Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Discredit where Discredit is due

With each World Cup comes American sports journalists who pay varying degrees of interest to the world's biggest sporting event.

On the rarified level are the guys who know soccer and can report on it well. This includes George Vecsey of the NY Times, Filip Bondy of the NY Daily News, William Gildea of the Washington Post, and a few others.

Below them are writers who don't necessarily know soccer, but respect it, and are follow the games. This list includes John Eisenberg of the Baltimore Sun, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, and Steve Rushin of SI.

Ok.. the final level on the ladder is reserved for a special kind. Now, it's OK to hate soccer. Nobody is forcing them to like anything. The reason why this group bugs me is that they write quadrennial stories bashing the World Cup. There are writers who write about how Americans don't follow it, which is true. Nothing wrong with that. But, they don't write anti-Olympics stories. They don't write anti-WNBA stories, or anti-Iditarod stories. I wish they could find a ghost-writing intern who could write something with a little creativity. Sitting at this table are Mike Lupica, JC Whitlock, Norman Chad and Tony Kornheiser, and I adore TK otherwise.