Washington Babylon — June 15, 2010, 9:30 am

World Cup Reaction

I received a number of nasty emails about my item yesterday on why I hate the U.S. soccer team. Keep them coming.

Look, I admit my aversion to the U.S. soccer team, initially explained here, is partly irrational and partly based on the media’s Nuremberg Rally-style coverage of the American team. But please don’t tell me I shouldn’t write anything about the topic because I don’t know anything about soccer. I’ve been following international soccer for a long time and have watched most games of every World Cup since 1986. (In fact, I’m watching Portugal-Ivory Coast as I type.)

Also, we’re not analyzing the human genome here; you know good soccer when you see it and the U.S. rarely plays good soccer.

I lived in Brazil for five years and I root for its team. That’s good soccer. (Though when my team plays badly, as in Brazil’s horrific choke against France in the last Cup — I can see it, unlike many of the star-struck U.S. supporters writing me now to talk up the team’s lame performance against England.)

I’m not expecting Brazil to win — I’m an eternal pessimist about everything; also, Brazil has to get through the “Group of Death” to get to the second round, where the brutal single-elimination format makes predicting the winner pure guesswork — so you don’t need to send gloating emails if and when it is eliminated.

Just as long as the United States doesn’t win — or even worse, Argentina — I’ll be happy.

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Gateway to Freedom

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Guns and Poses

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Christmas in Prison

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poison Apples

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Growing Up

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Beeper World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The beeper, for a certain kind of Miami teenager in the Nineties, was an essential evolutionary adaptation.”
Photograph by Curran Hatleberg
Article
Hammer Island·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The place could have sprung from someone’s jealous dream about white people.”
Photograph by Emily Stein
Article
Growing Up·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The best coming-of-age stories have a hole in the middle. They pretend to be about knowledge, but they are usually about grasping, long after it could be of any use, one’s irretrievable ignorance.”
Photograph by Ben Pier
Article
Guns and Poses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘It’s open shopping,’ he said. ‘A warehouse. The whole of Libya.’”
Map by Mike Reagan
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Amount that President Obama has added to America’s “brand value” according to the Nation Brands Index:

$2,100,000,000,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

A Utah woman named Cameo Crispi pleaded guilty to having drunkenly attempted to burn down her ex-boyfriend’s house by igniting bacon on his kitchen stove.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today