The World Cup is a Beautiful Thing, Surrender Before Our English Imperial Glory
I want you to read this piece by my colleague Daniel J. Flynn over at Breitbart Sports. It is a capitulation. A surrender. A bit of a moan. It is the antithesis of American exceptionalism. It states, in short, that Americans cannot, or need not, or should not, or will not – trying to embrace the great game of football.
I say football, though my esteemed colleague Mr. Flynn may think that I am talking about the much-loved American 'hand egg' game.
Actually, Mr Flynn makes two great points, both of which I agree with. Here they are in short:
1. America is not the world – Correct. And somewhat of a surprising admission to hear from an American. Usually we're led to believe that the Earth begins in California and ends in New York City. Have you ever watched American TV? Nowhere else in the world exists except for when Monica and Chandler have to have sex. Then of course it is all, "London, baby!" (Because we're the fun city where all the illicit stuff happens, and where you can still buy a Big Gulp).
2. American sports have more stuff going on – Oh I agree. In 'American Football' (henceforth to be known as 'HandEgg') you have to wear silly overalls, helmets, and every 12 seconds or so everyone gets a little bit tired and they have to stop. Sounds great, doesn't it? The intricacy of the game? Charge full pelt at your opponent until one of you ends up in a coma, or in another zip code. Why? "Coz 'Mericuh!"
Baseball games can run to a length of eight hours a pop. Which if you have America's unemployment figures, is all well and good I suppose. Viewership has increased since 2008, naturally. And what about all the sex puns? There's a first base. Second base... you get the point. And then you can strike out. And of course, you've got the mound. Ahem. And PLEASE, 'World Series'? From what I can tell, about 300 American teams, and about 6 from 'somewhere else' compete in the so-called 'World Series'. In the World Cup, 204 country's teams compete in the qualifiers. America's in there somewhere, I'm sure.
Basketball? Don't get me started. This is literally a sport that was developed for freakishly tall humans. It's about as much of a sport as the travelling circus.
But Mr. Flynn makes the mistake of referring to football as a 'European' phenomenon. This is untrue.
The beautiful game is English. I don't care what the Chinese, Greeks, or Mesoamericans say. Oh and Englishmen aren't Europeans. Got it? No, seriously... GOT IT?!
Instead, it appears that football (no, not HandEgg) is the preserve of older, more established, matured, cultured civilisations. Peoples who have existed for centuries and millenia, who are self-assured and don't need a naval vessel on every square inch of the Earth's water surface to feel secure... love football.
Civilisations who care about their architecture, their poets, their cuisines (yes, British food sucks so we co-opted India's... but I'm Indian so it is fine), their monarchs, their style, their worldliness, their health, their subtle diplomacy, their contributions to humanity and enlightenment values... these civilisations watch, love, and play football.
And yes, America, I am just kidding with you. But after writing this I'm beginning to think there may be some merit to it. The age thing, that is. Your country has existed for less than 90,000 days. The beginnings of European culture are at least a couple of million days old.
So maybe America will get there. In the year 9,000AD, we may well see a descendent of Tim Howard lift the World Cup.