Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup. Who Cares.

Don't get me wrong, I'm also not a big fan of the World Series, SuperBowl, NASCAR 500, Wimbledon, or the Galaxy 2000 International Ping-pong Championship.

Spectator sports bore me. Yes, I know, it's supposed to be a guy thing, going to a baseball game, getting those coveted box seats, filling in the scorecard, getting up for the seventh inning stretch, doing the wave...the cheer.

I've even done the wave at Pesach seder, but that's a different story.

I will play any sport -- I play Saturday night hockey very religiously, and would gladly play basketball, soccer, football, baseball, tennis... Not golf though. I'm just not a golf afficionado.

I came across the following opinion piece on the Jerusalem Post which agrees that the World Cup is over-rated, but with a slightly different take on it -- and now I feel even better!

From Tel Aviv to Timbuktu, football (Americans call it soccer) fans are ready for the World Cup that just kicked off in Germany. But despite the earnest attempts of many in the mainstream media to get us to care about it, most Americans don't.

Are we wrong? No.

Yes, I know, soccer is a great game and it seems as if more American kids are running around fields making futile efforts to play it than those honing their skills in our national pastime of baseball.

Given the relentless plugging this event is receiving in the American media, I wonder if the majority of us who could care less about the World Cup are starting to feel a little bit guilty about it.

Don't. Contrary to the trendy talk put about by many in our chattering classes, ignoring soccer is not a typical example of American chauvinism. Disliking the World Cup is not an indication of our small-mindedness, but of our humanism.


ONE SPECIFICALLY Jewish reason to ignore the World Cup is the way international soccer treats the State of Israel. Though Israelis are as fanatically interested in the outcome of this tournament as any other non-American population, the federation that governs the cup is as anti-Zionist as the United Nations.

The composition of the 32-team tournament varies every four years, based on a competition in which national teams contend against others in their region for the precious cup berths.

But the Israelis never get in because they are not allowed to compete against other teams in the Middle East. Arab nations won't play them. But rather than disqualify the Arab teams via forfeit, the lords of soccer force the Israelis to compete in the European section of the draw, where they are invariably outgunned by the great soccer powers of France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Thus the talented Israelis will be home watching the games on TV this month while their counterparts from Saudi Arabia and Iran are in Germany.

Snobs. Anti-Semites. Sore-Losers.

Who cares.

I'd rather be playing sports...or blogging.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Jack Steiner said...


Pragmatician said...

I'm so glad someone else feels this way.
I do a lot of time wasting but this beats all in my eyes.

Avi said...

I think it took the case way too far. I'm sorry. As an American, I don't care about the World Cup b/c as an American I don't care about soccer but to call it antisemitic is going too far, even if its facetious

Oleh Yahshan said...

as I tend to agree with the who cares part, I will say that I find it really Ugly (for lack of a better word) that we are the only country in the world being forced to pay for these games.
I say for those who do want to watch the game and the idiotic bueacracy(sp) in this country is making anyone who wants to see it pay 200 Shekels...

FrumGirl said...

You dont have to tell me twice, I'm not into such sports... booooooooooring! (Quite a shock considering im a GIRL, lol)

Anonymous said...

Milke Miller: I think you'll find this does:

Yellow Boy

kasamba said...

I knew I liked the way you think for a reason!
Right on bro!
(Funny, I just blogged about the world cup too!)

bec said...

okay, maybe this makes me a bad candidate for aliyah, but i would rather watch world cup soccer over any sport any day (and do when i can.) i love cheering for the teams who show a political support of israel (true, there aren't that many) and hoping that certain teams will lose (and possibly cause riots within their iranian cities....)
or maybe i'm just excited about this since it's the first time in my life that i don't have to watch the world cup in spanish....

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

As we speak, once again my office is full of shouts, ooo's and ahhhs. Where I work, most people have tvs on their desks and so you can hear the game all over the place. I swear, the grunts and sounds that are coming out of some of these men mouths, is enough turn anyone's face red (and I ain't talking about profanity.)

The back of the hill said...

You're right. It is anti-Semitic.
I'm not watching the game.

I might get excited if the Dutch stand a chance.

Operative word: might.

tafka PP said...

Seems quite clear to me that the World Cup is boring for Americans because they realise that they are completely rubbish compared as the other countries in the world (which they generally pay no attention to anyway. Witness your "World Series" that doesn't actually involve the "World"!)

And while FIFA may well be stuck between a rock and a hard place re the Arab countries, don't be so quick to bash the potential of Football to bring about peace. It is a common language for every child...

- And btw that's REAL Football, not a game where you use your hands, dress up in mounds protective padding and have commerical breaks and Justin Timberlake every 15 seconds ;-)

Dot Co Dot Il said...

So you don't like something which other people do - no biggie. But no need to get all insecure and label the reason why you don't like something because of some spurious logic.

Soccer is a very popular sport in the States - not just on a professional level.

With baseball, football, hockey, basketball as well as motor-racing, tennis, golf - not forgetting college sports, the sporting landscape is very crowded in the States.

Soccer isn't mainstream in the States but no one ever said it would be. Notwithstanding it has made great strides since hosting the World Cup in 1994.

You don't like it - fine. But then why write an article or post about it?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

DCDI: Insecure? Huh? I don't like ANY spectator sports - none, nada, klum.

Why write an article on it? That's the entire point of blogging.

TAFKA PP: So what's my excuse for not liking the World Cup? My allegiance lies soley to the Popular People's Front of Judea.

BEC: You can root for our teams in the Olympics :-)

JJ said...

Soccer? Isn't that when a bunch of hooligan drunks puke in the stands, beat eachother to a pulp, scream obscenities, and once in a while some guys in shorts kick a ball around?

YAWN. I'll pass.

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