And it goes on and on like that, misunderstanding after misunderstanding. Ms. Coulter claims that she didn’t realize, among other things, that viewership for the games by the U.S. team in this World Cup has been five times as high as that of the Stanley Cup finals, and higher even than that of the NBA finals. Many Americans do seem to care, and many Americans are eager to find out who will be crowned world champions on July 13th.
I would venture that Ms. Coulter does as well. Despite her attempts to display disdain for soccer, I think her deep passion for the game ends up shining through. It shines through in her all-too-obviously faked ignorance about key features of the game. Her objections are too transparently wrong to be anything but a charade. What explains this exercise in pretending not to care about soccer?
For that we turn to the last paragraph of her column, where we observe some deep-seated xenophobia: “If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer.” This xenophobic tone can be explained in one way and one way only: she’s literally scared of the foreign. The foreign, in this case, is represented not just by the Belgians the U.S. will face tomorrow, but probably even more so by the mighty Dutch warriors of the Clockwork Orange that Team U.S. would face were it to make it all the way to the semifinal. Pretending not to care about soccer at all is Ms. Coulter’s way of dealing with her worst nightmare: a humiliating defeat at the hands of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar et al.