At Last…The World Cup Has Come Along
Ready or not (I’m talking to you Brazil), the world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup is underway. Heavy emphasis on world because it truly involves nations…not like the MLB World Series where it’s just U.S. teams and a lone Canadian one. This long awaited event ignites a fever amongst its participating nations and all the die-hard soccer/football/futbol fans (however you want to call it) across the world. Along with the abundant positive reaction there’s also the other side…one that is reminiscent of Jacob Riis’ How the Other Half Lives. With the pressure to build new stadiums and make the various cities where the matches will be played tourist friendly, the natives inhabiting the slums or favelas stay poor as millions are poured into what may believe is not necessary (the World Cup).
Riddled with controversy and protests, the game must go on. It’s the one sport that has given me childhood memories, including the beautiful clutch goal Colombia’s Freddy Rincon scored against West Germany back in 1990. There’s also the sadness that overtakes whenever I remember Andres Escobar’s own goal that cost him his life. Above all the excitement and amazing moments we will witness throughout this epic tournament, it’s important to realize that is it a game. Representing your nation is a prestigious honor but it should never be a matter of life or death. The pressure is on like Donkey Kong for a month but it should be for the love of the game and nothing else.
This brings me to my next point, losing happens. I’m supporting various teams but mainly Colombia and Spain. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never watched the current Colombian squad play in any previous matches but I have to represent (#UnidosPorUnPais). Then there’s Spain, La Madre Patria, whom I fully supported the last World Cup and did not disappoint. After watching today’s match between Spain and the Netherlands I fluctuated between wanting to punch Iker Casillas and wanting to punch Iker Casillas. Although I was less than happy with La Furia Roja’s performance, I also kept in mind that Spain (in desperate need of humble pie) also lost their first match only to come back and win it all in the end back in 2010. Am I saying it’s a repeat? not at all, anything could happen, but this loss was pretty drastic and painful to watch. Like the saying goes, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings and this has just begun.
My main wish for this World Cup is that it’s played fairly and beautifully…less drama and more goals.
[protest picture via inloso.com, gif via hypable.com]