America’s Favorite National Pastime: Hating Ann Coulter

Before I begin, let me remind my loyal seven readers that this is not a sports blog but an entertainment blog (which, to be fair, are sports not entertainment for those watching? But I digress). For the rest of you who may be reading this blog for the first time, I do not write about sports. I watch sports. I enjoy doing sporty things. But as someone who majors in Broadcasting and knows very talented people who are “sports guys,” I must clarify that I am not a “sports guy.” With that said, I read something tonight that kind of angered me. I must admit, I probably sound a little bias as a quote-unquote “liberal,” but let me be absolutely clear: I’m not writing this as a liberal. I’m writing it as someone who just cannot stand outright closed-mindedness (this, turns out, is a word…moving on). People have their opinions, I get that. Everyone knows I have mine. But for the love of God, can we just find a way to stop Ann Coulter from having opinions?

Yesterday, Coulter posted a column called American’s Favorite Pastime: Hating Soccer ( http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2014-06-25.html) and now it’s making its social media rounds. At the time of writing this, Coulter was the top trend on Facebook, and I’m sure Twitter will have at it, too. In the column, to sum things up, Coulter basically writes about how much women suck at sports, how much liberals suck at everything, and about how much she herself sucks at finding joy in anything. But I’m not writing this to attack Ann Coulter. It’s merely a reaction post, and if it seems like I’m attacking Ann Coulter, I’m sorry.

(1) Yes, individual achievement does play a big part in sports. Why else would we select MVPs? The ego is both a splendid and treacherous thing, and it can often get in the way or drive someone to victory. Egos are sometimes just as big a tool to athletes as talent, motivation and hard-work, and some things exist to reward those egos. But since when does “individual achievement” make a sport a sport? Hell, we’re still trying to figure out whether cheerleading is a fucking sport and they have to trust others to literally throw them in the air and make sure they don’t hit the floor in a mess of blood and broken bones.

If Coulter wants individual achievement, she can find it in Landon Donovan in the 2010 World Cup. She can find it in Cristiano Ronaldo, who basically advanced the US into the final 16 this year’s World Cup, and he plays for Portugal. Individual achievements in sports give fans a posterboy they can look up to and a topic at the water cooler (i.e. Twitter). They drive the sportscasts-your Lebrons and your Mannings. But at the end of the day, nearly two weeks after the Spurs beat the Heat in game 5 of the NBA finals, no one is saying that Lebron lost and Tim Duncan won . The Heat lost and Spurs won.

Individual achievement plays a large role in sports. But it doesn’t make a sport.

(2) If a woman wanted to play American football, the school would probably have to let her. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a school with a woman’s football team. The majority of the time, if a woman wants to play football in this country, she’s playing with men. What was that about co-ed sports? I wonder if Coulter even stopped to think about the fact that football is the only sport, that comes to mind, that doesn’t have male and female teams. Probably because she didn’t even think about the prospect of a woman wanting to play football in a school setting. But that’s not the point. The point is that Coulter thinks that girls and boys can’t even play a sport together when they’re still pissing their pants.

(3 & 4) “t’s a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you” says Coulter, referring to American football. She seems to have this idea in mind that a sport has to physically hurt you in order for it to count. Blood has to be spilled. While that makes it more exciting, and while I love football as much as the next guy (it’s actually my favorite sport, whodathunkit), that’s not the case. Unless a golfer hits someone in the face with a club, people are rarely getting hurt in golf. But that’s not to say injuries don’t happen in soccer. It’s a contact sport, and while people aren’t getting pummeled to the ground because that’s the name of the game, serious injuries do happen.

And if a sport isn’t hurting you, it has to at least humiliate you. I hope Coulter doesn’t have children.

(5) No, you can’t use your hands in soccer, “eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.” Wow, thanks for clarifying that Ann. That’s the whole point of the game. A sport is supposed to challenge the body (all those injuries, remember, Ann?), and what better way to challenge oneself than to take away their ability to use their hands. I feel like professional baseball players don’t really find catching balls all that “dangerous” unless it was with bare hands. But soccer players still have to let a ball the size of their face bounce off their head.

Before I move on, please note I’m not trying to eliminate the strengths of any particular sport like Ann is. I can acknowledge that catching a baseball can still be dangerous even in MLB. But I don’t think it’s a fair point on Coulter’s side.

(6) Girls and Beyonce are fucking fantastic.

Anyway, people don’t have to endlessly remind us why American football is exciting because it originated here. There is an immediate conflict between American football and soccer because the rest of the world calls our soccer football. And a lot of Americans feel the need to be offended by that for some reason. In all honesty, American football is to a capacity “more exciting” but that shouldn’t take away from soccer.

(7) I think Ann Coulter trying to sound like the voice of African Americans speaks for itself.

(8) Why does she keep equating “liking soccer” to “being liberal?”

(9) I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert on whether soccer is “catching on” or not, but if social media is any indication, it does seem to be impacting a large population of Americans. Whether that will stick or not after the World Cup remains to be seen. I can admit I don’t watch soccer any other time, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy the Cup. It’s like the Olympics–when else do you watch gymnastics or volley ball or ice skating unless you’re a die hard fan? Never. But it’s the Olympics, so we watch it. And this is the World Cup, and that means being a part of something much bigger than just a puny debate over whether soccer is “exciting” or not. It’s about rooting for your country in a sport that we don’t by any means dominate in, but this Cup we can say we’re still in it.

So what is the point of all this? Soccer and football don’t need to be at odds with each other just because one is “foreign;” liking soccer doesn’t make you a liberal pyscho and it doesn’t mean the end of mankind if America does like soccer, even if only for a short time; Ann Coulter will devour your children; and there’s nothing wrong with rooting for your country and experiencing something bigger than oneself. I’m sure a conservative like Ann Coulter can at least respect that if nothing else.

Nine Directors Who Should Direct Star Wars: Episode IX

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With the announcement that Looper’s Rian Johnson is directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, it looks like Disney/Lucasfilm are open to making risky moves in the development of their reinvigorated franchise (even though J.J. Abrams, an obvious choice, is directing the seventh installment). The announcement got my imagination running, and I can’t help but think about the future of the series post-Episode VIII…Episode IX, of course. Here’s nine directors I wouldn’t mind seeing travel to a galaxy far, far away.

9. James Gunn

Gunn may be higher on the list after I see Guardians of the Galaxy (or not on it at all, but I feel like Guardians will be a treat), but for now, I’ll hold off on that. However, Guardians looks like a blast, the perfect summer film, a surprise hit, and a refreshing take on the Marvel cinematic Universe. With Disney owning Marvel and Star Wars, Gunn already has an in with the company. It may just be a matter of whether Guardians does well financially on whether they consider him for such a huge franchise.

8. Drew Goddard

An unlikely choice, but with the Rian Johnson announcement, it feels like anything unlikely could indeed happen. Goddard is responsible for 2012’s surprise hit The Cabin in the Woods, which was his directorial debut. While that “lack of experience” may sound worrisome, fear not: Cabin in the Woods is a great film, jam-packed with the kind of thrilling energy a Star Wars movie desires. Goddard is set-up as the director of the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six, but that should be wrapped up by the time the conclusion to the new Star Wars trilogy had to get underway.

7. Doug Liman

Liman is the director of The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jumper and most recently, Edge of Tomorrow. While Jumper didn’t fare well critically, Edge of Tomorrow is the surprise of the summer, an entertaining-as-hell and creative effort, with even some nice character work, that speaks to his potential to create a Star Wars film. The only problem may be that we didn’t have expectations set for Edge, while Star Wars would have plenty to live up to.

6. Neill Blomkamp

In 2009, I would have said Blomkamp can direct anything he wants to, because at the time District 9 had wowed us. Since then, his reputation has declined a little. Not much, but enough where he’s not at the top of this list. Last year’s Elysium, his follow up to District 9, proved to be a tad disappointing. A good film, but an overall forgettable one, thanks to its setting that resembled District 9 a little too much and characters that well, we didn’t really give a shit about. But I’m still putting Blomkamp on the list. It’s probably mostly due to the fact I still believe in the guy, but if he were to direct a Star Wars film, I’d be at least intrigued. It would be a much different style than Abrams, but so will Johnson I think we can expect.

5. Brad Bird

Bird is the director of some of the best family-friendly, but mature, animated features out there: The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. He already has more than an in with Disney with the latter film mentioned and Ratatouille. He also directed Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a high-octane joy ride that showed he can direct live-action with the best of ’em. He already has a couple projects lined up, but maybe by the time he had to direct Star Wars 9, his schedule would be free. The Star Wars films have always been family-friendly in nature, but with mature themes. Bird’s style would fit that mold quite well.

4. Matthew Vaughn

Vaughn made waves with his comic book adaptation Kick-Ass, which proved to be the little engine that could. His next project was another super hero film, but this time he toned down the violence and suggestive content and took on the X-Men universe with X-Men: First Class. It was a movie that reinvigorated life into a series that needed it after abysmal movies like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both of these movies show Vaughn’s knack for high-energy and excitement, and also his ability to create fun and engrossing characters, something the Star Wars franchise (used to be) all about.

3. Matt Reeves

At first, Reeves may seem like he would be out of his element if he directed a Star Wars film. But I’m sure we’ve thought that of Johnson as well, and I’m sure he’ll bring a creative vision to the series. Reeves sprung onto the scene with Cloverfield, which, love it or hate it, was at least a unique (at the time) take on the monster genre. Then came Let Me In, a film that had so much going against it (being the American remake of the beloved vampire Swedish film Let the Right One In), only to shock critics when it turned out to actually be pretty damn good. Now Reeves is releasing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes soon. It remains to be seen whether the film will be good, but it looks promising and shows Reeves may be able to handle an effects-heavy sequel in a popular franchise. While some would say his style may be too “dark” for a Star Wars film, I think he could bring a unique take on the franchise.

2. Alfonso Curaon

So yes, Cuaron seems like the obvious pick at the moment, having just won the Oscar for best director for Gravity. But think about it: if Cuaron got his hands on a Star Wars movie, it would be unlike any Star Wars movie we’ve ever seen. Cuaron’s vision for things is uncanny, and there’s no doubting the film would be a visual spectacle. And if you’re worried it would be style over substance, remember he also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which many say is still the best in the series. Depending on the direction they take this new trilogy, Cuaron would be an excellent addition to the array of Star Wars directors. Oh, and tracking shots. Those tracking shots.

1. Michael Bay

Yes, I know what you’re going to say. “What?? That hack? No way!” But hear me out. Bay, despite being known for his explosive, special effects-riddled tendencies that are devoid of plot, has made plenty of memorable movies. The Transformers trilogy shows he can handle an entertaining franchise and–

Okay ya got me. Yes, I am joking. Can you imagine what this shit stain would be like if Michael Bay directed it? Pearl Harbor with space ships. No thank you.

Well, there you have it. Who do YOU think should direct the ninth Star Wars movie following Abrams and Johnson? Sound off in the comments below.