Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup 2010

I love the World Cup. Even living where I do, with the filming and thousands of cheering/honking fans (thanks to the vuvuzelas obnoxious, honk-never-ending horns) and mass chaos every night and day. Secretly or not so secretly, I love it. Switzerland feels alive.

Even though I do not have any favorites besides my red, white and blue, I am definitely loving seeing everyone come in their team's colors with their flags and cheer like mad. I go down solo a lot to stand with the crowds and soak up the energy and watch the amazing athleticism and drama. Oh yes, so much drama.

I admit, other than watching 4 years ago and getting lucky cheering for Italy because I had no one else to cheer for and figured family ancestry was good as any reason, I have never been into it. This world cup has changed that for me. I love it, but I had no idea, and took no notice, of three things:

  1. Drama, drama, drama. 
  2. Japan has a team (?) and they are good (?).  Really good. 
  3. What the heck is up with this offsides thing
Drama. How come no one told me that this sport was so similar to professional wrestling. Grown men throwing themselves to the ground, faking injuries, tripping over thin air and blaming the guy in the other jersey. Ugh. I am over it. In fact, I have come up with a new rule. Unless there is blood, no foul, no yellow card and absolutely no red card. 

Japan. I had no idea they were into soccer/football/futbol. They are good and really fun to watch. Enough said, I love the Samurai Blue. 

I do not get this whole offsides thing. Admittedly, I am a novice. So this rant can and probably should go unnoticed, unless you have strong feelings about this. How can so many goals go uncounted just because one of the players is ahead of the defense? Seems like in deciding on this rule, the pendulum went too far. Sure, they want to make sure that there is more play and not just passing the ball down the field to the guy standing behind the defenders to make a goal, but honestly, lets rethink this. So many times, just this world cup, I have been watching the games, getting into it and cheering with my fellow French, German, Algerian, (Insert any country) when offsides is called. Talk about a downer. Who let that guy into this party? 

Also, I would like to make an addendum to my last post on feeling a bit lost on measurement, time, languages, etc. How about how we are the only ones in the world to call soccer "soccer." I often say something like this, "Hey guys, are you going to watch the Chile-Spain soc...foot... er... game today?" I don't feel comfortable calling it football, but I just feel a bit funny, elitist even, calling it soccer. I do notice that sometimes when people are with me, they talk about "soccer" and I think all the time, "Are they just saying this around me? Are they changing their vocabulary to make me feel more comfortable?" Then, I try to use the word football in the next sentence to see if they switch back, and when they don't, I think "Oh crap, why do they keep calling it soccer. Wait... is this word catching on :) ?"

I saw a funny episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he is talking to his "senior world cup analyst" or something and during the banter he says that if the US keeps playing like this and wins, the rest of the world is going to have to start calling the game soccer. Enjoy the games! USA!! 

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