Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/23/14

This week’s focus point: Let me understand the World Cup. It unites people in a nationalistic xenophobia. Officials can make calls which reverse momentum, reward the devious, and penalize honest effort. Even the best players posture and pretend, trying to draw attention and favorable treatment. Some scores are accidents–rebounds, off one’s own players, or just bad bounces. You can be exiled from the community with a red card. Teamwork almost always outperforms solo effort, but at the end of the day some players always score more than others. There is obvious corruption and an international organizing body that is distrusted, abused, and not respected by most of its own members. No one is ever really sure of how much time is left at the end of the game. Now I understand the popularity. Soccer is a metaphor for life.

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2 Responses to Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 6/23/14

  1. Soccer is indeed a metaphor for life. I like the line “united in nationalistic xenophobia”. I think it’s a bit unfair, because, apart from the Germans and the Dutch, I’m not sure there are any competing nations that really do hate each other. And even they find a way to get on. But it’s difficult not to see the mixture of colours and people in the stadia and not feel uplifted. I wish it were possible to watch football (that’s what we call soccer) in this way during the regular season but sadly, in Europe at least, there are too many idiots who spoil it for everyone else.

    I love your posts, especially the Monday Morning Memo…

  2. alan weiss says:

    Thanks, Matthew. Xenophobia is intense nationalism, not necessarily hatred of others. And the riots I see in the sport, whether between competing clubs in
    England or between national teams, are almost unheard of in other sports.

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