Ask Dr. Babooner: Can I Care About Soccer and Stay American?

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I’m a proud American who has taken pains while hanging with my friends and co-workers to make a very big deal out of the fact that we’re not Europeans.

I have impersonated the English, derided Italians, belittled the Dutch and made caustic remarks about Spaniards.

I have even been snooty about the bad habits of the French, one of which is, of course, snootiness.

And I have mocked the Germans for being so Germanic. Which is why I’m terrifically excited about the U.S. soccer World Cup match vs. Germany today. I want so badly to beat them that my brains are as useless as a tub of sauerkraut when it comes to doing anything else!

Unfortunately, at the office I have been rather outspoken about the shortcomings of soccer as a sport (slow moving, complicated, silly costumes, no violence, no hands) and have made a very public show about not caring one bit about who advances (or doesn’t) to whatever ridiculous stage of the World Cup is next.

A group of my co-workers have reserved a conference room to watch the game at midday today, with the blessings of top management because they think knowing something about the rest of the world might help us on the business side.

I’d love to watch and cheer for our team, but I’ve already staked out my position as a soccer foe. I believe I actually said something like “… anyone who cares about soccer is not and never can be an American!” If I now use my time and energy to cheer against the Europeans in their silly, girly game, on one level it will mean the Europeans have already beaten me!

And of course it would expose me as a blowhard and a hypocrite.

I could comfort myself with the knowledge that the game will be over by the early part of the afternoon and the post-mortem will begin, but everything I’ve already said about my predicament goes double for talking about the contest afterwards.

I can’t show any interest in it at all. Maybe that’s why I can think of almost nothing else!

In agony,
Fútbol Zero

I told Fútbol Zero to get over himself and watch the game. Abstaining at this point will just call more attention to your nonsensical attitudes. So let your co-workers laugh about your conversion as the contest begins – they’ll soon forget it as you share your enthusiasm or misery as the case may be. And don’t be worried about what they’ll think of you – they are already well aware that you’re a blowhard and a hypocrite.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

31 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Babooner: Can I Care About Soccer and Stay American?”

  1. Good morning. FZ, I think you should stop putting on an act with respect to what you think about soccer and not take any position. You don’t seem to be a soccer fan so there is no reason that you should have much of anything to say about it. If you really don’t like soccer, keep your opinion to yourself. If you do want to watch the match between the American team and the Germans, just keep your mouth shut and watch it. In other words, follow the advice you have already received from Dale.


  2. Have to agree with Dale and Jim on this one- your reputation among your co-workers is already well established.

    As I see it, you have 2 good choices:

    a) you can completely blow their minds by showing up and shutting up long enough to gain an appreciation of the game (and proving your american-ness by being open to new things).

    b) you can prove your american-ness by reveling in the message of the guy in the car commercial who thinks about Europeans as you do, going in to your work station and being oh so productive, while your co-workers waste the company’s time broadening their minds and building connections.

    Tough choice, but I’m sure your American toughness is up to the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going to post Tony Stark/Hot Mess here, but that would just reveal that I think Robert Downey Jr. is all that. And a bag of chips. Let’s just see if I can resist……

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Have to add:

    Dr. Babooner, you look mighty fine in that refs uniform, but I think you are being generous, giving this guy a yellow card.

    Myself, I’d be whipping out the red.

    But then, I’m not classy enough to wear your pearls either…..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yellow card is a warning-get a couple of those and you get a red card (which you can also get outright).

        They show you the red card and you are out of the game, and your team continues the game with one less player.

        Might be a bit much in the case of FZ, but I’d be good with handing it to some of the syndicated columnists that feel the need to link the growing popularity of a game played by the world with the inevitable end of civilization as we know it.


  4. Hmm. While not agreeing with your underlying, anti-European sentiments (I eagerly look forward to my annual trip to Europe), I do admit I am decidedly not a soccer/futball fan. These exceptional athletes with their silly haircuts simply play a game I find boring. Bor. Ring.

    I remember the World Cup final between Italy and France in 2006. My friend Ken and I decided to watch the entire game. He ended up falling asleep for 45 minutes. The score was 0-0 when he fell asleep, and 0-0 when he woke up. HE SLEPT FOR 45 MINUTES AND DIDN’T MISS A DAMN THING.

    On the other hand, I got to drink two more beers than he did.

    So my advice is to take the day off, find a tavern, and watch it there, drinking and making fun of the game with your new found best friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. is romania your annual trip or do you make your triop to europe form romania?
      soccer is a game that you cant take your eye off for a minute or you miss it. the reason you cant do it in america is because there is no place for commercials and that is what makes the sports tick here. sports for sports sake…. cmon.
      dear fuzz,
      i agree with your anti everybody sentiment. the dutch the germans the italians the spaniards the limeys the frogs the ones off you =r list should be entertaining enough to last for more laughs belgiums luxemburgers, chechs hungarians how bout them norskies you left off poland austria greece all the yugoslavian spinoffs the russian spin offs how come portugal always gets off unnoticed what are they swiss?
      do you really think anyone at the office thinks of you. you sound like the kind of person no one would think of much at all. dont worry about it. have a nice day


  5. Isn’t watching video on the sly at work half the reason smartphones were invented (the other half being texting your friends or checking Twitter/Facebook while you’re supposed to be working)? I suppose it’s too late for Futbol Zero to run out, buy a phone and get service set up before the game starts if he doesn’t already have one. Maybe FZ’s worksite, unlike mine, allows streaming video on workstations, in which case plug in the earbuds, tuck the video into the corner of the monitor, and you’re set. If FZ goes to watch and Germany wins, I guarantee that his coworkers will never let him live it down, and he’ll be finding German stuff (flags, beer labels, VW ads, cans of sauerkraut) all over his cube/office for weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Morning all. I’m not a big sports fan but the bottom line is the same whenever you find you have to backpeddle. Most people really don’t care all that much, so if you can survive the first 3 minutes of ribbing, it will be over quickly. (Unless, of course, you are a politician, then prepare to have it hashed and re-hashed for a couple of days.) Although if you are as big an a**-hat at you seem, your co-workers probably won’t even give you grief as they are most likely used to ignoring you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To folks who are fanatical about any sport (fanatical being the longer version of “fan”) there can be nothing more charming and appealing than a skeptic who blossoms as a newbie fan. If you really have fallen for this odd sport, come out with it and ask your co-workers some questions that let them look like experts and make you look like an ingenue. “How come the umpires stop the action so they can squirt Reddi-Whip on the turf like that?” You’ll be the most popular person in the office.


    1. I was totally disinterested in football until I bought six Vikings tickets and attended my very first game in the Metrodome. It was my gift to my daughter’s for her birthday. She insisted that we dress in full Vikings mode, face paint and all. Well, the intense, loud energy in the scene completely awakened a sense of excitement I’d never before experienced! I LOVED it!! Maybe all my years of talking with an “inside voice” finally burst out into full expression.

      I loved it so much that I no more than got back home than I bought six season tickets. Which I spent weeks trying to pawn off. Those were the days of Chris Carter and a winning team, of course.


  8. Suck it up. Watch the game. Be humble. And like Steve said, ask about the Reddi-Whip (or the ball – apparently there is a new ball being used in the games and there is physics involved in the new ball, the last World Cup ball not having good physics…ask about that and I’m sure you’ll get a few folks off and running on the merits of the aerodynamics of round spheres).


    1. i doint remember how i heard about harry in the late 60’s. maybe it was because he was the beatles favorite performer but i loved the harry album and was atht ehwax museum wher they had an album claaed nillsen plays newman where he did an album of the unknown performer randy newman. it was and is a great album and i ended up liking randy pretty well too. i loved harry who played all the instraments on all his later albums. someone once said, he makes the best albums for a man with no voice at all of anyone there is. i couldnt agree more.
      if you are an american when you go into the bathroom and an american when you come out of the bathroom ,,, what are you whil you are in the bathroom???????


      Liked by 1 person

    1. Love that. My new T-shirt proclaims:
      “Don’t worry
      I have a
      Degree in English Literature”

      The last sentence in the nice round format of a formal seal.
      Bought especially for wearing at the 40th anniversary of the PHC show.

      Liked by 1 person

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