mandag, juni 12, 2006

Obligatory VM Post: Where I show a lack of knowledge and a surplus of opinions

Just some thoughts on the running thread in my life at the moment, VM...Verdens Mesterskab, better known in English speaking places as the World Cup.

Part of the cover story in today's Metro Xpress (one of two free morning papers) on Portugal's victory yesterday over Angola (inexpertly translated by me): Portugal have been named among the favorites to win the Cup. Yesterday the Southern Europeans also won their first match in the tournament 1-0 over Angola, but without maintaining a same high level of play throughout the 90 minutes. Pauleta scored the only goal of the match with assistance from the 33-year old Figo, who at times played as if he was young again.

My first question, and I don't ask this sarcastically, I really want to know, is: when is a player seen as so old that, when he plays well, it's like returning to youth? Figo has been past that point for a while, as far as I can tell. After all, isn't Pauleta also 33? Yet I never hear him being referred to in those ageist terms. Is it just that Figo has been in the public eye for longer and so seems somehow older?

My second question, and I'm not being sarcastic here, either, much: why is a lackluster, but winning, first game in the qualifying rounds so bad? Would it be better if Portugal had ripped Angola to shreds, but were as a result much more tired, so that they ended up losing a later game because of that? Would the fans be happier? I have the same question about the England-Paraguay game. Isn't it better to save the sexy action football for the knockout rounds where it counts?

And, in the interests of journalistic fairness, the other free morning paper, Urban, today had an interesting look at why women like football, from a columnist named Marie Østerbye (translation also mine, also inexpert): What is there not to like? Truly well-conditioned men, drama, sweat, exciting tricks with a ball, and not least, mean who show FEELINGS.... Here are men who writhe in pain. Who celebrate their happiness or scream with rage. And who will sometimes even CRY. Yes, there you have it. A rationalization for diving. Is it to get your opponent a yellow card? No, it's to pull chicks.

19 kommentarer:

Simple American sagde ...

Hey I could join you in providing opinions on this World Cup Thing of Mah-jigger, but I won't. I'm ready to jump in on the Stanley Cup or NBA Finals though.

jackt sagde ...

I tried to get into it but then the U.S. just got trounced!!! :)

Fitèna sagde ...

Yeah! *what Jackt said*! lol! Am not a football fan. I find it stupid and silly and unfair. I mean its a team but only one or two get the credit when its a winner! look at Beckam, is he any good? Pardon me but I believe not. He's good at modelling and lending his face for commercials.
I wa watching with my mum and my sister (football fans) yesterday ecause there was nothing else to watch on TV ad I'd been reading too much. I was so bored at one point I asked why they didn't give each ozzo a ball and be done with it! It got exciting when the US started getting trounced and they kept zooming on their coach. He looked so discouraged it was hilarious. I know, am mean! lol!


Devil Mood sagde ...

lol that's a good post. I'll get back to you later, right now I need to work!!

Helen sagde ...

I don't know I great deal about fotball either, but enjoy watching England play just to watch the fans reactions. Should be fun to watch the Eng/Sweden match next week - I think the Swedes passionate side might come out for once!! Helen

Kunstemaecker sagde ...

I hope every player in the WC breaks a bone or two.

The WC is overrated. You know what's cooler than the WC? Huh?

Me neither ...

James Medhurst sagde ...

1-0 wins are good, especially from a team that tends to concede late goals in similar situations (I'm talking about England here not Portugal).

Daphnewood sagde ...

It pleases me to no end that you take such an interest and have opinions about the whole competition. You are one of the most intelligent, well-rounded women I know. I would love to be more like you. So you liking sports whether or not you understand them makes me feel like my baseball obsession is just a part of being worldly and wise, like my friend Kimananda ;)

oh I have learned something too from watching so many baseball games that may apply to poor Portugal. Sometimes, you have to win ugly. A win is a win and if it helps them reach the finals, so be it.

Devil Mood sagde ...

So, as I was saying's really fun to see your comments on the Verdens Mesterskab (what a weird name!!). Verdens as is world? It's not even similar to german (Welt).
Over here, everyone was saying that the result was much better than the exhibition - that's a real exaggeration, it wasn't that bad. I'd been listening to the english complaints before so I was already expecting it. The players were very anxious because I believe people have put too many expectations over them.
And yes, Figo and Pauleta are more or less the same age: I think the difference is Figo has been looking more and more tired in the last few years and in this game he looked better.
I liked that text from that female journalist, I think I agree with her.

Maddy sagde ...

"...exciting tricks with a ball
- men who show feelings..."


(i laughed and laughed with
the observations of the
journalist...yup....and i am
NOT being sarcastic!)

Marion sagde ...

Hmn, I'd actually like to see more sexy action football. I might just be one of those women the journalist refers to. ;-)

marybishop sagde ...

The World Cup doesn't move me nor does football but I love college basketball, especially women's college basketball.

It's very big in Connecticut since both the men and women have won the championships numerous times.

I'm impressed with your translating!

DayByDay4-2Day sagde ...

Why you do have a lovely voice. I did get Taramasu so your song came true!

Sangroncito sagde ...

Do you know what it's like to be a LatinAmericaphile and hate soccer at the same time? It's hell!

True Blue Guy sagde ...

I haven't been following it all. Too many other things keeping me occupied !

Jack P Toerson sagde ...

Gooo foootball!!!!! ;-)

kimananda sagde ...

Mr. American, I can't understand the appeal of basketball at all...however, I think I'd like hockey. My brother promises to take me to a Shark's game next time I'm home.

Jackt, there are still other US games. I must say, I make it a point to root against the states, just in soccer. But they might still get through despite my evil wishes.

Fitena, I don't think one or two get the credit, although if someone plays particularly well it's nice to recognize that. And I agree with you that it's fun to see the reactions of the coaches...they tend to just look really silly, and that is fun!

Ms. Mood, yep, verden is world, and mesterskab is championship (literally, 'mastership'). And thanks for clearing up my first question!

Helen, I spent today doing telephone interviews with Swedes, and last night's game, Sweden-Trinidad came up a lot. I imagined a feeling of incredible relief sweep the whole country when Ljunberg finally scored!

Kunste..., I can think of lots of things that are more exciting than the world cup. But right now, the World Cup is pretty exciting.

James, yep, and Portugal concedes late goals a lot, too.

Daphnewood, I think I do understand soccer...I played it for a very short time as a kid, and I've been watching games with knowledgable people for a long time. But part of the fun is having opinions which aren't justified by one's knowledge. And ugly games are not at's boring games that the pundits like to really complain about.

Maddy, yep, pretty cool, huh?

Marion, I may be one of those women, too. I like to think I watch for the good of the game, but then I ask myself, would I watch if all the players were really ugly? I'm not sure I would.

Mary, basketball I cannot see the attraction of at all. And thanks for being impressed! :-)

Day, oh sounds like you had a great day!

Sangroncito, but you don't have to watch the can just gaze at the players!

Blue, it's difficult for people in the US because all the games are in the middle of the day, yes?

Jack, I notice you wrote this right before the last England game? England is one of the teams I like (when they're not playing Portugal, of course), but they are playing fairly boring football as far as I can see.

OldHorsetailSnake sagde ...

I'll be darned. I just came from another blog where the writer told how much she hates football. I reckon it takes all kinds.

OldHorsetailSnake sagde ...

Oh, forgot to tell you, I came from Michele's place.