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Old 07-23-2003, 09:36 AM   #1
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Commie Soccer!

I just saw this story on MPRs website and it gave me a good chuckle. I thought it would be a nice lighter note and appropriate to FYM considering the subject matter. Enjoy.

Soccer for socialists in Duluth spawns "Commie Soccer"

Socialists need exercise, too. It's a lot of work to smash capitalism, but it doesn't do much for the lungs or the legs. So a bunch of young socialists in Duluth get together to kick around a soccer ball. They call it, "Commie Soccer."

by Chris Julin, Minnesota Public Radio
July 22, 2003

Duluth, Minn. Over in a forgotten corner of a Duluth city park, behind a screen of trees, there's a gravelly little field surrounded by a chain-link fence. Here's where the commies play soccer.

They get together once a week. Sometimes five or six people show up. Sometimes 10. And some nights just two.

"Just coincidentally I'm a socialist who needs to get some exercise in," says Adam Ritscher. "This fits both bills quite nicely."

Ritscher is one team tonight. He's in the red T-shirt. Ritscher is a clean-cut twenty-something; you could mistake him for a College Republican, but he's a regular at anti-war protests and picket lines in Duluth. He's an organizer with the local chapter of Youth for Socialist Action.

The other team is Andy Olson, in the grey T-shirt. Olson is a socialist and a vegan, but he's working his way through college making burgers at Wendy's. Earlier this summer, Olson and some other activists were at a gay rights rally, and that's where he cooked up the idea for Commie Soccer.

"Certainly anybody's welcome," Olson says. "We've had anarchists and probably Greens. It's not where we sit down and discuss hard-nosed politics, exactly, but we like to have something to get us together just to get to know each other."


In Commie Soccer, the rules are flexible.

"Every week they're different," Ritscher says. "We often have five people playing two or something like that just to make it fair. You know, some weeks there's no out of bounds. Other weeks we're very much sticklers about the rules for whatever reason."

The rules are decided by a vote, and sometimes they change several times during the course of a game.

"It reflects the will of the masses," Ritscher says.

There is talk of taking Commie Soccer to the next level. Ritscher and Olson are thinking of forming a real team.

"The anarchists have challenged us to play sometime," Ritscher says, "but they don't actually have a team that's coalesced yet. We're thinking about maybe challenging the Green Party, kind of have a classic far-left fight here, but they don't have a team yet either. We seem to be the only activist soccer team on the block so far."

They might have to look beyond other leftists to get a game. Andy Olson has had informal talks with some soccer players of the right.

"I do know some College Republicans," Olson says. "I actually think that they would be receptive to the idea. I guess the only thing I want to make sure, is that it doesn't end up in some kind of grudge match, of course."


"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 07-23-2003, 09:44 AM   #2
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Amusing.....hey, lefties have to have fun too.

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Old 07-23-2003, 10:04 AM   #3
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:24 AM   #4
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they don't stand a chance when I'm in the goal
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