In re: How Soccer Explains the World.

The World Cup is on, and for me and a few others its one of the greatest sporting events to follow, giving us a month of excitement and depending on where it is being held either early morning wakeups to catch the action from the other side of the globe, or in the case of this years Cup from Germany, avoiding hearing (or attempting to avoid, as some how the failure rate has been high) to hear the scores of the games to watch them later after work.

Anyway, so today was primed to be one of the best days, a Saturday, meaning a day with live games and no work, and today the USA v. Italy in a make or break game. Two games preceded it however, including Ghana v. Czech Republic, which turned out to be an amazing upset with Ghana winning 2-0. Unfortunately however what could have been a day watching and rooting with friends instead was a day sprawled on the couch, eating soup and drinking Gatorade as I came down last night with what I hope is only a 24 hour bug as tonight I am feeling a lot better. Despite dozing in and out of the first two games an internal clock woke me up just to see the beginning of the US game and the atrocious refereeing that cause the match to turn into a 10 on 9 match, and the prospect of a 1-1 draw sounding good (although leaving the US fortunes in the hands of Italia) Anyway, feeling better after the game and a quick visit from a friend I thought I would finish up the book I mentioned before How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer who writes for the New Republic. Each chapter in this great book goes over a situation, such as the Glasgow soccer rivalry of the Rangers and Celtic (the 'old firm', referring to the two of them) who are not only rivals, but religious foes, with Rangers representing the Protestant and Celtic the Catholic. The book finished up with soccer in America, and the paradox that soccer in the US is not a working class sport (the rest of the world it is generally a sport of the working class, with other sports, such as Rugby in England having been more fitting of the wealthy)

The book is in some ways a hodgepodge of different things but generally they are held together by the way sport, and obviously soccer, often represents so much more, be it politics, religion and other such 'lofty' realms that sports aren't necessarily pictured with.


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