Dealing with World Cup ignorance

16 Jun

There are too many people out there who don’t understand the beautiful game and the insanity surrounding the World Cup. One of these unfortunate people is Rick Reilly, a writer for ESPN. He even compiled a list about what he would change to make it “better”.  You would think that since the U.S. has made it to six straight World Cups, this kind of dumb “humor” would go away, but apparently not.  Here’s my take on his ignorant list. If you want to get a laugh, check out his original column here.

1, 4, 10. Vuvuzelas.
Ok, we get it. You don’t like the vuvuzelas. Get over it. The vuvuzelas are part of tradition at South African football matches. Part of the beauty of holding the World Cup in places, ya know, around the world are hearing/seeing the different traditions fan develop. I thought the vuvuzelas were kind of obnoxious at first, but guess what? I got over it. The more you watch, the less you notice. If you really can’t handle the sound of “80,000 yaks getting sick” as Reilly so nicely put it, there is a mute button on your remote. Use it.

2. The embarrassing photographer bibs the guys on the bench have to wear during the game.
I’m not really clear as to why being a substitute on a World Cup team is worthy of embarassment. It’s like Reilly is searching for dumbass things not to like about the World Cup. That’s like saying, I don’t like the big ass warm-up shirts that basketball players wear on the bench. It’s completely irrelevant to the competition.

3. The Twinkie-fingered gloves goalkeepers wear.
Again, assinine. Why don’t YOU try taking a shot to the hands at 80 miles an hour? I’d bet you’d want a little bit of padding there too.

5. All the faking.
Reilly’s only somewhat-decent point. It can be frustrating to watch a player take a dive, though I’m guessing that Reilly never played soccer himself. Getting kicked is painful, getting cleated is painful. It’s not all acting.

6. Yellow cards.
And throwing a little flag on the field in the NFL isn’t dumb?

7. The ties.
There’s nothing wrong with an evenly matched game and a result to reflect that. Just because (a lot of) Americans are conditioned to the belief that there always needs to be a winner, doesn’t mean the rest of the world adheres to that ideal as well. Stop being so close-minded.

8. The World Cup itself.
How do you hate this trophy? I love it. It’s elegant and understated. There’s no need for a large, sponsored behemoth of a trophy. The sheer joy of being the best in the world overshadows any “issues” with the trophy.

9. Stoppage time.
It makes perfect sense to me. It also adds a little bit of intrigue to the game. You never know when that whistle’s going to blow, so you better get a shot off fast. We wouldn’t have stunners like Winston Reid’s goal against Slovakia if there weren’t stoppage time.

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One Response to “Dealing with World Cup ignorance”

  1. jeneypeney June 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

    You? You are amazing.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

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