
    You can be a fanboy preferring an all-white team that glorified the Ukrainian nazi Bandera inside Russia and celebrated its silver medal chanting fascist chants when they returned to Croatia, it’s your state of mind. Objective reality is different.
    As for my state of mind, I definitely prefer the Christian black African Blaise Matuidi who signed himself with a cross after the game to the all-white punks who sing their nostalgy for WWII Croatia.

  35. I just read your old anti-Commie-Kickball column on your own site, Mr. Derbyshire. It was within 2 days of 18 years prior to this column, BTW. I enjoyed the reading, but would like to write just a couple of things:

    1) As far as soccer moms and the head injuries from the game, I think the term is (or was, because it’s not used very much now, I guess) meant to describe middle-class/upper-middle-class Moms who have small kids and are at most part-time employed, chauffeuring around their kids to the soccer matches, T-ball, etc. Those aren’t the type to really give a dang about the kid’s ability in soccer once he’s 15 or so. He’s more at risk driving around with drug-taking classmates at that point anyway.

    2) I made my comment about “didn’t we fight a war about this some time ago?” before I’d read your last paragraph about El Salvador vs. Honduras.

    3) Skydiving is fairly safe if the airplanes and pilots are decent. None of the sport jumper have to worry about “jumping out of a perfectly good airplane”. It doesn’t work like that!

  36. @Carlton Meyer

    Having played some soccer and watching this dull game on television at times, I am amazed that it is the world’s most popular game. Just a couple of points are scored during the entire game, and it’s often decided by a single penalty kick.

    This is true, and actually I have always thought that the World Cup is a bit of a bore, not least because it if often played in very hot northern hemisphere summer weather, which is not really suitable for exciting soccer games.

    However it does give soccer fans something to talk about over drinks on summer evenings.

    On the other hand, when I was a teenager and a young man, I found matches played under floodlights on bright green grass in dingy Liverpool on a rainy Wednesday night in England thrilling escapist entertainment. Television takes away much of the sheer athleticism and excitement of the game as the cameras are too far away to catch the interesting details.

    Goals are not everything. I still remember an amazing shot on the run by Billy Bremner of Leeds (RIP) that crashed off the bar and rebounded into play on a bitterly freezing night at Anfield. I was right behind the goal and the ball was coming at me like a cannonball. And that must be fifty years ago now.

    And hundreds of other memories that were not goals.

  37. bomag says:
    @Corvinus

    Sportsball is a powerful unifying force among people.

    I suppose as a proxy for war, having your side win is pretty excellent: keeps the invader at bay; or expands your brand.

    But modern sports is a rather corrupt and masturbatory affair. Debatable whether the positives outweigh the negatives.

    As a reason to encourage more immigration is laughable.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  38. Corvinus says:
    @bomag

    “But modern sports is a rather corrupt…”

    Soccer comes to mind, assuredly, but not the rest of sportsball.

    “Debatable whether the positives outweigh the negatives.”

    No, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives.

    “As a reason to encourage more immigration is laughable.”

    No laughing matter to France, which won a world championship.

  39. You Americans really are a joke!

    Football/soccer is the most capitalist sport in the world, calling it communist is beyond a nonsense.

    It is a sport that promotes nationalism and ethnic pride, check out Lazio and Zenit St Petersbourg fans views toward foreign players in their team.

    As for American sports like the NFL it is totally Black dominated and those blacks hate whites and your national anthem! Baseball is mind numbingly boring and Latino dominated!

    Please Mr Derbyshire never come back to England because you are an idiot who knows nothing about the beautiful game but only attacks football/soccer in order to please your American cuckservative fan base!

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