Friday, June 11, 2010

Coupe Du Monde - Weltmeisterschaft - Copa Mondial

Hey! The World Cup is starting!

One reason that this is an enjoyable event is because you (assuming you are an Average American, and as someone who is just about as average as anyone, I speak with authority) can pick a team to root for, and not feel too badly when it they lose. Well, I was rooting for Gondwanaland, but they lost, so now I'll pick Atlantis......". NO BIG DEAL. This is not ANYTHING like rooting for, say, the Boston Red Sox because you like their logo. That type of behaviour is the mark of a total douchebag. With American sports, you HAVE to root for either 1) the team where you live, 2) the team where you grew up, and/or 3) a team that you have some connection to (like, you're from Arvada, Colorado and so is Roy Halladay).

The vast majority of Americans don't give a fuck all about soccer, but many other people from other parts of the world do. It is their local and favorite baseball and college and pro football teams combined. They live and die with the fortunes of their team. I have always been deeply suspicious of the USA! USA! sycophants, although I can stomach them when I think there is actually some connection - like an Olympic swimmer's parents. And I would root for the USA in, say, the world baseball cup if the players representing my country exhibited some interest in the contest themselves. But root for the USA in soccer??? If someone really gives a fuck, it is news to me.

So, in the world cup, you can pick a team by any method you like. I have a lot of friends from other countries or with backgrounds from other countries, including a Japanese wife, and I have not problem switching my allegiance depending on the momentary situation. So here, in no particular order, is a list of methods by which you can choose a side in any particular game:
1) A country in which you have some ancestry. MOC, for example, can root to his heart's content for the Irish Feckbhoys (or whatever the team is called).
2) The Underdog. They pull an upset, you can be elated and talk trash on whomever they beat, they lose, and so what? They were expected to.
3) A team that represents a country that attracts a lively crowd to a fun bar. Have you ever seen a bunch of Brazilians during world cup? You think Giants/doggers games are rowdy, you ain't seen nuttin'.
4) Your friend/wife's team. Obviously, and best of luck if there's a conflict. I have an Irish friend married to a German. Still.
5) A team from a country that features really good food. Now, I don't know of any good French restaurants that have tv's in the dining room, but I bet they have some back in the kitchen. Could I root for Mexico on this basis? Damn straight I could.
6) Uniforms/Players. I kind of dig Ghana's color scheme, and who couldn't root for Cameroon's Rigobert Sing? Oh, fuck, Cameroon plays Japan first, someone has to go down, which brings us to a final idea.
7) Who you want to lose. Just pick a country that you want to lose in every match, based on some real or imagined perception. Think the French are snooty? Fuck them! Think the English are snooty? Well fuck them, too!
That's it! Have fun, and remember, it really doesn't matter at all!


Anonymous said...

Wait, since I'm from NJ, and we have no teams is it a sign of douchebagery that I root for the Giants instead of the Yankees? Though if there had to be an NL East winner, I'd like it to be the Mets who I'd say are my distant 2nd favourite. The Giants make me happy, Matt Cain and I share the same birthday (and Matthew is one of my favourite names), and yeah. Are the Giants underdogs?

I'm not a big fan of watching soccer (playing is fun but I can't watch that). That game with Mexico and South Africa...just yawn.

I don't know how people can say soccer is hard while at the same time say that baseball is easy. The highest lifetime batting average is Ty Cobb's of .366. Arguably the best hitter (or at least elite hitter) only hit the ball about 37% of the time. In soccer, they say it's harder because you can't use your hands. It's made harder than it has to be but in baseball you have the bat, the pitcher throws you the ball, and still, you'd be lucky to hit it 30% of the time. Just had to get that off my back. I mean soccer's a good game, I just can't stand it when they say that it's harder/better than baseball.

Zo said...

No, rooting for the Giants while living in NJ is not a sign of doucheitude. The NY Giants used to be there and were probably the closest to NJ at any rate. Good enough! Plus, did you know that the Mets took their colors from the teams that left - orange from the Giants and that sickly blue from the other team?

Good point about baseball/soccer. You could as easily say that baseball is harder because 1) the ball is smaller and 2) you can't use your feet.

JC Parsons said...

Is it bad of me to root against the US of A?? Hell, I hope we get nationally embarassed and an entire generation of Americans return to playing BASEBALL. It is our only hope.

JC Parsons said...

BTW Great post! Can I really root for Atlantis? Cool.

Zo said...

Further thoughts - if, in rooting for a team where it matters, like baseball, you are unaffiliated, you can pick a team to root for and, by doing so, indicate whether you are cool or not. So, if you were from, say, the New Jersey barrens and picked the San Francisco Giants, you would be cool. If you were from Montana and picked the Yankees - not cool. Anyone rooting for the doggers anywhere - definitely NOT cool.

Also, why is soccer called "the beautiful game"? Has FIFRA copyrighted that phrase? Probably. What makes it inherently more beautiful than any other game? I can understand the attraction of the simplicity, but that has gone out the window with those weird off-sides calls and the penalty kicks to decide matches. And what is the deal with adding minutes to a 90 minute game, but then not having them show up in the timing? Wouldn't it be better to stop the clock when necessary? Baseball - the stunningly drop-dead, knock-out gorgeous game.

Anonymous said...

Not gonna lie, I do feel cool being a Giants fan. Anyone can be a Yankee fan, but it takes a man to wear Orange and Black outside of Halloween.

I don't understand all of the soccer love myself. I was watching the USA/England game and for like an hour it was just going back and forth back and forth and it still just ended in a tie. I hate that. You spend over and hour and a half sitting down (one commercial break) seeing guys just kick, miss, balls around. I hear that when one team's winning, the players keep faking falling to make it look like they were pushed by the other team to make them get fouled or something. Maybe I like closure too much or a game that relies on real teamwork instead of just a bunch of guys trying to hit the ball to the other side. Timed games just don't do it for me. It's not even that you're the best, it's that you were lucky to keep a lead long enough.

Beautiful game my ass, I've seen videos where people in the crowds are booing the black players, doing Nazi salutes, I even saw the French coach say "don't lose to that n*****" or "you're better than that n*****." When asked about it he didn't even deny it he was like "well that's part of the game" or some bs like that. And this was like 4 years ago or something.

But yeah, orange and blue should never mix in a jersey. I can't even enjoy a Yankee game anymore since watching the Giants play. The fans for the most part don't know shit and they have blue on their uniform, 'nuff said. The games are so one sided, it's ridiculous. I can go on.

This blog, baseball, the Giants, San Francisco, the color Orange; those make me happy.