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Here’s Our Response To The Dutch Speed Skating Coach Who Dissed American Football

  • Jake O'Donnell

We’ll just get right into it. Here’s what Jillert Anema said to CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday morning:

[Buzzfeed] “You have a lot of attention on a foolish sport like American football and you waste a lot of talent, athletic talent, on a sport that is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. … You’re so narrow-minded, and then you want to compete against the world [in other sports] when you waste a lot of time, good talent on a sport that sucks.”

He also implied we make up our own sports (like football) to feel like we’re special. Great. Ok, we’ll start there.

- This man’s name is Jillert. Apparently Dutch people make up names so they can feel special.

- “When [Americans] play soccer, you’re not…the top thirty of the world.” True, except for the fact that we’re currently ranked 13th, three spots behind The Netherlands — who, by the way, have won exactly the same number of World Cups as us. Glad the choke artists are lecturing us on which sports we should pretend to dominate. Keep it coming, Jillert…

- “All your talent is wasted on football.” Ya, because 400-pound men are a hot commodity in tennis. Get real, dude. American football is series of very specialized athletes. Regardless, if the number of Americans playing football is diluting our pool of potential speed skaters then it makes it all the more amazing that we manage to field very competitive/successful/dominant athletes in literally every Olympic sport. Perhaps if The Netherlands didn’t allocate so many resources to speed skating, they’d actually have a World Cup.

- “You can make your own game, like American football, do it your own way and think your the best of the world.” You’re right, we should probably ditch the whole “innovation” thing and stick to the script. No more making new sports that are fun to watch — we’ll go back to the basics. Discus, Greco-Roman Wrestling, and the Dutch national sport of Fierljeppen. Can’t wait to Alshon Jeffery try to break Bart Helmholt’s record in that one.

- “You always think you’re right.” Says the guy making broad statements about 311 million people. At least we’re not always named “Jillert.” Next…

- “[Speed skating] is an honest sport. There are no tricks involved. It’s just about who is the best in the world…a Gold medal in speed skating is just as valuable as a Gold medal in basketball.” Oh ya, because there are so many tricks involved in figuring out the best basketball team in the world in. European sports (and especially speed skating) are notorious for convoluting the debate as to “who’s the best in the world,” because they break everything down into some many different tournaments. Is it more important to win in the Champions League or the domestic league? The domestic league cup or the domestic league tournament? Euro Cup or the World Cup? Talk about hedging your bets with the whole “Best in the world” business…

Moreover, if speed skating was just about finding “the best speed skater in the world,” then there’d be one event, not 22. Or is the 1000m the real measure of a speed skater? If basketball was anything like speed skating, the All-Star weekend competitions would be Olympic sports as well, and maybe then those soft-ass European players could have some success to hang their hats on. But that’s not how we roll, because we have an “honest” and straightforward way of determining what a champion is. It’s called “a game.”

- “[Football] is meant to kill each other, to injure each other. … You’re so narrow-minded.” Spoken like a true Dutch speed skating coach. Football has the same objective as every other sport — including speed skating — which is for all the players to get laid. Now who’s the narrow-minded one!

- “You won’t beat us, not in four years, not in eight years.” Oh, because Shani Davis didn’t win the Men’s 1000m Gold in Vancouver four years ago. Ya, count us out because we have a tough couple of weeks. There is one thing, however, we’ll probably never beat you in, and that’s in the 1500m “inferiority complex” event. You’ll always take Gold in that one, bud.

Now watch this terrible rendition of the Star Spangled Banner performed Daytona International Speedway…

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