Why the World Cup Matters

For the next four or so weeks, the most important thing in the world of sports is taking place.

Some will try to poo-poo it claiming that “soccer” isn’t real football.  I note, even as a diehard NFL fan, that what we call “soccer” is called “football” by, oh, everyone else on the entire PLANET.

Most countries don’t have major sports leagues that overpay their pampered brat punk athletes, complaining pro tennis players, philandering pro golfers, misbehaving pro skiers, long haired overgrown teenage pro skateboarders and snowboarders, or precious pro figure skaters.

What they have is a team made up of the best athletes they can find in the whole damn country, and once every four years they get a chance to play a tournament for an ugly little trophy that means you have bragging rights over everyone in the world.

This eclipses pro sports because it legitimately involves everyone in the world (where else can Cameroon, Ghana, or the Ivory Coast legitimately compete on the world stage?).  It renders irrelevant the Olympics because they’ve sold out to television and trivialized themselves with fake sports like ballroom dancing and rhythmic gymnastics.

Soccer is a game everyone can play.  Soccer is a game that everyone DOES play. And that is precisely what makes this so important.

If there’s a real world championship of sport, this is it.

It’s a tournament that reveals each country as what it really is. The Germans are disciplined.  The French disappoint.  The Italians are emotional.  The English are hooligans.  The Brazilians are beautiful.

And perhaps the best part…the Americans are underdogs for a change.  Teams who lose to us – or even TIE us – are disgraced. Their captains hang their heads. Their coaches are fired.  It’s awesome.

So lay back and enjoy it. It’s on, and we’re not skipping it.

And please, have the decency to tell us that story you’ve been wanting to tell us during halftime.  This is important.

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