Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's a football thing.

So the World Cup is nearly upon us. It may be a heinously over-commercialised hype-fest, but it also provides an excuse to sit on the sofa all day long watching matches.

Any or all of the following things will happen:
  • At least one highly controversial refereeing decision.
  • A match between two not very fancied teams will turn out to be the blood-and-thunder, most entertaining match of the tournament. The sort of match you start off half watching, then end up sat right in front of the T.V unable to tear yourself away.
  • During any Brazil matches, the T.V cameras will pan on to any attractive women in the crowd, while the commentator prattles on about "Samba Spirit".
  • Most football players will not know the words to their national anthems. Those that do, will sing loudly and out of tune, ala Marcelo Salas.
One of the worse things about World Cups is that the TV is full of random people spouting nonsense about football.

An example of this was an extremely irritating American (who called football, soccer, so therefore should not be allowed to talk about it as he obviously knows nothing about the game), who was saying how the best team in the tournament rarely wins the World Cup. This is completely missing the point. The reason why tournaments are so great, is the unpredictability of them.
Football is not about being better on paper, otherwise Spain would have far more worth stealing in their trophy room then the carpet. Football really is about having 90 minutes in which anything can happen and having the desire and ingenuity to make the game go your way.

What I really hate about the whole "best teams" argument is the elitism of it. If you are not a fashionable team, you don't deserve to win. Sadly with the money situation in football, if you are not a fashionable team, you usually can't afford to win. One the reasons the Greek victory in Euro '04 was so enjoyable, was the upset it caused to football snobs.

The whole passion argument and the idea of the crowd lifting their team to excel themselves, is not something your average football snob would understand anyway. This World Cup, they'll be wearing a Brazil shirt, the last one, they wore a France shirt (until they didn't make it past the group stages , oh dear!) and before that, an Italia shirt.

Here's hoping the team who wants it most, gets it.


Alina said...

Wow, Safiya, you are quite a fan! To be honest, I only watch the European and World Cups. I am not a fan of the national cup as I think they don't put heart in it:)As for who wins, well, I do love Brazil, I think they have a wonderful way of playing football, however, I do not support any team this year, I do hope the best of them wins.

cncz said...

If you ever watch a French match, Zidane never sings La Marseillaise. They called him on it once, and he was like, "I don't sing it. I play for France, that's enough."