Sunday, June 27, 2010

Let The Third World Have It

I've tried to watch past World Cups, only to find the whole exercise rather boring:
A bunch of guys kick a ball around and nobody scores. Wow.
And to think... English find this worth rioting over.
Sorry, just not getting that part of it.

Still, it's been fun watching Team USA, and learning a little bit about what's going on. I'm never going to be a soccer fan, but I can see it becoming the same quadrennial(is that a word?) type of indulgence hockey is.
In other words, I only watch it every four years when my country is playing another for some grand prize... and five minutes worth of strutting rights.
Beyond that, you can have it.

What I did like:

  • is that beyond all the nationalistic prides, the bitter (it seems) rivalries, and those annoying horns... are fans of one nation congratulating the fans of their rivals on their superior level play, or their fighting spirit (if they lost).

  • Bill Clinton. Forget politics and whatever kind of a putz he is, when the country is being represented in something like this, I think it's only fitting, and a team morale boost, to have some sort of symbolic presence of it's people. The Brits have the Queen. South Africa was cheered with the presence of Mandela. We can, and should, send a former president, (or present member of the first family) to serve as ceremonial cheerleader.

  • Speaking of Bill, he obviously had as much of a clue about what he was watching as I did. I think he was just enjoying being Bill while away from Hilary.

  • South Africa has been through a lot in it's recent history. The games have shown that the nation seems to be moving beyond all that, has a lot going for itself when it wants to.

  • Despite a poor history, USA had as good a showing, or better, than some of the historical powerhouses. Makes me a little more prouder to be an American, even if I still don't care much about the whole spectacle.

I don't know about you, but ready I'm for some real football now.


RW said...

My son-in-law is from Scotland and when his folks are visiting we try and spend some time with them because they're good folks. But John looks at baseball and says "America's sport eh? But there's nothing happens. Stand around, scratch, spit and sometimes run."

He doesn't get my incredulous jaw drop. I could easily say "nameless running around and people fight in the streets when it's 0-0" but he'd just sit there incredulous.

I wouldn't be too proud of the boys myself though, even if I had seen any of the games. I think Ghana has a population slightly larger than Florida or something like that, and presumably this generation of American players have been at it since birth...

Brian said...

My enjoyment of the World Cup (and sports generally) is in direct portion to how many people I'm around that are really into it. I've gotten sucked into the last two WCs (before this one) mostly because they coincided with an international scientific meeting I usually attend, which (being international) meant that there were lots of rabid soccer fans around.

This year, I was just at home. So it wasn't nearly as fun. But the last-minute goal against Algeria made the whole thing worth it for me.

Gino said...

brian: i was in the industrial clinic for that goal against algeria, surrounded by mexicans... yeah, its more fun when you are with other fans.(not than i'm a fan)

RW: yeah, but its a population of the super athletic race, so that evens it up a bit.
i've heard from fans that USA's best players are all getting paid to play overseas,(MLS doesnt pay much) and dont want to waste time on a world cup team when they are not expected to go far.
this may change that.

K-Rod said...


Bring on the real football.