Saturday, June 10, 2006

Soccer World Cup

My little brothers and sisters played soccer; I played a game of my own devising called sit-on-ball (yeah it's what it sounds like - if people were going to drag me into organised team-sport I'd take the passive resistance approach). My opinion on soccer was always pretty much at least it's not rugby (I'll reconsider my opinion on rugby when there's no-one involved in the NZRFU who supported the tour, and when this pinnacle of masculinity takes a stand against violence against women - rather than just seeking name suppression for All Blacks who get charged).

But then four years ago I turned on the Soccer world cup and Senegal was playing France, and Senegal won. Soccer is a fun sport to watch - it's easy to pick up and the top teams are really good at it (that sounds dumb - but the way somone would pass the ball to where his team-mate would be was really elegant and impressive). I developed a rather idiosyncratic set of teams to support, mostly under-dogs (I think I supported Ireland on the ground that I liked the backflips one of the team did whenever he scored a goal). I had lost interest by the final - I complained that I didn't watch Senegal to see a Germany vs Brazil final.

I'm not going to be able to watch the soccer world cup this year (it's going to be on at 3.30am or some ridiculous time in New Zealand) and I'm a little sad about this. But Senegal didn't qualify about the cup this time round, and it sounds like the fact that the World Cup is being held in Germany has already brought out the worst in the English fans, so it's probably all for the best.


  1. Heh. I had a similar avoidance tactic re: team sports when I was a kid. It was called "Run away very fast with fingers in ears screaming NEE-NER NEE-NER".

    But watching them on TV? That's OK.

  2. What's wrong with the 3:30 am time slot - it means the game is just finishing when I should be getting up anyway ;-)

    And atleast Germany has learnt how to attack this year.

  3. Yeah I've been trying to work out who to support too. Just got from the pub after watchi ng a couple of games; thought we were headed for trouble when my mate started celebrating the first Aussie goal against Japan, but then I realsied that the large crowd of Asian peoplea round were Koreans and Chinese, and were going nuts too! I must admit finding it hard to cheer the Aussies on. Czech Republic looked very dangerous trashing the US - in the first half anyway, we had to leave after that ebcause I ran out of money for drinks. Anyway,
    my criteria for support are probably as loose as yours:

  4. Yeah - I'm finding it hard to support Australia, especially now that they've abandoned Oceania and joined Asia.
    Until they did that they had my support because at the least it made it more likely we'd make it to another one at some point in the future. Now I think I'd like to see them go down in flames (figuratively of course ;->)

  5. Plenty of soccer players are assholes too - look at Jonathan Woodgate, Lee Bowyer, Paul Gascgoine, Stan Collymore, etc, etc..

    Or just try Google:
    Results 1 - 10 of about 158,000 for +footballer +assault

  6. I surprisingly enjoyed watching England play Paraguay, in a pub near Stonehenge (i was in the pub, they were all in Germany, of course). You're right about the game being enjoyable to watch - the simplicity and the atheleticism really surprised me.

    I actually secretly want England to win, but only because I know how truly horrible it will be for the England team and their families if they lose again. Of course for that reason I should probably also want most of the South American teams to win.