What I’m reading and writing, June 24

• Not surprisingly, my post yesterday at Blue Star Basketball about Title IX drew some heated response from the predictable quarters, although one critic did bother to respond directly in the comments section. So I thank him for that.

• And with World Cup euphoria reaching a fever pitch here in America (believe that!), I’ve come to love Stefan Fatsis’ dispatches from South Africa. At The Goal Post, he dazzles again, just like Landon Donovan, on the subject of the U.S. team’s success and political ideologies. To both he says: Pshawwwww! Bravo, Stefan!

“This is where soccer fearmongers on the right and worrywarts on the left are wrong. The  apparent concern among certain conservatives is that soccer equals socialism and our personal bogeyman, immigration. Lock your doors, suburban U8 players of America! Over at The Nation, meanwhile, Dave Zirin frets that the comments of a couple of unlisten-to-able D.C. sports-talk radio soccer troglodytes reflect a ‘nasty undercurrent’ embedded in all US victories in all international sports. So let me see if I have it straight: The right thinks soccer is un-American and the left thinks the right will use a soccer victory as cause for American triumphalism. Drop ball, people.

“Anyone with a dust speck of knowledge of US soccer’s place in the world understands that the euphoria surrounding Donovan’s goal and the prospect for the US in this World Cup have nothing whatsoever to do with reinforcing American cultural might and everything to do with celebrating a long-time-coming (and still-not-there) American ascendancy in the rare place it hasn’t existed. Those chants of ‘U.S.A.! U.S.A.!’ aren’t an expression of American superiority. They’re a foam finger in the world’s eyeball from a historically and justifiably overlooked, disrespected, disregarded second-rate soccer country. It’s all about redemption on the field, not politics off of it.”

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