Soccer fans get their field day, on me
OK, so satire is a lost art. Well, maybe not. Perhaps appreciation for satire is a lost art. - Awhile back I wrote a little treatise about 14-year-old Freddy Adu, the prodigy who has signed to play in Major League Soccer. Someone on the copy desk was even bright enough to write a terrific headline for the column: 'Much Adu about nothing.'
In the column, I had some fun with the world's most overrated sport and America's most overrated spectator pastime. I wrote that it took more skill to play tetherball and that practicing for soccer was easy Ñ just run 10 miles with a ball in front of you. Or buy a Hacky Sack.
Well, I got letters. An avalanche of them. And I have to tell you, all of the people who wrote 'I dare you to print this' or 'You don't have the guts to print this' will not be reading their arguments reprinted here. Sorry, folks, that's just not the way to get it done.
I will, however, publish highlights of a few e-mails just for the fun of it. Many wrote who loved the column, and I thank them for taking the time to send a note. There were some very well-written pieces in support of soccer, and I appreciated them. I read every word of them. Particularly the ones that didn't insult my intelligence, my family tree, my facial hair or my athletic history. But those aren't any fun to reprint.
So just for the holiday season, let me give you a glimpse of the other side of my e-mail. The nasty side. And if your message didn't make the cut, folks, I'm sorry. The competition was fierce, and we have only so much space to devote to vitriol:
• 'You should write comics. ÉThank you for clearing up my momentary confusion about whether or not you are ignorant. É You say you are a sports columnist. YOU ARE ACTUALLY A MORON.'
• 'We know who you are. You are a NEANDERTHAL. Ugh!!'
• 'To be perfectly honest, you are the most worthless sportswriter I have ever seen. You have no idea what you are talking about, and the fact that you even talk about baseball is amazing. To be able to play for 45 minutes (90 total) with no break is much harder than you could possibly imagine, but by seeing your picture, it is obvious that you could never do what soccer players do.'
• 'You're an idiot and I NEVER want to hear from you again. Go play one of your (bleeping) (homosexual) sports and don't dis soccer, you (homosexual).'
• 'In short, I have no concern whatever that you don't like soccer. You obviously never played the sport, probably aren't in shape enough to actually attempt it now. É'
• 'I don't read your articles. In fact, I let your papers rot in my front yard. ÉI've already given you far too much attention. Yeah, that's quite enough. You're gone.'
• 'Although I respect your right to have an opinion, you are a complete idiot.'
• 'Your latest column 'Much Adu about nothing' got me going even more so than usual, and I couldn't take it any longer. Dude, I hate your column!I have never in my entire life read anyone that pisses me off more than YOU! I have been a sports fan and athlete my entire life, and you never cease to amaze me. Back when you were with The Oregonian, I hated your column. Now that you're with the Tribune I hate your column even more.'
• 'Congratulations on writing the biggest load of crap that I have read in a while.
'P.S. Nice goatee.'
Thank you all. And remember, folks, it's only a game.