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

August 2014

The End of Retirement

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Francis and the Nuns

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Return of the Strongman

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The End of Retirement·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“For those riding the economy’s outermost edge, adaptation may now mean giving up what full-time RV dwellers call ‘stick houses’ to hit the road and seek work.”
Photograph (detail) © Max Whittaker
Post
The Many Faces of Boko·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
Photograph © The author
Article
The Octopus and Its Grandchildren·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Stanford University’s origins and vision
“The pervasive fantasy that Silicon Valley doesn’t need the government obscures the role of that government in funding much of the research that built it.”
Photograph © Sallie Dean Shatz
Post
God Lives on Lemon Street·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Bethel was Oz-like for me. I mean that with all the awe, utter hopefulness, and mythic fear with which Dorothy and her friends had approached that magical city.”
Photograph (detail) ©© Clemens v. Vogelson (Flickr)
Article
Francis and the Nuns·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“A year and a half into his papacy, Pope Francis is looking an awful lot like his predecessors.”
Photograph (detail) © Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Estimated additional hours Americans would spend stoned annually if marijuana were legal in most states:

30,000,000,000

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University said that most alcohol-related airplane accidents happen at night and in bad weather.

A waitress in Chengdu ate a cockroach in response to a complaint by a customer who had discovered the bug in his salad. “You will always find cockroaches in the food,” she told him. “It is very normal.”

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