You are here
Home > Posts tagged "World Cup"

Futbol or Football, it’s all about us

Americans already have a "football" and so come into conflict with a majority of the world when our television broadcasters have to say "soccer" and assuage the confusion of US viewers when confronted by everyone else's "football." And ironic too, the sportscasters like to explain, compounding their error, because it's about the foot and the ball, unlike domestic football which is about using your hands to carry an un-spherical bladder. But this humor presumes another American overreach: "Futbol" incorporates "foot" and "ball" only if you speak English. In a preponderance of languages, futbol defines neither foot nor ball, and mimics simply the phonetic term used by the British, whose colonial representatives were responsible for spreading the game across the world. As long time English speakers, the Brits have no difficulty with differentiating football from American Football. But Americans didn't come by the term "soccer" on its own, which brings to light the other side to the complexity of FIFA's hope to standardize the World Cup experience. Americans are not alone in resisting globalization's attack on their cultural identity. A great deal of the world doesn't call it FOOTBALL either. To survey just the languages which share our Arabic alphabet, here's how others refer to what we call soccer: Sokker (Afrikaans), Fodbold (Danish), Voetbal (Dutch), Jalgpall (Estonian), Jalkapallo (Finnish), Labdarúgás (Hungarian), Calcio (Italian), Sepak bola (Indonesian), Putbol (Filipino), Peil (Irish), Pęl-droed (Welsh), Pi?ka no?na (Polish), and Nogomet (Croatian).

BBC: Vuvuzelas banned at many FutBol matches…

"Because they might be considered a WEAPON" And aside from that racist gratuitous raising of the Terrorist Specter out of its uneasy grave, there's the notion that it would make it where the people wouldn't hear public service safety messages. Unlike, of course, a large rowdy and NOISY crowd of the European version of Rednecks screaming, hollering and other activities which are usually the accompaniment to Drinking A Lot Of Alcohol. Those could never in any way drown out Public Safety Announcements, no sir!A growing number of Premier League clubs are following Tottenham's lead and banning vuvuzelas from their grounds on match days this season. Arsenal, Birmingham, Everton, Fulham and West Ham are the latest teams to have stated the plastic horns will not be allowed inside stadia. But they'll still sell English Beer, which is multiple times the strength of anything you'll find on the shelves in America. Drinking a quart of it could be equivalent to drinking a fifth of 80-proof whiskey. 30% alcohol content isn't the norm, but it's in the range of what's sold. And 30% = 60 proof, proof is double the percentage of alcohol by volume. Americans wouldn't be in the habit of making the mental conversions because here it's mostly used in relation to DISTILLED spirits rather than brewed. Many more Americans need to take in at least one AA meeting because that's who teach people what their drinking habits actually amount to. "but it's ONLY beer!" A lot of Brits need the Friendship of Bill W. as well. I shan't even mention Irish because that's just too easy.

Argentine players lose to their bosses, New World Order is Old World Order

Team Argentina unfurled a banner before Saturday's match against Germany, against FIFA regulations, but it wasn't the one above which calls attention to the organization of grandmothers trying to lift the veil on Argentina's Disappeared, some of whose murderers still occupy high office. This picture was taken during an earlier practice session. Instead, before today's game, the Spanish-speaking Argentines were joined by their German-speaking adversaries to hold a sign in English: "SAY NO TO RACISM." It reached American and British viewers, but could the message have been more innocuous? The admonition resembled "Just Say No To Drugs," Nancy Reagan's pseudo-urbane theme of America's War On Drugs, an attack on the lower class that continues today and couldn't be more racist. Note how two dark-suited gentlemen unrolled the English banner while FIFA line judges enjoin a handful of players from both teams to form the backdrop. About the "bold letters" television commentators described the cause of the brief delay as "something we all believe in." Will we learn from those in the stadium that the Argentine team had unfurled its anticipated banner, but the TV cameras were kept aimed at a FIFA diversion? One might be excused the impression that the soccer game that followed, Argentina's catastrophic loss to Germany, appeared to have suffered a similar negotiation. Half of the excitement of an Argentine ascendancy was anticipating the mouthpiece it would give coach Diego Maradona, beloved star and great fan of international upstarts Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Maradona hasn't been speaking truth to only Argentina's power. The Argentine dribblers dominated the Germans at every turn, but none seemed disposed to coordinate a goal. At keep-away, they surrendered the ball to Germany only four times. The South American quarterfinal losses to Netherlands, Spain and Germany confirmed that as sports mirror life, the New World Order is the Old World Order. The Ghanian Black Stars are out, and the Dutch rise from the ashes of South Africa.

To GOL! or not to GOL! that was the question.

How would it have been played out in the press had the Team America gone on to at least a higher level of victory? We've already suffered through an anti-Immigrant slam against major league baseball, with all the appropriate "OUTRAGE! (copyright 1993-2010 Fox News Networks)" about Major League players getting visas and work permits when immigrating from Cuba and (gasp!) Mexico. Not any rage against any favoritism but the fact that people PEOPLE from Cuba and Mexico were given work permits in the first place. How dare they let more of THEM infiltrate America! Not much crying about the "patriotic" symbolism of some of our best baseball players being from places like Costa Rica. So how would it play out that a team built on the skills of Immigrants took the U.S. to a World Cup win? More to the non-point, how will it play out with the loss? Will immigration be blamed or praised? I should remind here, and probably should have much earlier, that somewhere near half, plus or minus a few points, of my own ancestors were immigrants. And that many of the "immigrants" who are taking so much heat from the Racists are actually Native Americans, kicked back and forth even in pre-Columbian times by that old devil Imperialism. Now defined more by arbitrary political boundaries than by any REAL considerations. My sister was born in England, off base and at home, rather than on "U.S. Soil" at the Mendenhall RAFB hospital. U.S. Soil could be and has been defined as ships flying the United States Flag. The El Paso County (Texas) Hospital District is about a mile and a half north of the Rio Grande, people born there are Citizens of the U.S. regardless of the citizenship of their parents, if an "All American" mother gives birth in a different hospital on the Mexican side of the bridge, the kid is automatically a U.S. citizen because his parents were. The first case scenario scares living Hell out of the Racists, and they complain about it bitterly. The second case scenario is accepted by them as being a matter of Divine Rights possessed by a narrowly defined group of descendants of Immigrants who happen to have English surnames and somewhat lighter skin tones. An "American" citizen couple with the surname Smith would experience less Racist bullcrap getting their kids citizenship determined than an American family whose ancestors were in Texas for thousands of years longer than the Smiths were, but have the surname Gonzalez. But of course, it's not racist. The Racist Anti-Immigrant Lunatic Fringe insist on that point. In the recent election cycle, Barack Obama was and still is questioned about his citizenship. Someway, somehow, an American who would have been an American citizen no matter what simply because his mother was a citizen, was involved in an elaborate plot to make it appear as though he had been born in Hawaii. A point of citizenship that would only make a rat's ass worth of difference if

FIFA vuvuzela horns may prove to be thin-skinned America’s best friend

Gearing up for Saturday's World Cup match between the USA and Ghana, media talking heads are already preparing US viewers for the home field advantage that will favor the remaining African team in contention. Convenient actually, because by chance our A-Team is booed in any arena it sets its invader's foot. The now maligned South African horns have so far masked a third world animosity that might put most Americans over the edge. The nerve of those ingrates, to boo, hiss and whistle the emperor's freedomTM fighters?

Top