At least two fans of World Cup soccer

In a column that appeared in this space last week, I expressed my disdain for professional soccer. In that same column, I invited anyone who is a fan of that sport to e-mail me and tell me why.

In the time that has elapsed since the column ran, I have received exactly one e-mail in support of the game. It was sent to me by two players from the Rockford Dactyls club soccer team. Ten-year-old Payton Sabathne and 9-year-old Mackenzie Makela said they didn’t like what I wrote about World Cup soccer.

First, I applaud them for reading the paper. Second, I salute them for standing up for what they believe in and taking the time to e-mail me. I truly appreciate it.

As I stated last week, soccer is a wonderful game for kids their age to play. It gives them a great opportunity to get some exercise, develop their teamwork and hone certain social skills (carpooling, who’s bringing the treats, etc., etc.).

I can understand parents cheering on their sons or daughters during a game. I can even understand younger players like Payton and Mackenzie looking to the pros for ways to improve their skills. But what continues to boggle my mind is why any self-respecting adult would choose to be a fan of pro soccer.

Unless you happen to be from Ghana, Bolivia, Brazil or some other lesser-known country with a professional soccer team, how can any American adult be a fan of this ridiculous sport?

Judging by the lack of e-mails I received about this subject, I can only assume that if there are actually any of you out there, you’re still not willing to come forth and admit it, as Payton and Mackenzie so bravely did.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at

From the July 5-11, 2006, issue

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