2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Ramsey: Is Ann Coulter funny? Is soccer boring? We wrestle with these vital questions

Published: July 7, 2014, 9:26 am, by David Ramsey


First, let me say I almost always enjoy and appreciate and read and ponder the comments found on the bottom of my columns on gazette.com. along with the e-mails that arrive in our modern version of a mailbox. I learn from many of the points, and I sense the deep devotion of sports fans who read The Gazette. I sometimes sense this devotion because of the anger found in messages.

So, thanks Mark King for taking the time to write a letter to the editor about my recent column that celebrated soccer. (Mark was not angry, by the way.)

Let’s get to a couple points:

1. Ann Coulter

In your letter, Mark, you stated Coulter’s recent column mocking soccer “upset” me and you stated Coulter is funny.

Coulter doesn’t appreciate 0-0 soccer matches. Neither do you, Mark.

Well, I’m not a big fan of 0-0 games, either. So we all agree. Coulter took some legit – and humorous – shots at soccer in her column.

I had little trouble with Coulter’s column until the final paragraph. And I stated, in my column, that Coulter is sometimes funny.

I have a problem with the final paragraph, and that’s the only section of the Coulter column I discussed in my column.

“I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time,” Coulter wrote.
In this paragraph, Coulter takes a needless, mean shot at Americans who recently immigrated here. (And virtually all of us are descendants of immigrants.) She also makes a flatly false statement. Millions and millions of Americans whose great-grandfathers were born here watch soccer. I’m one of those Americans, and I’m not alone.
Funny? There is nothing funny – or accurate – about Coulter’s final graph.
2. Soccer is boring
A few years ago, I was in a dark theater watching “Bridge On The River Kwai.” This is one of the most gripping, entertaining movies ever created. I’m not alone in this view. According to Rotten Tomatoes, 94 percent of viewers give “Bridge” a thumbs up.
The person sitting next to me yawned and fidgeted and groaned the entire movie.
“It’s boring,’ the person sitting next to me said.
Soccer is beloved by billions of our world’s residents. The game is almost universally embraced, kind of like “Bridge.’
There is a group of Americans who stubbornly refuse to yield to soccer’s charms. This group says the game is boring.
And guess what? The game is boring to this tiny slice of the world’s population. If someone says a movie or a game or a person is boring, you can’t argue with he/she. It is boring to this person.
So I won’t argue with you, Mark, even if billions stand on the other side of the soccer argument while you stand with a few million Americans on your side of the discussion.
Here is Mark’s entire letter:

Bored with the World Cup

Hey, David Ramsey, regarding your column “Everyone, almost everyone, loves U.S. soccer,” I like soccer a little bit every four years – when the World Cup is on – until I get bored. It’s halftime in the U.S.-Belgium game, so I’m still a little interested. If the U.S. gets bounced, I’ll be bored with the World Cup and tune out until the U.S. appears in another one.

Our second home team, Mexico, already got bounced. And the only reasons to ever like Belgium (years ago) were that good shotguns and fancy chocolate came from there.

Ann Coulter’s column, “America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Soccer,” was funny. It was funny that the column upset you. The idea that soccer is the perfect sport for overanxious liberal parents because nothing ever happens is funny. Just how is it that a “match” between a team of soccer elites and a team of soccer hacks can end in a 0-0 tie? Answer, nothing much ever happens. It’s right, and it’s funny.

And how about how all of the players at such an elite level flop like little sissies to feign grave injuries from fouls? A minute later, they’re all up running at full speed in the other direction.

Mark King, Colorado Springs

And here’s a link to my soccer column: