Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World Cup 2014

A friend of mine said, "Why should I care?" to which I responded, some Texas high school just spent 60 million on a football stadium, and football kills people, it gives them concussions, and injures their legs/knees/ankles/feet for life, so any energy we can put into promoting soccer is in essence saving lives. Kids need stuff to do. It's not enough to say to them, don't do American football. You have to have something to replace it with.

More and more Americans are watching the World Cup and this is a trend that has been steadily increasing. I've been interested in the last three or four of them, but I haven't actually watched this one much, not having streaming video, or even television to speak of. I watch my computer and my phone to see the scores come in. I'm overjoyed of course that the Americans finally beat Ghana. I've said enough, since I have friends from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, all kinds of other places that are still in the race. I tend to like the African teams and the South Americans against the old European powers but that's based on a very old prejudice and not based on any real knowledge of real teams.

My friends who are abroad refer to the teams in plural, i.e. England are, Spain are, etc. I guess this reflects the fact that British English has won at least the soccer audience, whereas we purely American soccer fans (who call it soccer) are still a distinct minority, even an extreme minority. I don't care. The USA is good. It has a chance. It is still in the hunt. Go USA!

My friends also are quite critical of the officiating. I am fortunate in that regard, because I still don't know a foul from a wrongly-called foul. But I haven't been watching it either, so I lose even more of the fine discrimination of what is or isn't, what actually happened. How should I know? I can't make predictions based on what I've seen. I have no idea who is playing up to their potential.

But I can tell you this: When you win two, you are virtually guaranteed getting into the next round. When you win one and tie one, it gets a lot murkier, and this is important for Brazil and Mexico, because as far as I'm concerned Cameroon is still in it. And anything can happen, USA can even beat Germany. Not likely but possible. One other thing, Brazil is wet & rainy, and it might make people go bonkers or do stuff they wouldn't ordinarily succumb to. We'll have to see.

But I feel like Argentina. The whole nation goes bankrupt, goes under, things are bad, for us here in the US we are looking at another six trillion war, all for nothing, but who cares, it's game time or "match time" and it's time to head up to the local barber shop, and see what the guys are saying about this team or that, and whether "it is" any good...



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