Nobody asked for his opinion, but he gave it anyway. Then he doubled down with sarcasm and name-calling.
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pennsylvania) was clearly out to pick a fight with soccer fans following the U.S. men’s national team’s embarrassing elimination from the World Cup. After the unexpected loss to Trinidad and Tobago, USMNT fans were shocked and upset by the outcome, but Boyle saw the moment as the perfect time to offer his unsolicited feelings on soccer and soccer fans via Twitter.
I was really disappointed the USA men's team didn't qualify for the World Cup. Then I remembered I couldn't care less about soccer.— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@US Rep Brendan Boyle)1507689231.0
Hmm. OK. Moments after a heartbreaking loss that shocked millions of American fans seems like an insensitive time to bring that up, but fans posited that perhaps Boyle didn’t appreciate the game’s intricacies. Boyle responded that he understood the sport just fine and, as proof, offered some painful generalizations and clichés surrounding the sport.
@FranksLizette Run around for 90 minutes. Flop when barely touched. Score 1 goal at most. Do I got it? ;)— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@US Rep Brendan Boyle)1507694128.0
Boyle then veered directly into troll territory, mocking the reaction of soccer fans to his wholesale indictment of the sport. He then quickly added a tacked-on patriotic sentiment to round out the statement.
It's genuinely funny to read the strong reactions to my tongue in cheek post. Will always root for the USA. Just no… https://t.co/uG6O6f9L7n— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@US Rep Brendan Boyle)1507690096.0
Turning to what one could only presume is an internet troll checklist, he proceeds to call soccer fans “snowflakes,” urging them to watch baseball, a sport he happens to enjoy more.
He then ended his unsolicited diatribe with another hallmark of trolls — charmless sarcasm.
I am totally the reason why the world hates us. 100% me. My bad. https://t.co/CtgrGgjUIn— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@US Rep Brendan Boyle)1507691922.0
While we normally would expect more from an elected official who represents citizens, in this instance it was the fans who remained (mostly) civil in their responses to Boyle’s scattered attack on soccer.
@RepBrendanBoyle Probably cos it didn’t read as tongue in cheek. And also lots of ppl in the US care, even if you claim not to!— Al Sarpong (@Al Sarpong)1507702114.0
@RepBrendanBoyle a little too soon and surprised at the mean spirit - you may not care but a whole lot of Pennsylvanians do. Uncalled for— Tracey Moore (@Tracey Moore)1507714626.0
@RepBrendanBoyle Cool. I always root for the US too but I'm not a football/gold/swimming fan. Doesn't mean there ar… https://t.co/NRcRA4T7kX— Bryan Alexander Hays (@Bryan Alexander Hays)1507694709.0
Very few fans went to the trouble of insulting him or “dunking on” Boyle. Most took the high road, a path that seems to, at least in this instance, completely elude Boyle.
@RepBrendanBoyle What goes through ones mind when they don’t care about something but decide to comment in a negati… https://t.co/icKGg9cYI0— Baking Violas (@Baking Violas)1507768254.0
Unsurprisingly, Boyle didn’t indulge these “snowflakes” — who managed to remain mild even while smarting from a loss — with a response. I guess if the president can shift his focus to petty Twitter squabbles over sports than this congressman felt emboldened to as well.
But maybe Boyle could find a more entertaining way to convey his criticisms.
@RepBrendanBoyle Maybe don’t hire @GovMikeHuckabee as your joke writer.— Dave Hageman (@Dave Hageman)1507720691.0
Ouch. That might hurt as much as the USMNT’s loss.