World Cup Fever Grips The USA: and it’s making Ann Coulter sick? Good!

Fans celebrate as the US moves on to the last 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup (Photo: courtesy of

Fans celebrate as the US moves on to the last 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup (Photo: courtesy of

In my opinion, sports and politics go together about as well as pizza and Twinkies. Or, to put it bluntly, like Ann Coulter and an intelligent thought, but we’ll get to that in just a moment. First, let me say congratulations to the US soccer team for moving forward into the last 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup! And congratulations to American sports fans for finally giving soccer its due.

Let’s face it; in the US we’ve been raised on baseball, basketball, and, my personal favorite, football. I’m talking good ole smash-mouth, gridiron, concussion-inducing, American football! Add the fact that we Americans are pretty famous for our stubbornness toward accept new things and it’s no wonder it has taken soccer so long to gain a foothold (pun intended) in the US, even if it is the most popular sport in the world.

But it has finally happened; soccer fever has gripped America and it’s thanks, in no small part, to the US soccer team’s phenomenal (thus far) performance in this year’s World Cup tournament in Brazil. Taking out their arch-rival Ghana, running down and eventually holding off the powerful offense of Portugal, and then putting up one hell of a fight against powerhouse Germany to hold them to one goal, the US has earned a place in the elimination round in consecutive World Cups for the first time in history!

That being said, there are still some who just don’t get the whole soccer thing. I completely understand. It took me forever to come around, too, and though I enjoy and appreciate it now, it’s still not at the top of my list. However, there is a big difference between “not getting” or even disliking a sport and expressing outright hatred and vitriol for it, or worse, using it as a soapbox for political hate speech. Enter, Ann Coulter…

What can I say (publicly) about Ann (that won’t get me fired or removed from this blog)? The right-wing political pundit and queen of intolerance has latched on to the sport of soccer in order to use it in an attempt to reemphasize her perceived superiority and denigrate, well…  pretty much everyone else.



In her latest column entitled “America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Soccer,” Coulter goes all out in describing how soccer is about as un-American as it gets and how “real” Americans can’t stand it.

“It’s foreign,” she states outright. “In fact, that’s the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not ‘catching on’ at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it.”

After the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, upper-class white woman finished authoritatively speaking for all African-Americans, she went on to drop this nugget of compassionate wisdom: “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. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.”


Ahh… such a kind and compassionate person. She’s just the perfect embodiment of tolerance, love, acceptance, and racial diversity that makes this country so great. Don’t you think?

I understand that this post is a bit of a departure from my usual upbeat, high-spirited subject matter and I apologize to anyone who just isn’t that into politics. I just can’t stand it when high-profile pundits use whatever constitutes the most recent “big thing” in pop-culture as a platform to spew their hateful opinions and, in Coulter’s case, inflame racial tensions. Hate on soccer or any other sport you want (I’m not exactly the world’s biggest curling fan), but using it as a catalyst for one’s bigoted ego? That’s just pathetic.


Wooing The World With Karaoke: “Soft power diplomacy, baby!”


Let’s face it, politics and fun tend to go together about as well as alligators and puppies; they just don’t mix well. US Ambassador Kirk Wagner is trying desperately to change that through “Soft power” in his post as ambassador to Singapore, and he thinks Karaoke may be the key!

Soft power” is a term coined by American political scientist Joseph Nye to describe the extension of US influence through the lure of American culture, values, or policies as opposed to hard-line diplomatic tactics or even force. Ambassador Wagner’s version of this approach incorporates some downtime with karaoke, which has certainly become a part of our American culture.

US Ambassador Kirk Wagner (right) enjoying some "soft power" downtime

US Ambassador Kirk Wagner (right) enjoying some “soft power” downtime: photo courtesy of the Washington Post

“Soft power diplomacy, baby!” Wagner posted on his Facebook page according to the Washington Post. He also apparently uploaded a picture of himself on stage with mic in-hand doing karaoke in a Singapore night club, though I have yet to find said pic.

“Learned something new today,” Wagner’s status update read. “Singapore had never seen an Ambassador from the United States do karaoke. I have rectified that situation. I hope it’s a good thing …”

We all do, sir. We all do. 🙂