The World Cup©

June 4, 2010

It’s almost here…about a week to go. The biggest sporting event in the world, yes… bigger than the olympics and much more profitable to the host city or country.

I am a recently converted soccer fan (since the last World Cup ©). Before that I loathed the sport from a young age. I encourage all of you, if you want to try being a soccer fan, NOW IS THE TIME.

If you watch the World Cup© and feel nothing, then this sport is not for you and never will be.

As I’m sure you have noticed and questioned the copyrigt symbols, I decided to put them in after I saw them being used in ESPN’s scrolling sports bar at the bottom of the screen and it caught my eye.

To my knowledge no other sporting (I think you only need it when using the olympic logo and not the name) requires this. You don’t see The World Series© or The Superbowl© anywhere. This got me thinking about how symbolic this can be. It is it’s own entity, the mother of all sporting events. There is nothing else that can be confused with it.

No other sport worldwide has the fandom of soccer. The shear quantity of fans and dedication (sometimes violently so) is staggering and living in the US where soccer is, at best, the 5th perfessional sport and much further down the list when including collegiate sports this makes me sad.

One of the reasons the World Cup© is so great is that it provides a forum for us to express out overblown inner feelings of drama towards other countries in a competitive yet carefree environment.

USA vs. England, need I say more. We get to live out the deep repressed ancient animosity towards our previous overlords. If you were to express this in current modern setting, you would get disapproving looks and a, “well that was 200+ years ago let it go.”

Instead we are allowed to vent these pent up emotions and let them rip in slurs, chants, and rabid patriotism. Nothing shows this better than a commerical I just saw on ESPN for the World Cup© on ABC.

It was bacially showing a monatge of our history with England, juxtaposing Revolutionary War imagery with soccer. It was fantasic and wildly successful in getting my blood boiling towards the UK who I am actually quite fond of.

It’s let getting the ok from your elderly father to try to beat him up, making up for anything he may have angered you about in the past.

You may get beat up by him or not, and that’s fine because in the end, sweating, tired, you both smile and hug and know that the grevences have been aired for now, until the next brawl and you can get back to being friends.

He may be proud of you for putting up a good fight, or even beating him, and you in return feel satisfaction that he’s the one who taugt you how to play the game and everything you know you learned from him one way or the other. And the important thing was that whichever one of you won, you went on to beat France.

And that is why the World Cup© is the present and future of world sporting events. For a month every 4 years we tell ourselves, it’s ok to be politcally incorrect, xenophobic and make fun of others and know that they will do the same to you with no mercy and when it is all said and done, you can put the flag you’ve been waiving back into the closet, wash off the face paint, and start the count down at 3 years, 364 days…

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