First of all, I guess I should say that I stayed up to watch the 3:30am Korea-Nigeria game yesterday (Wednesday). Watching all Korean games is a must in Korea. People will be talking about it the following day, week or longer and if I only rely on highlights I'm sure to miss out on the source of gripes and pleasure. It was a draw and Korea will move on to the Knockout stage. Good for them. That was their goal in the first place, so from here on out, it'll be bonus fun. The game was over at 5:15 at which time I showered and got ready for my super busy fifteen-hour day.
My day was fine, but I was pretty much exhausted by noon. I pressed on and made it to the US-Algeria game which started about two hours ago. The game was pretty disappointing. Like the Slovenia game, we had a goal disallowed which was proven to have been for no reason at all. I hate that. Lives change and fortunes are made as a result of World Cup goals and for an idiotic referee to take that away for faulty reasoning is just a shame. Luckily the USA pulled what many are already calling a uniquely American story (although being the underdog is pretty pervasive throughout the world) and won the game at the last moment.
I might not be thinking too clearly, but I had a few thoughts on this game. Maybe I'm tired from having watched four games of soccer in 24 hours with a heavy dose of teaching in between, but I picked up two big themes from today. 1) Soccer is like the Catholic Church and 2) soccer players are convenient Catholics who chose to break all the rules (Sin) and only feel bad if and when they get caught (Confession).
Want more late-night absurdity?
Quakerism is like American Football. It has grown, adjusted and not allowed itself to remain static in the face of a changing culture and following. You name it and American Football has adjusted at the same pace as progress.
Whereas soccer remains the same it did centuries ago and still refuses to mature and progress with the time. By not allowing or even honestly considering the use of technology in the sport, it is showing its stubbornness and arrogance as the world sport.
By denying the use of technology and relying on the refs eyes, players are encouraged to cheat, lie and, overall, conduct themselves in a way that is beyond unsportsmanlike. It's only when they think they're going to get in trouble do they offer help to other players and play like they know they should. Hell, the biggest cheats in games are the Italians and you can't get much more Catholic than them.
I don't know. Maybe I'm just tired, but for the sake of it...USA! USA! USA!