Every four years we are blessed with the greatest International competition this great blue marble has to offer. I don’t know what kind of weird red rock, little green man shit they’ve got going on on Mars, but I can only assume that it doesn’t match the grandeaur, the fan faire, and the concentrated nationalist atmosphere that gives new life to century old feudal rivalries. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you grew up, what color your skin is, or which God you pray to.
It’s you against the world, no matter what.
I’ve never personally attended the World Cup, so I can’t only base these findings on what I’ve experienced while jumping around on my couch, rubbing strangers heads in bars, and 3rd party half-recolections. It’s as good a basis for commentary that I’ve ever put together, which probably says more about my shaky research efforts than the validity of said comments. But if Fox News anchors can speak on behalf of…well…anyone, then that qualifies me to speak on the importance of the World Cup. Logic win!
We are barely a week into the intense country on country action, and the goings on are already brimming with Nemar baby frohawks and large, flowing national flags that I can only imagine are blocking everyone’s view within a 40 foot radius. The buzz is palpable. I’ve made my best attempts to secretly keep up with the action at work, but the sweat shop-esque office layout makes it difficult for me to hide my distractions. Although the high pitch ‘yelp’ I let fly after the US scored their second goal against Ghana was probably a dead giveaway. No shame.
*Quick update. I’m currently having lunch with a ‘friend,’ which means I walked home (25 minutes), watched as much of the France – Switzerland match as I can, and am about to walk back to work (25 additional minutes). That’s right. I’m skipping work to watch France do something. This is the World Cup.*
*Quick explanation. I’m going to use the word ‘covering’ although this is hardly a journalistic recollection of the events of the world cup that could be justified as saying i’m ‘covering’ it. So, covering something as ebb and flow as the World Cup lends itself to spur of the moment analysis and commentary that I feel obligated to oblige. Thus, the above paragraph. Don’t be shocked to see one or two more of those peppered throughout the rest of your readings. You’ve been warned.
The most appealing aspect of the World Cup, for me, is the transformation that occurs in America during this time. When the boys in blue lace up for their country, you’d be hard pressed to find a bar that isn’t overflowing with drunk soccer ‘fans’ waiting for that ecstasy filled moment when the ball rips into the back of the net. And when it finally does, prolonged beer showers and pool table swan dives become common place (at least if you have friends like mine). I’m trying to think of what this type of pop culture mass hysteria can be properly equated to. All I can come up with is the controversial final episode of an iconic TV series (see LOST, The Sopranos, Dallas).There really is no parallel.
I’m going to stop there as the US has just got itself into the elimination rounds. Suck on that Group of Death! It was an amazing year for Group play with no shortage of drama and last-minute heroics. Let’s hope for the same in the upcoming tournament. I’ll follow up with a post after the Cup has been won. For now, USA! USA! USA!