Jonathan, I completely agree: the Times‘s attempt to portray soccer as popular in America is completely disingenuous. And while it is true that this “European import will never succeed as an American game,” that won’t stop culturally insecure Americans from trying their hardest to remold our sports culture along European lines.
In this vein, check out F.C. New York, which will play its inaugural season as part of the second-rate United Soccer League in 2010. Of course, given that “football” refers to a much more intricate sport in this country, this soccer franchise’s “F.C.” (i.e., “Football Club”) prefix is phony enough. But F.C. New York has taken its campaign to turn the Big Apple into London a step further: its coat-of-arms contains flowers and a crown! Obviously, nothing can be more un-American than royalty. I just wish that someone would tell this to the Borough of Queens, however, which is apparently in on this Europeanizing conspiracy.