What I learned from the World Cup…

13 Jul
I’m an American.  And I’m a geek.  Which makes me a very strange subset of humanity I’ve found… an American Geek.  We’re probably about as rare as Polar Bears in Australia, or Kangaroos in Wyoming – – we exist, but most people only see us in zoos or after long bouts of drinking.  
As such, I have about as much understanding of "Football" as I do about "football" … they involve lots of men chasing each other around with a ball, and occasionally theres scoring and violence — and some of it actually occurs on the playing field.  So when Zidane (and pardon me if I got that wrong … I am, after all an American – and a geek – it’s not like the guy comes up in my everyday conversation y’know??) — head butted another player and the world acted like he’d pulled out a gun and shot a man I was like, "WHAT??  WHAT I MISS???".
Let’s understand a couple things – thanks to this head butt – it’s now officially a sport. To an American, if you have that much room to play, there’s a ball involved and you call it a sport – there needs to be some contact involved or we call it golf. 
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know – I know – "Lots of people are injured in football <soccer for us Americans>, it’s a rough sport.".  To the American perspective – if you cannot legally make contact with the other guy and force his face into the ground, wall, stands … it’s golf.  Baseball – we let slide because they allow people to use a bat, and anytime a piece of lumber is allowed to hit an object, human or otherwise – we’re cool with that.  So – as such… seeing a guy slam his head into another player, the man going down – all I could say was, "FINALLY!  KICK HIS @#$@! Now I See Why You Guys Like This!!".
So – hats off to Zidane for helping us poor Americans get into this sport, untl now we thought the object of the game was to get the fans pissed off enough to riot.  Now we can actually take our attention defiicit disorder view of athleticism and focus on watching the game to see if someone will in fact, on purpose – cank someone to the ground.
On a more serious note – the class both he and his opponent showed in apologising to kids and each other over it was really cool.  More American sports figures could take a page out of this book and add it to their own and realize that millions of kids out there are looking up to you, and that by addressing those kids directly when you make a stupid mistake (even one as minor as this) – accepting responsiblity for it publically and making it a priority that the kids out there KNOW it was wrong – is incredible.  For that – you gentlemen deserve a world cup in sportsmanship, something sadly lacking in American sports today.
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Posted by on July 13, 2006 in Uncategorized


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