Dan Shaughnessy Has Been Writing The Same Soccer Column For 25 Years

Legendary old school troll Dan Shaughnessy has a real strong take in today's Boston Globe about how soccer sucks. There is no way, he says, that the overbearing Futbol Moonies will make him feel guilty for disliking the sport. Further, he says, it will never catch on in America, not least because there's no sense of progression toward goals and because you can't use your hands. Take that!

Now, here's where you say, "Jesus Christ, was this mailed in from 20 years ago?" and I say, "No, it was mailed in from 25 years ago!" Shank has, in fact, been writing this exact same column for longer than many of you have been alive. It's downright Reillyesque, as a quick review of some of the major themes in his soccer writing reveals.

Stop trying to make Dan Shaughnessy feel guilty about not liking soccer

June 22, 2014

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I am done apologizing for not loving soccer. I am guilt-free. This is America. Land of choice. Land of freedom. I choose to ignore the World Cup on television... when the World Cup is over, soccer will be over for most of us. We will go back to football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. And we will not feel guilty about it.

June 17, 1994

Of course, we're going to be made to feel guilty in the upcoming weeks.

July 5, 1990

I just hate watching soccer and I'm getting pretty fed up with the guilt I'm supposed to feel.... We were doing fine before the big guilt trip set in.... Men in foreign lands love their soccer teams the way they love their families. This is great. But do we have to keep feeling guilty because we don't feel this way?... I am through feeling guilty. Call me ignorant. Call me an ugly American.

Soccer fans are strange cultists

June 22, 2014

If you don't like soccer the Futbol Moonies will insist that you are an aging, unhip, xenophobic, uncultured dolt. Soccer is the world's most popular game. It's the game of the future.

June 26, 1994

They are the Soccer Krishnas. They are the Futbol Moonies. They are the Scientologists of Sport... The Soccer Krishnas do not know when to stop... Soccer Krishnas have no sense of humor.... There's only one man on the field who has a clue how much time is left, and the rest of us have to guess. Maybe the Futbol Moonies could sell this to David Stern, Paul Tagliabue and Gary Bettman. It would be a perfect way to make basketball, football and hockey as primitive and mindless as soccer.

June 17, 1994

Nothing is ever enough for these Soccer Krishnas...

Soccer will never be a popular spectator sport in America

June 22, 2014

Millions of kids in our country have been playing soccer for more than 40 years. This has not translated into an adult population of folks who'll pay to watch professional soccer games. Millions of kids also play hopscotch, kickball, and lacrosse. It doesn't mean those games can become mainstream American professional spectator sports.

June 17, 1994

Let's have no more of this "soccer is the next major spectator sport in America." Just because we're indulging the world for a few weeks doesn't mean anybody here really likes watching this stuff...

July 5, 1990

Kids love to play the game. Great. Does that mean we have to pretend it'll someday be a major spectator sport in this country?

There is no sense of progression toward the goal; soccer is just 90 minutes of turnovers

June 22, 2014

Soccer doesn't have natural progression leading up to scores... It's pretty much 90 minutes of turnovers.

June 26, 1994

Soccer to me is 90 minutes of nonstop turnovers with no natural progression to the goal.

July 5, 1990

Like hockey, there is no organized progression toward the goal. It's nonstop turnovers...

Hands are what separate man from beast

June 22, 2014

Soccer takes away our hands. This makes the game incredibly skillful and exhausting, but also robs fans of much of the beauty of sport. Hands and opposable thumbs separate us from creatures of the wild.

June 17, 1994

And what's with the hands? How good can any game be when you can't use your hands? Hands are what separate us from the animal kingdom.

July 5, 1990

Finally, there is the hands problem. Hands and thumbs, that's what separates us from the beasts of the jungle.

To be fair, there was at least one occasion on which Shaughnessy managed to quiet his disdain while writing about the game. What was this? Why, when Boston Red Sox owner John Henry bought Liverpool. Quelle surprise.

[Boston Globe]