FIFA – Why the Hell Should I Care?

by Obsidian

It seems that the rest of the world is pretty damn excited about the FIFA World Cup Soccer tournament being joint-hosted by Japan and Korea this summer. Even here in Canada there seems to be quite the buzz about it, which I find a little surprising. Even the CBC is running games, which is something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime from the Toronto-is-the-centre-of-the-Universe network.

To me, soccer is a game they used to make us play in gym when I was a kid and the gym teacher didn’t feel like working for an hour. No one really seemed to like it much, but it was relatively safe, good exercise and all you needed was a ball, 4 or more people and some junk to use for goal markers. After school was finished I never gave soccer much thought.

I have been asked many times recently whether I like soccer, and if I know about the World Cup going on in Asia. The people asking me these questions are usually from from places like Japan, Australia, Brazil and various European countries. Now, this I can understand, as most of these places have good, if not outstanding, FIFA teams. Thus they’re enthusiastic about the game and want others to be as well. It seems a lot like (most) Canadian’s zeal for hockey.

I met a lot of people while in University who loved soccer as well. They were invariably not from North America, but had come to study or moved here with their families. *NOTE: I’m not saying this is bad, so shut up.* I recall a particular summer session class when a few guys I was grouped with would sit and talk about soccer for hours on end. They were profoundly shocked that I had absolutely no desire to participate in their conversations over that year’s favored World Cup teams, or any of the various players and related gossip. In many ways I can relate to their dismay; I can imagine what it must be like for a Brazilian or Australian to fathom the appeal or profound allegiance I have my beloved game of hockey, specifically Canadian teams (NHL or Olympic). The fact that they aren’t exposed to hockey every day from the age of three makes understanding next to impossible. It works the same way here; Canada’s national soccer team sucks ASS so you never hear about them. If I’m not mistaken I think they’ve MAYBE made it to the World Cup once. I don’t know how they did, but I would have to guess that it wasn’t a stellar performance. For most Canadians soccer is relegated to memories of childhood like the one I detailed above…although I am certain most liked it more than I.

I’m not offended or insulted when someone doesn’t dig hockey, thinks it sucks or can’t understand my love for the game…so don’t go getting pissed off when I tell you that I think soccer blows. I will admit one thing; those players ARE athletes. You won’t catch me running up and down a huge field for an hour with people wearing spiked shoes who are damn likely to kick me if I get too close.

  • FIFA – Why the Hell Should I Care?
  • by Obsidian
  • Published on June 1st, 2002

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