this post might be offensive to some or all of the following:
Soccer fans in general.
Non-soccer-fans in general.
People who believe non-fans are not worthy of emotionally invested World Cup watching.
Fans of the Portuguese team.
Fans of individuals of the Portuguese team.
People who are offended by broad generalizations.
Easily offended people in general.
People who lack a sense of humor or a general understanding of sarcasm, irony, shamelessly obvious exaggerations and colorful metaphors.
So, the thing is, I joined a group of friends watching the game last night. I am not a native of the soccer nation but I am pretty good at pretending I know what I see and what I’m talking about (I’m fooling myself quite well at least – the rest of the world – probably not so much).
Emotional investment… Let me tell you, being someone who could hardly care less about what some two dozen men (counting each team’s coach – my momma raised no fool) get up to when cooped up in a big ol’grass square and given some round bouncy object and two boxes I don’t have a big collection of reference points for my own soccer-watching-range-o-emotions. Then why, oh why, you might ask, would I ever feel the need to share my thoughts on soccer in the first place? Well, lets just call it an Edgar Freemantle-esque itch, distant and not definable by reason or philosophy, Horatio.
But, surrounded by my fun peeps last night I realized two things:
Watching sports is intense, man, I mean, hearts stop and gasps abound. You need your team to win. I say need – it’s more, it’s a raw primal feeling of got-to and an essential must. You flinch at their mistakes. You hate – hate – the enemy’s fiendish faces.Theyneedto loose and you need to win. You physically feel the stress and adrenaline even though all you really do is munch on snacks, slurp on drinks and scream at people you’ve never even met and never will meet hundreds of miles away. You basically just scream at your TV set – let’s face it, the effectiveness of this action might just be zoning in on the nill plate.
I apparently turn full on Jesse Pinkman when I watch sports that I am invested in – lingo-wise that is, still not big in that whole meth/crack/whathaveyou-department.
You might have some questions, heck, I’d like someone to answer my myriad of said.
Let me be a doll and answer some of yours in advance.
– no, I still don’t like soccer.
– that Ronaldo dude? Overrated. I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. And I did mention that thing about ‘fiendish faces’ and ‘hate’ a few lines ago, didn’t I. Yet, I heard rumours about some mystical godlike creature strolling the green under that name – meh, not so much.
– soccer football football soccer – I say tometo tomato poteto potato
– no, I have never actually heard someone pronounce either tomato or potato in any such way.
– real football – soccer – meh, one’s pointy and players don’t wine about getting their brains dislodged on a regular basis; the other’s completely round and players call for their blankies when a fierce butterfly strikes their stylish beards. Tomatoe.
– yes, I agree, the level of fitness, dedication, madness, and strategics required for a professional soccer career is impressive.
– no, I still don’t like soccer.
– yes, World Cup is different, a party, a celebration uniting the world.
– yes, there might have been some face paint, color coding and flag waving at one point or the other during last nights match.
– no, I did not expect nor have I ever expected being drawn into this gladiatorial extended battle this or any summer.
– yes, they caught me, I might be hooked the tiniest bit.
– yes, I accept, tolerate and even encourage you to disagree with however many aforementioned points wholeheartedly. Reason for that being the following answer to that most obvious question.
– no, I still don’t like soccer