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Kid Airbag

FIFA World Cup 2006

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A big thanks to Univision, who is showing 95% of the games on broadcast TV in the US (of course it's in Spanish, but they have more exciting announcers anyway). ABC is only showing a handful of games...

Go Sweden!

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david_a said:

of course it's in Spanish, but they have more exciting announcers anyway

GOOOOOOOOOOOOL! GOL GOL GOL GOL!

There's a manager at my work who treats soccer like a religion. Then again, he is Croatian, and Europeans are insane about the sport. He got pissed off at me when I told him Brazil is going to kick Croatia's ass next week.

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myk said:

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myk said:

I'm not much into football myself, but if you're not into it either, at least be civil.


Fair enough. I'll try and keep it civil, but I find it very hard whenever football is being discussed. My hatred for the matter runs very deep.

I find the whole football obsession absolutely disgusting. The way that some apparently rational human beings start behaving like drooling tribal morons whenever football gets mentioned is awful and quite scary. The assumption that everyone (or at least every man) must be into football is false, stereotyping and (to me) quite offensive. I can't count the number of times I've had the "what team do you support" conversation, or the blank incredulity that follows my answer of "none - I hate football". In fact, my answer usually elicits a repeat question "yeah, but what team do you support" or perhaps "but if you did support a team, which one would it be". Apparently the words "I hate football" aren't clear enough.

I have yet to see any of the apparent benefits that people say it provides our society with, which could not be provided in better ways by different activities or different sports. I have, however, seen violence, divisive behaviour and bullying. I see it furthering ned culture and laddish behaviour. I see it getting far more attention that it deserves. I see the often low-life, criminal morons who play it at the highest levels get elevated to the status of gods on Earth. I see "supporters" getting away with behaviour that would get them arrested if they were doing it for any other reason than in the name of football. The behavior of football fans is often loud, intimidating and offensive - but that's OK because it's just high-spirited lads having fun. However, if a group of goths or punks ran through a city kicking over bins, getting drunk, running in front of cars waving flags, chanting sectarian slogans or just scaring old ladies it'd be treated as waves of violent gangs running amok in the streets.

Why does every city have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds policing football matches every weekend? Why is that acceptable?

I hate the way that companies use football to sell their crap to us. Why does having a footballer drive a certain type of car make people want to buy it, or printing a picture of a ball on the side of a drinks can make the drink cooler? Why are the people that this works on such weak-minded fools? To me it doesn't work. In fact, it's an instant, gut-wrenching turn-off that sickens me and I am unlikely to buy that product as a result. Even Google has a bloody world cup logo today.

I have nothing against sport. Hell, I've nothing really against the game of football - other than I find it an exceptionally dull game. I have everything against the way people associated with it - even in the loosest way - behave. There are plenty of sports in this world, many of which are played to equally high levels but which do not create the same level of idiotic posturing, posing and anti-social behaviour that football does. Why does the guy at my work, who is a normal human being most of the time, start talking the usual "we was robbed" pish after a game? Why do people bleat at each other over the merits of a manager's decision for hours like bar-stool preachers at 2 a.m.? Why do they assume that everyone else cares or even knows what they are talking about? Or why does a usually normal human make those time-worn animalistic noises in apparent support of their team whenever football is mentioned?

And what is the whole "we" thing. "We played really well this weekend." No, you didn't. You sat on your fat backside swilling beer whilst watching TV. 11 guys who you follow maniacly ran around a field and managed to put a modern representation of an inflated pig's bladder between 2 posts more often than 11 other monkey-men in the same field. I, however, probably did play well in the variety of sports and activities I get involved in.

I also dislike the way a city, or country automatically becomes synonymous with the team. "Liverpool played well this weekend", "England are playing tonight". No they are not! 11 people who nominally represent those areas are. In the case of club football, other than the location of their club, they can't really be said to represent the city anyway - given that most of them will have been bought in from around the world for inflated prices. And why do people know that such statements mean football? England, for example, has a lot of national teams in a variety of areas.

And even "sport" seems to be synonymous with football a lot of the time. There was a program in Scotland called "sportscene" where the opening titles featured a whole bunch of sports clips - all football - and which rarely featured an item on any sport other than football. At least be honest and call it "footballscene". And even "The World Cup" is often how this competition gets referred to and everyone knows that they mean football. There must be hundreds of world cups.

And now we have this ridiculous 4-yearly festival of blanket TV and radio coverage, where everyone feels the need to offer an opinion on every aspect of every match. Where normal events and routines get knocked out to accommodate 22 bloated egos running around a field. It will hardly be possible to find a pub without 100 animalistic fools crowded around a widescreen TV shouting at it. This reaches an unbearable, deafening crescendo when it looks like one of the apes on the field is getting close to 2 white poles at one end. I predict that over the next few weeks I will not manage a single hour of contact with other people without someone feeling the need to make some kind of comment about the world cup. It happened repeatedly today: the thing hasn't even started yet and I spent most of my time sitting in a hospital waiting room yet people felt the need to come up to me and make some football related comment. Why is there an assumption that I will be interested in their mindless drivel about this awful, awful spectacle? As I said, I can guarantee that almost every hour of public contact over the next few weeks someone somewhere will feel the need to talk at me about football. I can also guarantee it will be a mistake they only make once. I have no qualms about telling people exactly how I feel about football and I will feel quite justified in doing so. How dare they inflict their pish on me!

I suppose there is one slightly silvered lining to this black, black cloud. Scotland are not involved. As a result, people here will care less about the fiasco than they would if the Scottish team had qualified and will actively support whoever is playing against "Eng-a-land". So at least the talk will be about how crap the English team was, or how biassed the commentators were rather than any sickening, dewy-eyed, rose tinted view of their own team's performances. God help us if the English win the bloody thing though. It's 40 years since 1966 but the English victory in that competition gets cast up at every opportunity. If you see a Scot and an Englishman start trading insults (however friendly, or otherwise), it's just a matter of time before 1966 gets cast up. Usually, when cast up to a Scot, it's done as a jibe to somehow make them feel inferior or annoy them; to somehow dent their national pride. However, for me it gets an entirely different response because I find the whole assumption that I would care about any football result offensive. I also find it offensive that someone assumes I would care enough about a match played 40 years ago - before half the people I know were even born - to somehow feel my national identity was being called into question because of it. I don't care that England (or any other country) won the world cup. I don't care that Scotland wasn't even involved. In fact, from what I understand, despite the gushing metaphors of the media, all British football teams are a bit crap. What I do care about is that someone thinks I should care about the '66 world cup. I find it hugely annoying that enough people think I should care, and for it to have been mentioned so often to me, that I know who won the world cup in 1966. I have no idea how any other large sporting event from that year, or the years surrounding it, turned out but I know about the '66 world cup because people can't shut up about football. (If that came out as an anti-English rant, it wasn't.)

So why do I bother posting in a thread that is clearly about something I am not interested in? Why not just ignore it? Because I am interested. I am passionate about football! There are very few things I despise and this is one of them - and then some. I personally would love to see football made illegal, all the stadia throughout the world razed to the ground and people jailed for involvement with it. I hate the way it encroaches into everything and the assumptions, impositions and attitudes that go with that encroachment. It has encroached here and I feel the need to comment on that.

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For someone who doesn't care you have a lot to say. I just ignore it. Unfortunately that's not that easy when everyone around you has only one topic to talk about... :(

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Graf Zahl said:

For someone who doesn't care you have a lot to say.

Enjay said:

I am interested. I am passionate about football!

;)

If football would leave me alone, I'd leave it alone.

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I don't care much about the world cup, but I like Captain Tsubasa does it count?

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Pretty good opening day for the tournament, I especially liked Germans scoring a lot, although I'm sure they'll stop doing in that in later games, just like in '02. Germany has always been one of my favourite teams, but most people don't seem to like them...

Enjay, that was a pretty nasty rant. It must be hard to be a football hater in the UK. Fortunately Finland has never qualified for the World Cup, so I don't have to tolerate flocks of mouthbreathing idiots cheering for the national team, and can instead concentrate on following the games. The World Cup is the most exciting sporting event in the world!

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Alboroto said:

Ecuador 2 Poland 0

I still can't believe it... My country won a game

Well, your team did defeat Croatia in the last World Cup...
It looks like there's a good chance that Equador advances to the round of 16 this year.

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Yay Poland sucked as usual.

I'll have lots of fun tomorrow listening to the mongish whines, which will most certainly include the referee's decision to call that one goal offside.

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LordK said:

Enjay, that was a pretty nasty rant. It must be hard to be a football hater in the UK.

Dunno, I find it easy enough. It helps if you can view at least some of it as a farce. On the other hand, my job doesn't lead to me being confronted with the stuff in the way that someone who works with the public obviously is.

My only regret is that I've booked a trip to the Arctic that coincides with much of the World Cup. If a few months ago I'd actually realized that there was one this year, I might have booked a longer trip.

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Why is it that football (non-American) elicits so much violence amongst the players and the crowd? In a lot of ways, it reminds me of a less tame version of ice hockey.

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Job said:

Why is it that football (non-American) elicits so much violence amongst the players and the crowd? In a lot of ways, it reminds me of a less tame version of ice hockey.


I don't think the game itself has much to do with it, but somewhere along the line street thugs decided that matches were a great place to congregate. In Europe I can't really think of another sport that collects large crowds in the same way, especially ones that have been around for a long time (apparently football hooliganism is a fairly old phenomenon).

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I can cope with football. I'm not a fan or anything, I don't support any particular team and I've never been to a match, not to mention I never watch it on TV. But I don't really mind it when it doesn't boil down to some silly patriotism and complete arrogance - as it usually does when England is involved. Judging by the press over here and just the general atmosphere, you'd think they'd already won ;)

Not to mention the great impression England supporters (though I'm sure it's true of other nations) give when attending matches abroad - violence, racism, vandalism, these pretty much follow any England match in other countries.

But hey, this might just all be a personal gripe based on some silly patriotism on my part ;)

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zarkyb said:

Not to mention the great impression England supporters (though I'm sure it's true of other nations) give when attending matches abroad - violence, racism, vandalism, these pretty much follow any England match in other countries.


Actually, here in Sweden, that is what makes England famous in football. It's not their football or their players or whatever. It's the hooligans.. and Svennis promiscuos behaviour of course, apparently that is very important to the swedish people.


God I hate media-sports. (I really like playing a game of Football or so with my friends, but that's as far as it will ever go)

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I don’t own a TV, I don’t like watching sports (even the one I pratice), I don’t like all the money around this: in a word I don’t care.

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Enjay said:

Why does every city have to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds policing football matches every weekend? Why is that acceptable? [...] Why does having a footballer drive a certain type of car make people want to buy it, or printing a picture of a ball on the side of a drinks can make the drink cooler? Why are the people that this works on such weak-minded fools? [...] Why does the guy at my work, who is a normal human being most of the time, start talking the usual "we was robbed" pish after a game? Why do people bleat at each other over the merits of a manager's decision for hours like bar-stool preachers at 2 a.m.? Why do they assume that everyone else cares or even knows what they are talking about? Or why does a usually normal human make those time-worn animalistic noises in apparent support of their team whenever football is mentioned?

The making of sports into a secular religion.

It's part 3 of a larger "Turn Off Your Television" editorial and is primarily written from a Christian perspective, though I think there's worthwhile material for everybody throughout the article.

As with all extremist points of view, it's a bit... extreme, but raises valid points regardless. I've never been anti-athletics at their most fundamental level (only the mass amount of idiots they attract and breed), but as you observe and as the article explores, they can breed the strongest religious zealotry available these days. A lot of what you're seeing is religion in its worst form.

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Lüt said:
I've never been anti-athletics at their most fundamental level (only the mass amount of idiots they attract and breed), but as you observe and as the article explores, they can breed the strongest religious zealotry available these days. A lot of what you're seeing is religion in its worst form.

How's this worse than what the lowest of true religion can breed, including war, divine pretense, and mass suicide? It falls quite short of religion in its worst form, and it's not religion; in any case sports get mixed in with populism, gambling and corruption when they get big. Not a few rather seedy politicians have started or strengthened their careers by getting into the sports business (though the entertainment and business in general would encompass it).

Sports have existed from the dawn of our time; I'd say even before religion, since it's a vary basic thing; competition as play (as opposed to conflict.) Attacking it, for all its faults, can turn shallow and hypcritical quite fast. No wonder religious ranters (and nerds) can hate sports so much. They see them, a very basic form of play and interaction, as competition to their "spiritual" sports.

Anyway, Sweden annoyed me; they should have scored at least one goal!

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myk said:

How's this worse than what the lowest of true religion can breed, including war, divine pretense, and mass suicide? It falls quite short of religion in its worst form, and it's not religion;

Pardon me, I meant that on an individual level as it relates to idolatry (perhaps that would have been the better word), not mass crowd activities (though the two become intertwined very quickly). But in many cases it is indeed religion, which need only be "a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion", not something strictly related to supernaturalism.

myk said:

Sports have existed from the dawn of our time; I'd say even before religion, since it's a vary basic thing; competition as play (as opposed to conflict.) Attacking it, for all its faults, can turn shallow and hypcritical quite fast.

I never attacked them myself. I said I've never been anti-athletics at their most fundamental level, which is competition as play. I've played enough sport matches with friends over the years, but they remained simply that. My only problem arises when people take it beyond that level.

myk said:

No wonder religious ranters (and nerds) can hate sports so much. They see them, a very basic form of play and interaction, as competition to their "spiritual" sports.

Again, the comparison is fair as it comes down to the zeal related to the activity. In my personal experience, the sports fans have been a far more militantly zealous and irritatable group than any supernaturalists when their choice activities/idols are questioned or scrutinized.

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zarkyb said:

I can cope with football. I'm not a fan or anything, I don't support any particular team and I've never been to a match, not to mention I never watch it on TV. But I don't really mind it when it doesn't boil down to some silly patriotism and complete arrogance - as it usually does when England is involved. Judging by the press over here and just the general atmosphere, you'd think they'd already won ;)

%s/England/Portugal/g, especially when we hosted the Euro Cup two years ago.

I used to dislike football because of those reasons, but lately it's growing on me and I might enjoy it.

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Lüt said:
But in many cases it is indeed religion, which need only be "a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion", not something strictly related to supernaturalism.

You're using the vaguest definition in the dictionary, which carries a rather metaphorical meaning to be taken from a context. Religion is basically institutional and tied to the supernatural, unless you want to project and tie what's not essentially religious into religious perspectives or matters. Religion does not have much (else) in terms of specifics, but takes from cutural elements to form a structuring vision. Thus early on religion (and ever since in different ways) took from all sorts of activities, and eventually when these activities developed each their own way (art, science, entertainment, etc.) religion kept its essential priciples, which are supernatural and moral, based on rites and vague historical tradition in respect to day to day cultural particularities (which in turn illustrate the moral and supernatural elements of religion.) You might as well say anything popular, from politics, to science, art and warfare are religions; those supposedly religious elements are more basic than religion, which is more specific, as are these other constituents of culture (art, war, science, etc.) Just like you don't say entertainment is art, you don't say sports are religion, and you can't reduce sports to zeal related to it nor equate such zeal with religion.

I never attacked them myself.

I didn't say whether you did or not, but with that article and some posts here or in PH there make a lot to inspire what I said.

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Graf Zahl said:

For someone who doesn't care you have a lot to say. I just ignore it. Unfortunately that's not that easy when everyone around you has only one topic to talk about... :(


Must really suck to be a non-football lover in Germany right now. Over here ITV has dedicated 99% of the time and I can only imagine how much worse it is over in Germany since they host the overhyped spectacle.

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TheDarkArchon said:
Must really suck to be a non-football lover in Germany right now. Over here ITV has dedicated 99% of the time and I can only imagine how much worse it is over in Germany since they host the overhyped spectacle.

That sounds like you also have to be a TV addict to really suffer.

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I'm another non-football-type-guy in England, and it can be kinda hard. :P

Also, kudos to Lüt for almost turning this into a religion thread. A job well done. ;)

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Hello. I'm addicted to soccer.

No matter the day, the hour they play at, or the situation of the world outside I'll be watching the game with 20 other close friends at someone's house.

It's not the game itself, it's the chance of sharing the moment with friends.

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