Soccer Is Not A Preppy Sport


In  a couple of hours, the US will take on Germany in the World Cup. Most of you probably don’t care, because soccer is about as preppy as having a name like Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV.

Pictured above is Khan at Harvard in 1958 from a LIFE Magazine photo shoot. We posted shots from it in one of Ivy Style’s early posts, and for a while the handsome prince served as the avatar of our Facebook page.

He was on the soccer team. — CC


47 Comments on "Soccer Is Not A Preppy Sport"

  1. I played left wing from age 5 to 15. Scored a hat trick once.

  2. While it may not be a preppy sport, there are certainly a lot of preppies who play it.

  3. Maybe you’re out of touch with the preppy world. Lots of preppies do play soccer, as a commenter above pointed out. The preppy world is not the world of the KKK, with disdain for foreigners, although some preppy websites may think so without actually saying so, of course.

  4. Been a long time reader but this is my first post.
    I just had to say something on the other commentators lack of a sense of irony. The prince is clearly at the pinnacle of prep despite his non-Waspiness, something which can be said for many soccer fans along with the whole sport. In other words, non-American, or non-white, doesn’t necessarily equal non-prep. In fact, most prep sports and clothes come from places far away from the States such as madras, weejuns, button down collars, and soccer.

  5. Well said, decidedly un-preppy. Both the man and the sport.

    Ben D, I’ll bet you’re under 30 and the product of a public education.

  6. Indeed, some here are missing the irony of the post. It could quickly turn into the type of holier-than-thou debate which seems to pervade this site at times.

    The Prince is surely preppy. Also, though I don’t have my copy within reach, I seem to remember TOPH listing soccer as one of its acceptable sports.

    I, too, played left wing.

  7. That’s not a button-down shirt. Case closed.

  8. ^ If that isn’t a button-down shirt, what is that button doing on the collar?

  9. Were any ‘preppy sports’ invented in America?

  10. By the way, I am proud to say that we British lead the world, unarguably, at inventing sports that foreign chaps now routinely beat us at (cricket, football, rugby, tennis, golf, badminton, squash, ping pong, rowing, not even counting imperial sports such as polo, hockey and lax, the list is endless).

  11. And at least your footy fellows just now (a) qualified for the next round and (b) did not lose to the Jerries on penalties.

  12. Christian | June 26, 2014 at 5:46 pm |

    Preppy sports are British.

  13. @ redcoat

    I’m not sure about all of the sports you mentioned, but it is worth re-checking your list. Lacrosse is a Native American Indian game. Polo has its origin in Persia at a time well before Briton became a Roman colony.

  14. Soccer is water polo for guys that can’t swim, with a touch of 1950s TV professional wrestling.

  15. Vern Trotter | June 27, 2014 at 1:32 am |

    Soccer is like the metric system. It has never fit in here in the US. Nothing against it really. Americans do not like draws, I guess.

  16. @Redcoat

    To add to RJG, I believe that tennis started in France (if not somewhere else before) and golf is not British in origin either.

    I consider playing sports in general preppy. Sure some sports are preppier than others, but the way you play can also be preppy.

  17. Soccer would be much improved if the players were permitted to pick up the ball with their hands and run with it.

    Wait, there’s a word for that–when that happens.

  18. Waldo Walters | June 27, 2014 at 9:03 am |

    Carrying his own books? Seems like he’d have lackeys for that.

  19. Roy R. Platt | June 27, 2014 at 10:12 am |

    In the UK, Football (Soccer in the USA) seems to be more popular with Labour Party supporters (which is why there are Football Hooligans) and Cricket and Rugby seem to be more popular with Conservative Party supporters (which is why there are no Cricket or Rugby Hooligans).

    The same seems to be the case in the USA, where more Democrats rather than Republicans watch Soccer, and some Democrats actually appear to be interested in who will become the World Cup Holder. (My car, which is Japanese, has over a dozen cup holders).

    However at least one well known Democrat, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State (when Carter was President) and Walter Mondale’s campaign manager, does not like Soccer……..

  20. Satre – I see no button. My point was a bit more subtle, which was that who, seriously, cares? Which I think is the point of this post, if it has one. In any event considering football is growing evermore irrelevant among prep schools, the NESCACs, and Ivies, and lacrosse is a spring sport, I’m not sure if there is a fall sport preppier than soccer what it would be. Cross country? Of course field hockey, for women.

  21. Gornergrat | June 27, 2014 at 11:15 am |

    these ridiculous “is _____ preppy?” conversations are best left to muffy aldrich’s blog, no?

  22. Depends on whether they’re serious or not.

  23. American football is ivy.

  24. Soccer is a gentleman’s game played by beasts while rugby is a beastly game played by gentlemen.

  25. The masses vs. the classes. Soccer vs. Lacrosse?

  26. Not understanding irony is very preppy.

  27. Chaps,

    Modern lacrosse was invented to alleviate chronic boredom by a great great uncle of mine who served in a rather unfashionable regiment during the second Boer war and polo, of course, (not talking about dead goat carcases in Afghanistan (sod Persia, by the way)) by the 3rd Birmingham Lancers during their notoriously bloody suppression of the Balti riots in Simla in the 1860s.

    Golf, as any fule kno, was invented by the Scots, still British until later this year at least, their only undisputed contribution to modern civilisation, apart from Billy Connolly.

    And tennis… invented by the French? I believe you may have misunderstood the passage from Henry V. Nope. We invented them all and bow to no one in our ability to lose.

  28. We all know the First Boer War was preppier.

  29. Joe Tradly | June 27, 2014 at 8:51 pm |

    Having spam issues is Ivy.


  30. Christian | June 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm |

    It’s certainly Ivy Style….

  31. Vern Trotter | June 28, 2014 at 12:15 am |

    Khaki was invented for the Boer War, I believe.

  32. The Big Bopper | June 28, 2014 at 5:22 am |

    Khaki is an Indian word for dirt or soil.

  33. Etymologue | June 28, 2014 at 5:33 am |

    @The Big Bopper

    Calling earth “dirt” is not preppy.

  34. @ Redcoat

    Modern Lacrosse was invented by a great great uncle of yours during the Boer war? Bluster and nonsense.
    Are you a caricature, or just playing one?

    “Lacrosse began in England in 1876 when a visiting group of Canadians captained by Dr. W. G. Beers of Montreal played exhibition matches up and down the country.[1] By 1883, when a second tour group captained by Beers visited England there were 60 clubs playing regular fixtures in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Middlesex and Yorkshire” (Wikipedia entry “Lacrosse in England”).

    The entry for “Lacrosse” shows a photograph from the 1860s of a team of North American Indians with their lacrosse sticks in hand.

    As for golf, it was invented by the Scots while they were still a separate nation, before such a thing as Great Britain was created in 1707 by the political union of England and Scotland.

  35. John-Paul Junkers | June 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm |

    Platt: “In the UK, Football (Soccer in the USA) seems to be more popular with Labour Party supporters (which is why there are Football Hooligans) and Cricket and Rugby seem to be more popular with Conservative Party supporters (which is why there are no Cricket or Rugby Hooligans).”

    —- you silly, silly, silly man. Totally misunderstanding how British class and politics overlap.

    Did I mention? You are very silly.

  36. Gary Crant | June 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm |

    As for golf, it was invented by the Scots while they were still a separate nation, before such a thing as Great Britain was created in 1707 by the political union of England and Scotland. – RJG

    And so what?

  37. @DCG Well spotted.

    @RJG Wikipedia……….

  38. @ Redcoat

    Would you prefer Encyclopedia Brittanica? They both tell the same story.

    @ Cary Grant

    The point is that it is an anachronism to the attribute the invention of golf to “the British.” The relevant context is in the comments above.

  39. @Redcoat
    There is no such regiment as the 3rd Birmingham Lancers. Maybe you are thinking of a Yeomanry regiment? Yeomanry were not deployed overseas until the Boer War, and would not have been putting down riots in India in the 1860s. Googling “Balti Riots” does not return any results.

    @Vern Trotter
    Khaki pre-dates the Boer War by 40+ years, for example it was used during the Indian Mutiny. Here is an interesting discussion of khaki in the 1860s:

  40. @JGH I’m afraid that’s because I was teasing and made it all up. Sorry; English sense of humour and all that…

    @RJG There is no such thing as the ‘Encyclopedia Brittanica (sic)’. Anyway, see above.

  41. @Redcoat Next you’ll be telling us that the footnotes at the back of Flashman books aren’t factual. Madness!

  42. @Redcoat
    I was hoping that was the case!

  43. Vern Trotter | July 1, 2014 at 2:43 am |

    Too many decades of martinis and bourbon for my memory but the khaki manufacturer was not issued a patent for khaki until 1884. It was used for the first time in uniforms in 1897-98 in the Sudan, right before the Boer Wars were getting started. (1899-1902) During the second Boer War, British troops became known as Khakis. Always interesting, the Boers wore tweed, at least a lot of them.

    The uniforms to which you refer were a variation of other similar colors and in 1864 were replaced by white cotton and again in the 2nd Afgan War in 1878 by another hybrid color.

  44. This article is simply nonsensical. The Prince surely is preppy. Soccer is a sport played by preps, but I would not describe it as a classic preppy sport, like tennis, rugby, cricket, crew or that engaged in by the chess or debate teams, if they are sports at all.

    There is a failure by the writer here to see through the illusion of the prep that he either wishes to become or once was himself – but one thing is certain – Preppy has nothing at all do with your name.

    This blog continues to confirm that modern preppy style is nothing but a media construct:

  45. Scotch & Soda | July 2, 2014 at 11:25 pm |

    I once had sex on the midfield with a co-ed who played for her college tennis squad. Is that Preppy??

  46. Some people restrict preppy to just being from New England (and NH, RI, VT do not count). Like at the daily prep. It is silliness but happens all the same. As if Philadelphia, New York, DC, had no residents that went to prep school. Or that Princeton, NJ does not count. Or that Harvard-Westlake isn’t a prep school. Bah.

  47. What major city in America hasn’t had prep schools or academies since the early 1900s? Did all the Ivy Leaguers and old monied types running oil companies in Bartlesville, Oklahoma send their kids to public school? Yes many sent their kids back east, but most didn’t.

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