One of the most anticipated annual television events of the year unfolded in the United States over the weekend. Akin to the Doctor Who Christmas Special in the UK, it is practically a national holiday, drawing together people from all walks of life, creeds, and backgrounds for a few unifying hours. Transplants to the United States often express deep puzzlement and a feeling of alienation as the full flower of US patriotism arises on a Sunday afternoon in January, the heady smells of mom and apple pie in the air, flags snapping to attention in the breeze.
We rejoin Popular Opinion CourtTV’s coverage of the Vuvuzela Trial, already in progress:
“… Welcome back to Popular Opinion Court TV’s coverage of the Vuvuzela Trial. I’m , the prosecution has just wrapped up its’ case for the banning, stuffing in a closet and locking up forever of the controversial Vuvuzela horns. Let’s go over some excerpts from today’s testimony.”
RICK REILLY, ESPN.COM: It was the dreaded vuvuzelas, the yard-long plastic horns (voo-voo-zella) that South African fans blow all the time, without rhyme nor reason, when something is happening and when it’s not (it’s usually not), during timeouts and time ins, during halftime and at the breakfast table and while they’re on the bus and while doing their taxes, until you just want to stab two fondue forks deep into your ears and stir.
JOHN LEICESTER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: “Fifteen minutes into the opening game and I already took two aspirin,” lamented Boaz Gabbai, from West Hills, California.
“Those vuvuzelas are making me nuts!!!” wrote Myriam Seyfarth from Venezuela. Continue reading
Author’s note to her faithful American readers: yes, I mean football as in “soccer.” “Soccer” is an ugly word and the rest of the world barely uses it.
I wake up today to a sad world. Sure, things may presently be peaceful in my corner of the universe, with birds singing and cockroaches scuttling happily about their business of scaring me to death. Yet there is a melancholy note in the birdsong and the scuttling of the unholy abominations known as blatta orientalis has an automaton, going-through-the-motions feel about it.
Precious is lost. And by “precious,” I mean the Champions’ League title. Well, for Chelsea, anyway.
There’s a reason why I don’t write much about football. My two favourite teams, Chelsea and Dynamo Kiev, are like the dorky, gifted kids at school, forever getting stuffed into lockers and denied the glory that’s their due. While Hollywood and modern technology have been busy fulfilling the “and the geek shall inherit the earth” prophecy, things are a little different on the pitch.
Last night, as I watched the Champion’s League final (held inside Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, the hallowed ground where my father went with his father to see many a Dynamo Kiev away game), I expressed my hatred of Manchester United many times over. The expressions I used were creative, and not entirely suitable for this publication. In my defense, I’d like to point out that if it wasn’t for Cristiano Ronaldo’s face, I might have been more civil.
This might seem superficial, but I just can’t stand dudes who smile like evil ferrets advancing on a nest of baby chicks. One of these days, the fall of civilization will be traced to this smug, self-satisfied countenance. You’re laughing now, but you’ll be sorry later, as ashes fall from the sky, the locusts advance, and, somewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to grin maniacally.
Let’s put it this way, if Cristiano Ronaldo lived in the States, he would have already made at least one sex-tape with Paris Hilton and/or Tom Sizemore, then gone on some third-rate reality TV show to brag about it.
You might argue that football is, ultimately, for the smug and the self-satisfied. After all, confidence is what helps plant terror in your opponents’ hearts, no?
The Patriots are 18-1; a man hides his face against my shoulder, because the world had suddenly become too much to bear.
A few seconds ago, I was trying to eat two chicken drumsticks at the same time, so you can imagine how dignified I must look. And yet I am the calm center of an emotional hurricane. It is mind boggling that this has come to pass.
Last week, people were ecstatic, people were depressed. People were vindictive and gloating, people were defensive and drinking to forget. I can’t say that this was a unique situation. Much the same scene was taking place all across the country, as people celebrated and mourned the particular ending of a particular game. A game which, for my taste, involved way too many “good game” pats to way too many plump buttocks encased in metallic tights.
As a mental exercise, I have hypothetically divided the world into two groups: Continue reading