Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paul the prognosticating octopus or why I love soccer, Pt. 1

Well it's been over four months since I've posted (even though I did write a post the other day, but I couldn't get the video to work and I never published it; I'll try to get it put up in a few days) and there's been plenty of stuff that I've wanted to write about, and hopefully I'll get to them before I go back to teaching. The main reason I haven't written despite not studying and not teaching is that we've been absorbed in Spain's amazing run to the World Cup finals.
I consider myself a huge soccer fan, but the truth of the matter is, I don't really pay that much attention to it most of the time. But then, every four years, the greatest sporting event in the world takes place (note: not the Olympics) and I live and breathe soccer for a month straight. In four years I'll probably have some real responsibilities/something resembling a career, so I'm pretty sure that I'll never be able to follow the World Cup so closely again. Luckily for me, Spain has had their best World Cup tournament ever, so it's been perfect that we've been able to support "La furia roja" so much.
I love soccer because it is so much more than a game or a sport. There are some people here in the US for whom football or basketball stops being a game and becomes a way of life, but it's never on the global scale that soccer is life for billions of people around the world. The World Cup is able to freeze entire continents in its tracks and make whole countries hold their breath at the same time. The craziness that is soccer is also able to create national heroes/villains in the most unlikely of places. In Germany for example, there is an octopus names Paul that correctly picked all of Germany's games as they steamrolled their way through the tournament, and he/she/it quickly became a celebrity in the fatherland. Before the last semifinal though, it picked Spain to beat Germany, and it was easily swept underneath the carpet because Germany was also supposed to pound Spain. But a beautiful header from Carles Puyol ensured that Paul kept a perfect record and sent Spain to their first ever World Cup final.

1 comment:

becky rigby said...

That goal by Puyol was sweet , but I think he should cut his nasty hair.