Friday, 11 June 2010

The Reason Everyone Should Like the World Cup

I can be very pretentious about football. I am one of these people who thinks they can see geometric shapes in quality passing, who believes an exceptional dribbler has every bit the movement and grace of a ballet dancer. I believe that the dutch team of the 70's was a microcosmic example of how society could flourish worldwide, albeit, I wouldn't wear orange, its never suited me for some reason.
In truth though ever since the heady days of mexico 86, I don't think the quality on show at the world cup has been anyway near as high. Is this because players are all mercenary nowadays and play with more verve and intelligence who the club sides who pay them stratospheric wages? I don't know, really I don't, I have no opinion whatsoever. I just hope dearly that someone, be it Messi, Rooney, Ronaldo, no, not that little tossbag, someone anyway, really takes the tournament by the scruff of the neck, really uses it to power, dance and score his way into the book of legends. Its been too long.
But I digress......
Given that its been 24 years since there was a standout world cup, why is it still so special? Why does it capture us above the quality of the european cup or the regular heartbeat of the premier league.
Because it is something larger in every sense. Because it truly is a global festival celebrating much more than the ability of 22 men in shorts kicking a bag of wind into two nets on a piece of grass.

Football is a game that literally can be played anywhere, you don't need funny shaped posts, or shoulder pads, or bats, pads, stumps, a fucking stick with a piece of silk tied to the end- you just need a ball. Or failing that a load of rags tied together with twine (I wonder if that really is how maradona learned to play? I bet he was actually the posh kid at school who had everything).
Its lack of necessitated equipment has truly meant that it can be and has been played everywhere (Im ignoring america). It, like other sports is the heir to war, son of the need, male need perhaps, to compete, to fight, to out-do. That brings fans together, to watch, to see their idols in action, to sing and shout and cheer. Being at a football match is like celebrating new years eve every game.
The world cup, as the name implies, durrrrrr, brings each qualifying countries passion and colour together in a festival of pride, excitement and unfortunately disappointment. But thats ok, because you have not only your own fallen brothers for comfort, they who are in it with you, but also fans of rival countries, who might remember how they felt last time or may just have been entranced by the cruelty of your exit. Its like being at scout camp all over again!
Back home while the tournament is on national flags suddenly start appearing from cars and houses; houses are bound together by bunting. Normal TV habits, death to the soul that they are, are altered and people who dont care about football sit and watch, momentarily fixated by the spectacle and the importance not just to the football fan in the house, but too soooooo many people around the world. Can the olympics do this? Can it fuck. Only football has this magic, this power.
For three weeks, every four years we can be glued together, no matter how far apart we are usually. This is why everyone should love the world cup.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

I am u huge consumer of both the junk and nutritious food the internet offers. I am a greedy writer and am often engorged with opinion, but I have before tonite had the urge to write a blog. It's the baring of my thoughts you see. That's something I'm not all that comfortable with. Not because I don't like my own thoughts, I do like them, very much actually, so much so that I don't like them to be critisized or ignored. Expressing them verbally is not so bad, like rain drops hitting an uncompromising stone floor; they are gone quickly and even their remenents will evaporate from peoples memories fairly swiftly. On the off chance people do remember the things you say, well you can just deny it, but when they're carved into words and then displayed, even in a shiny little corner that may go mostly unoticed, it's more difficult to take back. They're there, they're a monument to your mood at the time of writing that u can't deny, no matter how abnormally coloured or toned you may have been. What if someone writes a negative comment, what if someone uses the space as a means of slashing out at me personally regardless of whAt I've actually talked about- is my skin so papery? Yeah, I' afraid it is, especially when it comes to my thoughts and my writing ability, discluding my family and friends, there's not much more I'm as protective of.
But then, last week as I heard someone banging on about Twitter, the thought occured to me; anonymity!! That great chicken god! He could be salvation! I can be totally free to write whatever I want without fear, free from mans one natural enemy- et voilĂ !