North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

The Beautiful Game – part one

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In just about a week – and the day after the start of the NBA Finals – it begins: The World Cup.

Every four years – the same years as the United States Mid-term elections, now that I think about it – 32 countries send their best athletes to compete in the only truly global tournament out there. Think I’m joking? Try finding a hockey team in Togo, a baseball team in Greece or an American Football team in Japan. You – as far as I care to know, anyway – won’t find one, or least one that can compete with their North American counterparts, but you’ll all find soccer teams that can play with the best of ’em.

Going into this 2006 World Cup, I’m not even going to try and predict anything at all: I barely know anything at all about soccer and the stuff I do know would not help me out a single bit… In fact, the only times I watch soccer are on occasional Saturday mornings, when I have nothing to watch on TV and don’t feel like popping in a DVD… And although I make no claim to being a fan of the sport (Indeed, I’m about as un-fan as you get without being a Jim Rome fan) I’m still going to watch the World Cup.

And why not? It’s like the Olympics – I don’t now, nor have I ever, watched competitive skiing, bobsled or swimming but I watch ’em all every four years come Olympic time. It doesn’t matter if you like the indivdual sports or not, at least to me, since the Olympics almost rises above mere sports: It’s people who are under more pressure then most of us will ever be, trying to do their country proud.

The World Cup is the same thing: although it’s more akin to March Madness then it is to the Olympics. And if watching these people working themselves almost to the bone (Remember Korea in the 2002 World Cup?) for little other then pride and glory doesn’t interest you… Well, the NBA and the NHL both have their finals at about the same time – and there’s always PBA Tournaments and the Arena Football championships, too.

But I know what tournament I’m going to be watching…

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Written by M.

June 2, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Posted in soccer

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