Thursday, June 22, 2006

In defence of the World Game

Fingers' recent comments on the World Cup has provoked some thought - a profound occurrence in itself.

I grew up playing Rugby, so on the basis of knowledge alone it is probably my favourite type of footy. I have been a fan of the Swans for years, and I love the pace of AFL.

The A League? Not so much. The Premier League - sure, I'm a Gunners fan, but a fairly disinterested one. In the past, the World Cup has been something that has pushed the buttons of friends who are still interested enough in tracing their lineage to care, but for me, a sideline at best. The concept of the game is beautiful in its simplicity, but it shits me to tears when there is more diving than Greg Luganis and more acting talent than the Logies and Oscars put together. Ok, bad example.

And so now to the World Cup 2006. I have watched both of the Australia matches, and will be waking up a bit early tomorrow morning. Am I on the bandwagon? Can't really deny it. Don't care.

For here is the key - something I have not really appreciated until now. More than pretty much any other sporting event I can recall. Desperation.

For those guys, this World Cup is everything. At least, it looks like it more often than not. Many of them will get only one chance to appear on that stage (and it is just that), and so they chase every ball, despair at every deficit and rejoice at every goal. For the teams such as the Australian players, it is a matter of getting there, and then getting as far as possible. Does anyone think they can really win? Not I, I must say. The dazzling skills of some other teams are astonishing. However the opportunity to support one's country is exhilarating at any time, but to see the emotion involved here, I find it hypnotic. In a good way.

So I have loved getting up and having a live match to watch as I drag my protesting consciousness from the world of the doona and into reality. There is still a lot of acting, and the diving goes on, but I am loving it nonetheless.

13 Comments:

At 11:38 am, Blogger W said...

Well, and then there is the moment at the end of the game when the boys take off their shirts...

I like that part a lot. It makes getting up at 5 am worth it.

 
At 11:43 am, Blogger fingers said...

I'm eagerly awaiting the four years of utter bliss until the next World Cup...

 
At 12:17 pm, Blogger WJ said...

see, now you will be surprised to know that the whole shirts off bit doesn't do it for me.

fingers, why is it that I suspect that you will find reasons not to experience bliss in the meantime?

 
At 12:58 pm, Blogger fingers said...

Er...maybe coz soccer bores me absolutely stooopid...

 
At 1:44 pm, Blogger WJ said...

actually, I meant pre 2010...

 
At 1:44 pm, Blogger W said...

Now WJ, I know this will surprise you, me being a chick and all, but it is not all about the shirts coming off at the end of the game. Oh no.

I lurve the World Cup. The soccer is great, the acting brilliant and the hissyfits? Fantastic.

 
At 3:47 pm, Blogger Georgia said...

The diva antics and pathetic milking of penalties because the opposition broke some Brazilian pansy's fingernail are infuriating. But it does give you an opportunity to bellow at the screen: "Get up, yer big girl!" which is always cathartic. And as much as I like the male form, the shirts-off-whizzing-around-like-an-aeroplane thing is a bit stupid. Besides, the male armpit should only be seen in the bedroom, bathroom and on the beach.

 
At 3:59 pm, Blogger WJ said...

it is pretty tough to make an armpit attractive, even in one of those 3 locales.

and the officiating has been pretty crap at times, bt for the teams there is so much riding on it, I don't envy the refs.

 
At 3:36 pm, Blogger Georgia said...

Nursing another well-earned hangover after seeing England lose to Portugal and Brazil lose to France. Justice done all round then. Wayne Rooney's a bollock-kicking thug and Ronaldo is too fat and needs the help of Jenny Craig...

 
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