Adam\’s Stream of Consciousness

If you blog it, they will come

Going . . . Going . . . Zidane!

Posted by Adam on July 10, 2006

After a month of near constant matches, I would have thought that I would have overdosed on soccer. Surprisingly I haven’t though, and there in and of itself lies the glory of the World Cup. It is the ultimate showcase of the stars; the ultimate television event; the ultimate battle for world supremacy. And now it is over. Never has four years seemed like such a long time to wait.

I entered this year’s World Cup as an admitted soccer neophyte, and as another tournament has become part of history I feel that largely I remain as such. Sure there are things I know now that I did not understand when I started watching: I now know that Fred plays for Brazil of all places, and that he seemingly has no last name. I now know how to spot if a player is offside or not. I now know that the guidelines for playing for a country are about as thin as Nicole Ritchie. It seems that the best players often play for whichever nation they feel has the best chance of winning, regardless of where they were actually born. However I still cannot tell the difference between a foul, flop, no call, yellow card, dive, or slide tackle. I cannot name players for every country. I cannot even name all players for my country. There is much for me to learn, but luckily there is time – a near endless amount of time.

I did not watch every match that this World Cup had to offer, but I ended up watching a lot more than I expected to going into it. I saw Beckham bend it, Ronaldo record a record, and Buffon block balls. Luis Figo was a Portuguese man-of-war; Michael Ballack gave the host country a reason to cheer, early and often; and Zinedine Zidane showed why it is even more fun to watch him play than it is to say his name. Many big names will most likely be gone when the Cup reemerges in South Africa, but new ones are sure to replace them. A lot can happen in 48 months.

I don’t want to wait until 2010 to see this again, but that will be what makes it great. If the World Cup took place yearly I can’t help but think that its worth would be diminished. That’s not to say an event like the Super Bowl or March Madness cannot be exciting each time it comes around, but imagine the magnitude of spacing them out. How much more meaningful would a championship mean if there were 75% fewer winners? It becomes an honor unlike any other, and for this reason we can wait; after all it’s only four years away. That’s nothing compared to waiting ten years between censuses.

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