Sunday, July 4, 2010

Football

I have no interest whatsoever in any sports on TV or radio, and I skip
the sports pages in the newspapers I read. It's a bit of a social
handicap in these parts (meaning planet earth). But every four years,
I do get into the World Cup. I don't know why the World Cup is
different for me. It may have something to do with the universal
interest it inspires in people from all walks of life (isn't it time
ordinary Americans joined our planet in this respect). Speaking of the
universal nature of the game of football, one of the more interesting
arguments against using goal-line technology is that the game were are
now watching on TV is essentially the same game played by poor kids on
the streets of Baghdad, Accra, and Rio, by the kids of the privileged
in well groomed football fields in private schools around the world,
by professionals and amateurs everywhere. It's a very human game whose
unique flow, for want of a better word, would be chopped up by
goal-line technology. And the all-too-human mistakes referees
occasionally and inevitably make are part of the game, as are the
debates that go on in coffee shops, pubs and Sunday
dinner tables for years and decades after memorable single games. Who
doesn't remember the "hand of God" on June 22, 1986? What other sport
has more history, and can claim to be more storied, than football? Not
even baseball, that most numinous of American sacraments.

--