Saturday, June 01, 2002

Pro soccer

Fans here are few but dedicated

        Note to self: There are American fans of professional soccer.

        I heard from some of them after last week's column about immigrants' anticipation of the World Cup, which whips their home countries into a frenzy while America says ho-hum.

        Well, not all of America.

        “Our household is planning on waking up at 5 a.m. to catch the games,” writes Jodie Binning of Mount Washington. She's hosting a “breakfast and beer” party at that hour on June 5, when America plays Portugal.

        Other comments:

        “I grew up playing soccer in suburban Detroit and still play when I can find the time and a game. ... While I might not know all the players in the English Premier League, or in the Italian, German, Brazilian, Mexican or Dutch leagues, I do know that they exist and generally have an idea of who's good and who isn't.” — Paul Jirkans, Cincinnati

“Soccer will not ever get proper coverage in the United States because the game is not conducive to TV commercials. ... Another factor is that America tends to be territorial: supporting one national team is not in its psyche. We fans will be setting the alarm really early for the next month, watching and cheering as we get our World Cup fix.”

— Jackie Weist, Cincinnati

The pill debate
        Readers also responded to a column about the zealots and ideologues — my words for them — who want birth-control pills banned from public-health clinics in Northern Kentucky.

        Bill Banchy of Anderson Township says I distorted the pill opponents' argument. They aren't trying to block low-income women from using the pill, he said, only from getting it for free at public expense.

        “I am a lifelong Roman Catholic, and my church considers it a sin for Catholics to use artifical contraception. However, my church understands that it has no right to enforce this particular item of morality on non-Catholics, nor do we attempt to do so,” he writes.

        Ellen Curtin of Fort Thomas is against public distribution of the pill partly out of concern that it will be prescribed to smokers, who are in a high-risk category, or women not likely to follow the instructions. The clinics should instead promote abstinence or natural family planning, she says.

        Other comments:

        “I find this horrendously scary that the same looneys who don't want a woman to use abortion as birth control do not want her to use the pill, either. Let's keep 'em barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen with no decision-making capabilities about the direction their own lives will take. Sounds like a Third World country where women have no rights.”

— Maggie Ramirez, Edgewood, Ky.

        “I sincerely hope that the health board will listen to reason and vote to continue offering this valuable service. ... When I was at the meeting (on May 9), I kept thinking how different my life would be if I had not had the option to plan my family and how different my children's lives would be if they did not have the pill. Fortunately, our family will not be affected because we can afford private physicians. How are women supposed to escape from poverty if they cannot limit the number of children that they have?

— Kathryn Thompson, Fort Thomas, Ky.

        Contact: (859) 578-5584 or


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