Monday, June 24, 2002

I liked Franklin Foer's article Fair Ball in The New Republic. He offers four suggestions why Americans are not enthusiastic about the World Cup. First, he says Americans just see it as nationalism. Hmm. Sort of like our attitude towards the Olympics every two years? Then he says Americans find it boring. He brings up baseball, but I would use golf as the counter argument. His third point is that Americans claim it is unsophisticated and lacks strategy. That's probably because most of us did not grow up playing the sport. I had no idea what it was like to become consumed by soccer until I read Nick Hornby's book "Fever Pitch". Foer's last point is that America has turned soccer into a "yuppie commodity", a self-esteem enriching game for the kids who can't even play tag on schoolyard playgrounds anymore. Foer mentions the excitement of watching the matches in Europe. Most of us can't do that during this World Cup, but I'm thinking of watching one of the final games in the local British pub on the other side of town.

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