KK's Korner

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Archive for June 10th, 2006

Kicking Off The World Cup

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Once again America is sticking its middle finger up to the rest of the world and saying, “Fuck you all, we’re going to do what we Americans want.” Is this because we’re going to invade another country? Not that I know of. Are we thumbing our nose yet again at the United Nations? I wish. No, it’s World Cup season, and despite other countries shutting down to watch their team run around a field for 90 minutes kicking a ball, we here in the United States just give out a collective yawn. I’m one of the bigger oddballs in this country because I like the game of soccer. I played it for 14 seasons as a kid, and ever since 1990, when I was 14 years old, I have tuned into this tournament. Granted, I have no idea who any of the players are, but sometimes you watch a sporting event for other reasons. For example, one spectacle of the World Cup that I enjoy seeing is the spectators cheering on their team, waving flags, singing and rattling off noisemakers. The actual game itself is not that bad to watch, either. I don’t think I’d be able to watch soccer on a regular basis, and I don’t tune into that American MLS league; once every four years tends to provide me with an ample fix.

Back in 1990 I remember West Germany winning the World Cup after beating Argentina 1-0 on a cheesy penalty kick late in the game. I also remember England having a really old goalkeeper, Italy getting pretty far, and some guy from Cameroon with black sweatpants. What I remember most about this tournament, however, was that several times the only goals scored in a game were done during TNT’s commercial breaks. There’s nothing more gratifying than watching a game for an hour or two only to have the game’s only goal come while you’re watching an ad for some airline or sports drink. When you got back from the break you saw a bunch of players jumping on top of each other with the announcers saying, “While we were away, Italy just scored the first goal of the game. Here’s the replay.” Sorry, but watching a replay isn’t the same as seeing the real thing live. Is it any surprise that by the time the 1994 World Cup came around the games were interruption-free? Rather than go to commercial breaks, the games just put a sponsor’s logo in the corner for 20 minutes or so.

Four years later the World Cup was hosted in the United States. Some things I remember about this event were the U.S. upsetting Columbia thanks to some player scoring in his own net. The U.S. eventually lost to Brazil 1-0, but if memory serves, Brazil was playing shorthanded thanks to a red card, so instead of going with the mainstream opinion of “our boys played tough,” I always thought they should have upset the Brazil squad. The success of the ’94 World Cup was supposed to show Americans how great the sport of soccer is. It didn’t. The 1998 World Cup was probably the worst ever for America. Not only did the Frenchies win the whole thing, but the United States lost to Iran in group competition. America fared much better four years later when they went out in the quarterfinals to Germany, the tournament’s eventual runner-up. From what I’ve heard about this year’s tournament, the U.S. is in a tough bracket and may not make it out of group play. Big deal. Just because America can’t dominate one kind of sport that doesn’t mean that sport should be ignored. Besides, it’s always nice to have other countries dominate the world’s stage every once in a while. Who am I going to pick for the World Cup? Well, I always go with Brazil followed by the host country as a sleeper pick.

Written by kkktookmybabyaway

June 10, 2006 at 11:32 pm

Posted in Sports