Which are you: Hockey mom or soccer mom?
As America wonders if soccer moms will vote for the hockey mom, some of us are wondering if there is a difference between the two. The commentaries I've read on the web (of course) paint hockey moms as a tougher and grittier bunch, because any mom can walk her kid to the park with his $4 ball while hockey demands so much more. Equipment, rink time, gas in the truck ...
"Soccer mom," a political prototype that came of age in the 1990s, depicted a family-values voter. She was presumed to be very busy, middle class -- read, "white" -- and I don't think the strategists gave her credit for much intelligence. I mean, who gets time to read the New York Times during playoff week?
I suppose if you want to vote Republican, you'll vote Republican, and vice versa. But here are some things the bloggers might not know about soccer.
1. It's NOT cheap. Competitive programs in the Tampa Bay area go as high as $900 a season.
2. It's NOT easy on the family. Travel leagues and school programs are so demanding that sometimes you hope your child won't make it past the tryout.
3. Less violent than hockey? The Hillsborough County school district makes parents sign an extra consent form for middle school soccer, stating that they realize this contact sport is especially dangerous.
4. Soccer familes are NOT all white, obviously. It is, after all, the world's sport. My kids' coaches come from Iran, Puerto Rico, Colombia and the Bahamas, just to name a few.
Hey, and guess what? The soccer field is like anywhere else. If you're smart these days, YOU DON'T TALK POLITICS.
--Marlene Sokol, Times coach