Underneath the art it reads: Republicans Play Soccer Too!!!
Buy one at:
Perhaps the answer lies in the short film “The Ball.” In the film we see a young African boy purchasing condoms from a local vender. This image might strike fear in the heart of conservatives but also reveals itself to be irritating to liberals when they see the boy inflating the condom, wrapping it in twine (stolen twine incidentally perhaps thus once again infuriating conservatives) and taking this makeshift soccer ball for spin with his neighborhood friends. At the end of the movie we see the original owner of the twine recollecting her possession by taking the ball and unrolling the twine. She knits the yellow yarnish twine back into its rightful state as a shirt bringing the story of the ball full circle.
While this film might offer a whimsical look at the misuse of condoms, the state of poverty in Africa, or even the spirit of the people of Africa, it does strike at the heart of one of soccer’s greatest appeals: its egalitarian reach. Any kid, no matter how poor, can find a ball or a crude ball-like substitute to kick around. Soccer’s history is littered with stories of regional first games brought about with makeshift balls ranging from rags rolled tightly to yes, inflated condoms or animal blatters. Using the Condom and yarn illustration a ball could be made for less then a dollar. A rag ball could be made even cheaper. The fact that the ball doesn’t have water resistant paneling, Nike’s newest grip technology, or an inflatable core designed to resist the heat and cold makes no difference. A ball, simple put, is a ball.
To play a makeshift game of soccer one needs a ball and something to mark the goals. Sticks shoved into the ground, jackets lying on the edge of the field, or even thick lines traced in the dirt will do. By contrast, to play baseball one must mark three bases and home plate, two foul lines, and perhaps some type of barrier for homeruns. Not to mention a harder, smaller ball that can withstand being constantly struck by something used as a bat. Rugby and American football both suffer from a troubling lack of the kicking aspects of the game not to mention a very irregular, and thus hard to reproduce, ball. While football and rugby could be played by smaller numbers then a regulation game soccer is the sport that stays truest to its form when played in small-sides. Perhaps only basketball has a greater functionality with small numbers of participants. However, a makeshift basketball goal is a far greater endeavor then a makeshift soccer field. Soccer also has a unique feature in that most experts agree that the smaller the number of participants in a game the better the game is suited for improving your abilities.
Soccer’s appeal goes beyond the simple ease of organizing a game as a child. Soccer, far more then any other sport, is more open to finding future stars in the most unlikely of places. The slums of Brazil, the shacks of Southeast Asia, and the small isolated communities of Africa have all produced international superstars. Soccer remains open to the most egalitarian principle of all: the best must be allowed to rise no matter what station they have been given in life. Equality should not be seen as meaning everyone is given the same thing, rather it should mean everyone has equal opportunities. No other sport allows for rugged individualism to propel one from the masses to the hights of glory.
No other sport embraces capitalism quite the same way as soccer. In no other sport does Laissez Faire reign supreme. International borders, race, social standing, and language barriers all present no barrier in the chase for discovering the world’s next great talent. In a sport where the talented are identified in their youth and fast tracked from the slum to the local club to the regional club to the national and finally international powerhouse clubs such barriers are of no consideration. There is a dark side to this story. At every step the player is commoditized, improved, and increased in value. Those who do not live up to their potential are fast-tracked out of the club and back down the soccer hierarchy. However, in no other sport does the rags to riches story play out as often or as easily.
Billionaires buy moderately obscure clubs and purchase their way into club glory. A few years of wise purchases, or at least a few wise ones sprinkled amongst the multitude, see a club reach heights that previously would have taken decades to accomplish. While American sports clubs are hampered by salary caps or luxury taxes designed to keep spending down, soccer clubs abroad are not limited by any such measures. Likewise there is virtually no income sharing schemes. While American clubs have to build new stadiums to expand the private box seating (which is generally held out of revenue sharing schemes with the rest of the teams in the league) the foreign soccer clubs pocket the gate, the concessions, and the majority of the merchandise revenues as well. This truly is Adam Smith’s game writ large. Meanwhile the successful teams of American sports are splitting profits with the worst teams and rewarding them with the best draft pick the next season. Communism, anyone?
Due to this article (reprinted yesterday in the Wall Street Journal) we
we are going to launch this week. Read this trash first to see the kind of thing we are fighting here at “Soccer for Republicans.”
We’re seeing some traffic kicking up our way to the page, but we’re not QUITE ready to roll yet. Hang in there. We’ll be looking to hit the ground running REAL soon. So bookmark us and check back in two weeks or so. And if anyone’s up to writing some articles on the topic, then let us know.
It is our mission here at Soccer for Republicans to educate the masses that soccer is indeed the most conservative/republican sport. We take delight in showing that Republicans have nothing to fear of soccer and Soccer has nothing to fear of Republicans. We will have a full scale launch of articles and info in the near future.