Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Our sudden love affair with soccer

George Foster - June 28th, 2010
Admit it. Landon Donovan’s winning goal in this year’s World Cup game
against Algeria is the catalyst that finally showed you the light. You
have become the latest cynical soccer observer transformed into an
avid fan of the sport. Right?
Donovon’s historic score has blasted soccer past baseball and hockey
in popularity, a little closer to basketball and football in the
American consciousness.
How do I know this to be true? Actually, the acid test is in - I am a
recent convert myself. I have always followed soccer... if it is a
World Cup year and if the U.S. is playing – only a week or two every
four years at best.
After the Donovon goal, though, my life will never be the same. Soon,
I will be purchasing my own South African vuvuzela to help my family
awake each morning now that we have become accustomed to the horn’s
wailing beginning at 7:30 a.m. with the start of each game on TV.
Undoubtedly, spare time will now be devoted to watching hours of these
games while continually singing and waving my team colors between rare
goals. Kicking my old soccer ball around the yard (if the dogs
haven’t eaten it by now) will become a primary sports outlet,
replacing the therapeutic nine-iron shots at home and pitching from
the stretch with a phantom ball in the mirror.
I know, I know... lets not get carried away. So-called experts have
been predicting such a change in U.S. sporting preferences for
decades, only to see soccer evaporate from the radar until the next
World Cup revival.
The main reason this win should bring millions of our country’s sports
fans stampeding to soccer can be boiled down to one fact: the historic
game against Algeria had an All-American finish that we can all relate
to – similar to the hockey Miracle on Ice in the 1980 Olympics. The
winning goal was scored in the final seconds of the game, snatching
victory over Algeria from the jaws of defeat (or rather a tie).
Donovon’s goal allowed the U.S. to move on into the next round, rather
than leaving South Africa early with bitter disappointment.
If we don’t understand the passion expressed by the rest of the planet
for soccer, as Americans, we all know the feeling of “us against the
world.” Our players have felt the scorn from fans of the soccer-crazed
countries, laughing at our past futility in their favorite sport.
When two important U.S. goals were disallowed earlier in Cup games
because of dubious officiating calls, we had to suspect an
international conspiracy to keep the Yankees down. The world’s soccer
powers would be trembling if they thought U.S. success meant the same
resources devoted to football and basketball would now be allocated to
Get used to it, mates, the USA has arrived. Against all odds
(including the referees stacked against us), we have moved on to the
second round.
There can be no question that more Americans are paying attention to
the World Cup than in previous years. Now that you and I are onboard
with soccer, lads, let’s get together sometime to discuss the merits
of Rolando vs. Messi over a cup of tea.

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