Today’s footie

June 26, 2014 • 4:34 am

Here’s today’s schedule. Of course everybody in the U.S. is all worked up about the game with Germany, but I have no strong feelings about it. The news last night showed a bunch of people all worked up about “Team USA,” and a lot of the bars are opening early to televise the game (it’s on at 11 a.m. in Chicago, so people will be drinking early). The Chicagoans seemed were largely deluded, many saying that the U.S. was going “all the way,” i.e., we were gonna win the whole tournament.! That is a quasi-religious feeling based on faith and not fact. But I will be watching!

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We won’t have a contest this time because you’ve proven completely incompetent at picking winners! But the overall contest still stands, and I think about 50% of the guesses for the championship match are now impossible. For that one, the winner gets an autographed book with a drawing of cats playing football (in your own team’s colors).

Below are the highlights of Argentina’s 3-2 victory over Nigeria yesterday. I was glad to see Messi on form, and his two goals (one on a free kick) were gorgeous. Nigeria also played very well, and their two goals were superb as well. I learned a lesson yesterday: never go make a sandwich at the beginning of the game. It took only a few minutes, but by the time I’d returned with my food, there had already been two goals! In the U.S. you can make sandwiches at any time during a baseball or (U.S.) football game and not miss anything.

Here’s this morning’s animated Google Doodle, which is boring (click on it to see, and then on the World Cup symbol at the upper right on the next page to see the schedule):

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20 thoughts on “Today’s footie

  1. Don’t bother watching the South Korea against Belgium game.
    The Belgians will horrible and still walk away with the victory, again.
    That’s how we did it the previous 2 games. 🙂

  2. Hi Jerry,
    I’ve wondered about a similarity between religion and football at times. I don’t mean footballers or fans being religious but the way some people expect their children to support the same (club) team as them. Often they do, but some find the idea of a child supporting a different team unpalatable. A sort of sports apostasy maybe? 🙂

    As for teams going “all the way”, there is, I think, a comparison there too. Sometimes we ‘believe’ our team will win, often it is a case of strongly wanting it to be so. Of course that doesn’t make it true. Kinda reminds me of certain religious types.

    For me, it is great when my favourite club (Chelsea) or England score, but I gave up expecting too much a long time ago.

    Thanks for the footie posts/ correct score games.

    1. Yeah, of all human avocations, I think sports comes closest to religion, mainly because it’s largely based on faith or other irrational things (i.e. root for your national team) and encourages what Vonnegut called a “karass“, a group of people feeling solidarity over something ludicrous. Theists often say that science is a faith, but if they want a real analogue to religious faith, they should look at football!

    2. I have long felt that one of the main reasons for the success of sport (football / soccer in particular) and religion is that they impart a sense of tribal or group protection and collectivism.

      It’s difficult to become worked into a frenzy about anything on your own, but very easy in a group of like-minded individuals, be they a soccer crowd or congregation.

      Either group will often have an irrational sense of faith – go to any soccer ground in the UK, from the EPL to the Conference and lower, at the start of the season through to about half-way, and you will hear chants of “We’re going to win the league / cup”, no matter how little chance there may be of that.

      A team’s best, or most influential, player or top goal scorer is often revered as a deity , no matter the team’s league ranking, or how human their failings or propensity to get sent off or nom on an opponent, just as a religious deity is worshipped, despite threats of Armageddon, and the crimes often committed by religious teachers and clergymen.

    3. I’ve said before that the World Cup brings out strong nationalistic feelings and IMHO those are often bad. One funny thing I saw though was an announcement on the Moscow Times of a new Russian built submarine. One commenter wrote a ridiculously nationalistic comment to which another replied, “why don’t you send it to Brazil? Your boys could use the help”. I found it extra funny because the military weapon was associated with the game and both bring out nationalistic feelings.

      Many local football clubs also have a rather cult following to the pint of violence among rivals.

    4. Now that you mention it, I’ll tell you something I often use to illustrate how religious crazy the USA has become.

      I come from a Latin-American country. When I was a kid my whole family emigrated from one city to another one in that country. For some years I and my dad continued to be “inchas” of our “ancestral” city football team. But there came a time when I didn’t have ties anymore to my old city, and my real city was the one in which I was growing up, so I decided to change my football team. When my dad found out, he was in shock, and I think that is the only thing he’s never going to forgive me.

      What does that have to do with religion? Well, at another time, when my parents found out that I was an atheist, that was a non issue, a small point of disagreement but nothing more. My father is more “religious” for his football team than he is for his “religion”.

      Now I’m living in the USA and I was shocked when I knew about the fear of disownment so many young American atheists have to deal with. That is outrageous to me.

  3. There is something of a threat to the USA v Germany game, in that the local weather forecast predicts torrential rain before and during the match.

    FIFA are adamant that the game will go ahead, even in a half-empty stadium, unless the pitch is so waterlogged as to be unplayable.

    The match officials will decide whether to go ahead after kicking a ball around the pitch, an hour before scheduled kick-off.

    Hang on to your souwesters!

      1. He should count himself lucky to escape with 4 months ban. A soft sentence, IMO, especially when one considers the 8 month ‘all football’ ban meted out to Eric Cantona, for kicking a ‘fan’ who had been hurling racial abuse at him. I recall FIFA suggesting, at the time, that Cantona should be banned for as long as possible.

  4. I’ve had a similar experience to you, with sandwiches, drinks, loo breaks and late tune-ins. I’ve seen maybe two thirds of the football but seen under half of the goals.

    In Argentina-Nigeria I missed *all 5* goals due to tuning in slightly late for both halves and then going to get a drink for the free kick.

    1. There’s a lot of even-a-complete-asshole-has-friends-family-and-fans-who-stick-up-for-him in that article.

      Not an uncommon theme in sports profiles, unfortunately.

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