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Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Emotions of Futbol

In the close-minded world of United States sports, we seldom see any real emotions. Our culture is dead set on fighting unfair calls and overturning what has already happened. Even in the World Series or the Super Bowl, the victors are never really that insanely happy or saddened. Sure there are a few teary-eyed grown men, but I strongly suspect most of those tears are steroid related. Thus is the state of things.

Normally, I don’t care what emotions my athletic betters portray, but on the world’s stage, the FIFA World Cup, Americans are put to shame. Not because of our inability to play the game, but our lack of emotional response and national pride. After watching a nail-biter of a match betwixt Uruguay and South Korea, I see the errors of our ways. Korea tied the game late at 1-1, but Uruguay came in and scored another amazing goal. The desperate attempts of the Koreans to score in the last minute were valiant, to no avail. The game ended after three minutes of bonus time and nearly half of the Korean team collapsed to the ground. Not only from exhaustion, but more so embarrassment and failure. While Uruguay’s players were kissing the flags on their uniforms, the Koreans put their heads to the ground, clinging the blades of grass in their hands. It was truly sad.

Now, this could have something to do with representing one’s country, like the Olympics, but I believe it also a result of the nature of the sport. As Matt Damon said in Dogma, mass genocide is most exhausting activity one can take part in, next to soccer. There’s a strange truth in that statement. Ninety minutes of running, butting heads, slide tackling, pretending to be hurt, etc. That’s a lot of physical activity. It is only natural for emotions to take hold when you’ve poured so much of yourself into a game.

This leads me to my next point: singing of the national anthem (or lack thereof.) At our regular sporting events, there are very few spectators, let alone athletes who sing the Star Spangled Banner. I would venture that 90% of all World Cup competitors and fans proudly sang their respective anthems. It became more unusual to see someone not singing.

Athletes in America are taught to approach the paparazzi with composure and elegance. I say “shenanigans” to that. After a bone crunching game of American Football, they should be fired up and say things they’ll probably regret. But they probably get paid too much to show emotions like that. There are even bans on emotional responses to good plays and touchdowns. That’s crossing the line. Thank God that baseball managers still get thrown out of games for getting in shouting matching with the umpires defending their players (at least the good ones.) If it weren’t for those moments, I may lose all faith in American sport. Thank you FIFA for showing me how we should act after winning or losing.

1 comment:

  1. Faking injuries for 90 minutes takes a lot out of you.