World what now?

I just don’t get it.

A bunch of people run around a field, kick a rubber ball around–careful not to touch it with their hands–and try to get it in a net on either side of an artificial field. And this is entertainment? I think somebody played a little too much dodgeball when they were little.

This is the World Cup (trademark, registered, all rights reserved, sponsored by Adidas and whoever else lets the players’ hands in the pot).

Headbutting balls made of whatever animal they slaughtered in the name of sport hardly qualifies as a good time. Have you ever been hit in the head with a soccer ball? I have. It’s an experience I’d rather not repeat. I won’t even mention other dangers like getting kicked in the face, chest, back or other equally and perhaps more painful spots on the human body. One time, I saw a guy’s leg come right out of his skin as he feverishly attacked the black and white ball. And the crowd cheered on.

People live their lives by it, placing bets, booking time off work and, arrogantly enough, forcing theme issues on their newspapers when there are far better things to write about. They cheer, rush the field, riot and throw all sorts of objects to show approval or disdain.

I’ve heard some call the sport a great unifier of the global community, inviting every nation, East and West, to join the spectacle. Forgetting the fact that it isn’t even called the same thing in every nation–it’s football now?–it’s just another way for the Brits to keep the smaller nations down. When was the last time Yemen won a World Cup? Yes, a great global equalizer indeed-if, by equalize, you mean dominate, subvert and repress.

And why isn’t Canada any good? It looks like hockey–lots of moving around, goalies, nets, can be played outdoors–but we never seem to fare so well. Maybe Wayne Gretzky was right when he said there was a conspiracy against Canadian athletes. Not only have they tailored the game so we wouldn’t be any good, other countries freely steal our best players because their cousin’s father’s uncle’s best friend lived in England for a month or two.

But, I digress.

The World Cup will go on, despite the chilling fears in the spines of the Japanese who fear their country will be overrun and their women impregnated. It will go on, despite the millions (dare I say billions) of soccer-ignorant people worldwide who not only don’t get it, but don’t want to. Alas, the show will go on, and it will be a huge success.

No, I just don’t get it.

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