World Cup Thoughts On Father’s Day

soccer-ballMy son who discusses sports with me called me the other day asking if I were watching the World Cup. I told him that I had little interest in it at this point but as time goes on I’d probably start tuning in. It’s not really and American thing when you come down to it but for the rest of the world I’m sure it will be at the top of the agenda. At the Mass General the other day going to visit a patient a couple of women on the elevator were immersed in a deep discussion of the need to get something fixed prior to it beginning.  I got into the discussion with them. We bantered back and forth for a bit. That’s the nice thing about an event like that because it offers a commonality of interest to many people.

I’ve a friend who is probably sneaking out of work following every game at a barroom near his office. I went to my first and only World Cup game with him down in New York City. It was between Ireland and Italy. A few of us piled into a van; headed down to the stadium in New Jersey; watched the game – Ireland must have won because we were next in New York City well after midnight celebrating at some Irish bar – well I suppose whether Ireland won or not we would have done the same thing.  Late that night we headed back to Boston with my son driving. He volunteered to be the designated driver and was the only one with enough energy to take us back.

Another memory of the World Cup is watching the final between Brazil and another country in a bar in Allston with the son mentioned – those were the days when you had to go to a bar to see the games since American television didn’t carry them. Brazil won the game. We finished our beer and went outside preparing to go home. I was shocked by what I saw. The streets were jammed packed with Brazilians parading up and down with huge Brazilian flags. I had no idea that many people from Brazil were in the area but there they were blocking all the streets during their joyous celebration.

I watched the games what I thought was the last time they were played. All I remember about them was the headbutt by the French Zidane against the Italian player.  It was blatant and shocking the manner in which it was done. Who could forget it? That was the year Italy won the cup and not I see that it was back in 2006. Wow, the time has flown.

I’d totally forgotten about the 2010 world cup. But, of course, I do remember it. I recall listening to the mind numbing steady drone of noise from the folks in the stadium who were playing those long horns called vuvuzela over and over again until it practically drove me mad. The noise was so irritating that I watched with the mute on. It was such a bad experience that I had completely washed them out of my memory. Only after I saw an article on the game between Netherlands and Spain played last Thursday which Netherlands won (5-1) that I realized it was Spain that won in 2010. The article noted it was a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final. I must have been pleased. I find the Orange color not to my taste.

Soccer, or as the world calls it football, can be exciting. The low scoring makes it more so since one good kick can determine the outcome. As much as I said I wasn’t going to watch it I found myself glued to part of the Colombia /Greece game and more involved in the Italian/English match. I’ve always liked the Italian team so I was happy it beat the English as you might expect.

I’ll watch more of the games as we get later into the matches but in thinking of doing so it brings to mind what turns me off about the games. It’s the fakery designed to fool the referee into giving free kicks or penalties. I sometimes get the feeling the winning team is the one with the best actors, the ones that can make their falling to the ground look like they were just decimated by a drone missile. If I wanted to watch actors I’d go to a play or perhaps a movie but they’ve become so much part of the World Cup that I’ll just have to bear with it.

I’m hoping that Brazil gets to the final so that the people of that country will continue to be occupied and won’t have time to plan any mischief. The same for Russia, if they did well their people might find more interest in the games than invading their neighbors. I’d like to see the U.S. get beyond the preliminary rounds but I have great doubts that will happen but we’ll know more tonight.





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3 thoughts on “World Cup Thoughts On Father’s Day

  1. Matt and GOK: It’s funny but I find myself often cheering for English Athletes: The English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish boxers, such as world champions Danny Hatton, James Watt, the great undefeated Welshman—the middleweight who even beat Bernard Hopkins in his last match before he retired—and the Northern Irish World Champion who I went to Las Vegas to see (he lost to an America from El Paso: ring temperature at fight time was 115 degrees F. I’ll remember the last two’s names a bit later. But there is one and only one Orange that I don’t like so much, and that is Syracuse Color. Well, anyway. Up the Republic!!

  2. I had a fine, fine Father’s Day, Mr. C., and I hope you did, too!

    Happy to see your pleasure in England’s defeat. And I can’t help thinking that your distaste for orange stems from one of: William of Orange, Northern Ireland, Protestantism .

    1. GOK:

      Yes, Father’s Day in Maine turned out very nicely. I do find it difficult to cheer for the English and those who still carry the big Orange drums.

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