I am not a soccer fan and have not been watching the World Cup tournament.
There is nothing more pointless and tedious than people debating the merits of being a soccer fan because neither side is ever going to convince the other that they're wrong.
So I am not a fan in the same way that some people don't like beets -- tried it, didn't care for it; tried again, still didn't care for it -- but by all means, help yourself and enjoy. It's just not for me.
I don't need to defend my opinion beyond that, and I don't need to go out of my way to try to spoil a good time for others who do enjoy it.
I don't know who is responsible, or how it is even possible to coordinate such a thing, but I think it's pretty obvious that there was some kind of big push by Powers That Be (media and corporate sponsors mostly, I guess) to really get Americans into the World Cup this time.
Coverage has been omnipresent, and rather than being annoying, it's been kind of invigorating. People have responded by talking about the tournament and gathering wherever a television could be found to watch whatever game was on.
I will admit that it's been kind of fun to feel that common shared energy among people, even though I chose to kind of stay on the periphery.
Unfortunately, some of that energy is liable to ebb at least a little bit here in the states since the U.S. team was eliminated after losing to Ghana on Saturday.
That's kind of a shame.
One, as an American, it's always fun to get together and chant "U!S!A!" - regardless of the sport being played. And, two, even though I was a willing wallflower at the big party, I still learned some interesting things:
- BAD OFFICIATING IS A PANDEMIC - Inexplicably blown calls, foggy rules interpretations and lack of an effective instant replay system are just three more areas where the rest of the world has caught up to America.
- ABOUT VUVUZELAS - If there's one thing that's gotten the attention of everybody, it's the vuvuzela. What they sound like, how to play them, where to get them and how to use them for purposes that the manufacturer (probably) didn't have in mind when making them. Grist for late night talk shows and newspaper editorials. There's even an app for that. Cripes, they're everywhere! The Marlins gave them away at a game against the Rays and then immediately banned them from their ballpark afterward, in effect saying "Here, take these ... and DO NOT bring them back." Vuvuzela obnoxiousness hit its peak when a Yankees fan was kicked out of Yankee Stadium for using one to annoy visiting Phillies fans. Wow. For whom does one root in THAT scenario?
- MICK JAGGER IS TO ENGLISH SOCCER... - What Jack Nicholson is to Lakers basketball.