Humor Magazine

A Passive Aggressive World Cup

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes

Admittedly, I’m not a big sports gal, but I don’t see the big deal about the FIFA World Cup, but since reading some statistics on Wikipedia, I’m clearly in the minority:

The World Cup is the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games; the cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, a ninth of the entire population of the planet.

A ninth of the entire population of the planet? WHAT? Has this ninth of the planet’s population never seen the reality TV offerings on TLC or Real Housewives of Atlanta?

I know the World Cup is supposed be this really cool way for countries around the globe to come together as equals on the field and sing a metaphorical Kumbaya through a series of competitive soccer match-ups, but it’s difficult to get too excited about any game that ends with scores like “0 to 1!” or “3 to 2!” A cutthroat night of Monopoly might even be more enthralling.

On a more personal note, the fact that the typical soccer ball has so many hexagons on it kind of freaks me out. It’s a sphere made up of black and white hexagons. That’s a geometry mindfuck right there.

I’m not anti-soccer (or football, as it’s called if you live pretty much anywhere but the U.S.), but I think we can all agree that soccer would definitely be an answer in a Jeopardy! category titled Weird Sports We Forget About, not far after lacrosse, water polo, and croquet. To be completely honest, I’d rather see a World Cup of croquet than soccer. Let’s get Germany and Ghana out in a nicely landscaped backyard, give ‘em a mallet, and let’s really see who’s boss.

From a hegemonic standpoint, it’s also a challenge to rationalize the country match-ups that take place. Take Ghana versus Portugal for instance. Ghana has an estimated GDP of about $50 billion for 2014, whereas Portugal’s is well over $200 billion. Sure, soccer has nothing to do with GDP, but win or lose, Portugal will be still be winning the standard of living game. Doesn’t that embarrass Ghana just a little bit, win or lose? If I lived in Ghana and Ghana won, I’d be happy my country prevailed, but in the back of my mind I’d still be thinking about how Portugal is still having the last laugh after the World Cup is over.

I think the countries of the world have too much history with each other for the World Cup to be anything but passive aggressive behind closed doors. It’s like the competing nations have all dated (or conquered) each other, and every time the World Cup comes around they all do that thing where they pretend they can be friends, but really there’s still a lot of unaddressed feelings.

Take Germany and America, for example. Germany beat the U.S. in a recent game, but you know somewhere some American is saying to a German fan, “Remember that awful thing that happened around the 1940s? That we helped you with? …But yeah, congrats! PUNCH BUG BLUE!”

I guess I wish all the countries the best of luck, because it’s fairly obvious to everyone (except Americans invested in the World Cup) that the USA has no chance of winning this thing. It’ll probably be Brazil.

…But the U.S. could definitely beat Brazilians at croquet, and their country still takes the shape of an unwelcome growth on South America’s visage.


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