Friday, June 09, 2006

Truth is Stranger #9: The Sin Of Rooting For The Wrong Team

A theologian in Scotland says that Scots must root for England in the World Cup, lest they sin.

OK, I'm a soccer-clueless American, and people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, etc. But I don't think "wrong-headed cheering" is going to get on the seven deadly sins list soon. Unless a Minnesotan doesn't root for the Twins. (Blasphemy, you know.)



Anonymous said...

I think it was George Orwell who said "Sport is war by other means", but I could be wrong. It's not a simple matter of supporting a different team; it's the reason why. "Anyone but England" is supposedly the mantra of we Irish, the Welsh, and the Scots, who have various reasons for wishing for the defeat of the Old Enemy.

I suppose that, technically speaking and as a matter of the salvation of our immortal souls, this man is correct in that indulging in spite, envy, hatred, anger and good old schadenfreude is serious. But it's more fun that way ;-)

Anyway, you can judge for yourself, as there is the very dim possibility that the U.S. team could find itself playing against the Iranian team this time around. As the following excerpt makes clear, it's not just about the best team winning (which will probably be Brazil, anyways.)


How to Watch the World Cup: Politics and War by Other Means
By Tony Karon

I have a pretty good idea where Osama bin Laden will be on June 14 -- and June 19, and again on June 23. Not his exact location, but it's a safe bet he'll be in front of a TV tuned in to Saudi Arabia's World Cup soccer matches with, respectively, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Spain. Legend has it that soccer is one of bin Laden's guilty pleasures. He's unlikely to miss the spectacle of the men from the land of the Prophet taking on the infidels of al-Andalus. He probably has a soft spot for Tunisia too, that country being the only one on record thus far to see one of its professional soccer players attempt to join al Qaeda's martyrs.

Nor will bin Laden be alone among America's enemies in spending June engrossed in the quadrennial spectacle of the World Cup, staged this time in Germany. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad has even threatened to show up if Iran progresses beyond the first round. Seeking to burnish his populist credentials at home, Ahmedinajad recently allowed himself to be photographed in sweats kicking a ball around with the Iranian team during a training session. You can bet Kim Jong-il will watch, too, even though it is South Korea that represents his nation's hopes this year."

Ray from MN said...

Born and bred "Minnesodan" [sic], the 4th Super Bowl shellacing completely divested me of any interest in professional team sports whatsoever.

I did enjoy the Twins win the World Series a couple of times, but my heart wasn't in it like it was during the hey-day of the 70's "Purple People Eaters."