Absence makes the GOL!!!!! seem fonder

Ok…well, maybe it doesn’t make the goals any better, but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been really busy. Part of that busy was sitting around on Saturday watching soccer. Of course the ENTIRE rest of the world calls it football, but we know that football involves really big guys smashing into each other. But I have been busy.

I’ve got this colleague who thinks that if we talk about the world cup and haven’t mentioned it previously, we’re being pretentious and false. I kind of have an issue with that. Why can’t I care about soccer once every four years? Why is it wrong to get my son to chant USA! USA! USA! as he’s walking out of the church right before our hearts are crushed by an epic cross kick that goes in for a draw? I don’t find anything wrong with it. I only show I care about Olympic sports once every four years and no one complains then.

I looked for a good stock photo of soccer players. I don’t really have one because soccer isn’t on my radar most of the time. I love football (real football with helmets and pads) and I follow hockey, baseball and basketball. I really like football though. Soccer at the world cup is different though. It’s more intense. It’s more patriotic and at some level, a part of my childhood.

I spent a number of my childhood years in Germany and over there, soccer is like football over here. People are kinda crazy and passionate about their local teams. During the World cup, they are rabid. The first memory I have of the world cup was seeing it on a german television in a local restaurant. What I saw was mesmerizing. They were literally pushing and shoving and nearly coming to fisticuffs over that stupid ball you weren’t allowed to touch with your hands (unless you’re the goalie). I think I remember some blood and it was fabulous!

I haven’t really gotten that feel for the world cup since then until this year. I just watched what appeared to be (I have to say that because I don’t want to be accused of disparaging and ‘honest’ soccer player) bite another guy on the shoulder, but the one who responded with an elbow got in trouble. Silliness, but that’s the excitement of world cup. You NEVER know what sorts of physical violence you’ll get to see. And then there’s the fans…

I dress up as a clown from time to time and that make up is not pleasant in the best of circumstances. When it’s outside, in the blazing sun, in the amazonian jungle…OH MY! that’s uncomfortable. Then you add the colored wig to represent your nation and shirts and such and everything else and you have full on rabid fan bases. I don’t think American’s get the depth of passion that soccer fans have for their teams. We’ve heard of the hooligans and such, but I’m talking about the normal guys. They LOVE their teams!


Anyways, it’s been a couple weeks, but I’m so glad I touched base. I’ll let you know how the rest of the world cup goes (unless the US wins…and then I may not be emotionally able to express myself).


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