“Soccer is just socialism in shorts” – a former High School Coach … and thousands of others like him.
It’s a fairly common refrain amongst rednecks and hicks alike. Soccer is a socialist game. Now, I find the whole notion silly. It’s a sport. Perhaps not as high-scoring as basketball, but a game nonetheless.
Of course, the happenings at this year’s World Cup have made me scratch my head a bit. After a horrendous call in the Mexico-Argentina game nearly caused a riot, FIFA decided to censor replays in the stadium. State-run media, control of the information to keep the masses in line … sound familiar anyone?
Now, there is a simple defense here for FIFA. They can say “obviously there is a problem with officiating, the rules, the enforcement – the whole thing – but we can’t change that mid-tournament.” Agreed. But, if this is the defense, then the first match after the championship should bring an onslaught of officiating procedure changes. If it does not, the I say the “socialism in shorts” moniker should stand.
When rightly and fairly criticized, the powers that be turned off the flow of information – socialism. When the people turned against the authorities, the authorities responded with condescension and control – socialism. When pressed on the issue, the ruling elites retorted with a hearty “how dare you criticize us – we’re in charge here” – socialism.
We shall withhold judgment until the next games begin – but we won’t hold our collective breath that change will occur.