Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Planet's Game

It's official...I got da World Cup fever.

The Cup kicks off in South Africa tomorrow, and not moment too soon. With all the bad news that seems to have a stranglehood on our global attention, here is a contest that has the chance to unify. Soccer (or if you prefer Football) is without question the most popular sport on the planet. And for one month, every four years, the whole world is "on the same page" on the largest scale that we will ever likely see. But even if it was not the most popular sport in the world, it would still be the greatest. There are many reason's for this fact but I would like to concentrate on just a few.

The game of soccer is truly a game for everyone. It's for the rich and the poor...all you need is a round ball and something that will pass for a goal. Many sports require expensive equipment that effectively marginalize the poor. Also, in soccer big or small body types are also welcome. Indeed many of the worlds best players are smaller in stature and even strength.

I have played soccer for years and still play in a "old guy league" and I can attest to the fact that it is also the epitome of a team sport. Weaker players can defeat stronger players if the unit as a whole is more cohesive. It is ultimately a game of imagination, not strength.

Maybe in the future (I say this donning my dreamer's cap) the day will come when our species evolves to the point where even national disputes can be settled, as the English say, "on the pitch". I will go further...why not make this goal a mission, despite it's quixotic nature?

And as all good missions need a rallying cry, I humbly offer one possible choice:

"Drop a ball, not a bomb"

Go ahead and print yourself up aT-shirt! We gotta start somewhere.