Don’t talk to me about the World Cup

Seriously, don’t.

Once again, I took a mini-hiatus from this bloggy.  This whole writing for 8 hours straight about inane topics for my job is really taking away my desire to write blogs, or even look at electronic screens, after my work day is over.  But as the world slowly creeps onto the edge of its seats in anticipation of watching some pot smokers battle some mullets on a field in South Africa, I feel compelled to say this on behalf of all of those out there who, like me, aren’t going to watch:

Please, please, please don’t talk to me about the World Cup.  I don’t care, and I don’t want to talk about it or even listen to you talk at me about it.  Thanks.

I understand that many people are excited about this.  I get that for a lot of folks out there, this is like the Olympics, maybe even more exciting.  I see how it is a unique opportunity for nations to come together for some competition that doesn’t result in actual bloodshed.  These things are nice, but they don’t make me, personally interested.

Anyone who knows me intimately is aware that I actually harbor a dislike, rather than just an apathy for sports.  The World Cup has helped me focus on why I have this deep-seated spite.

In American culture, and it appears, in many other cultures across the globe, sports seem to hold some sort of special place in the public consciousness.   It has its own thick section in most newspapers, thousands of websites dedicated to discussion of every game imaginable, and I swear there are over 200 ESPN channels that even get their own special green color on my OnDemand.  What gives?

In my family, my father is what one might call fanatical when it comes to baseball.  It’s endearing, but it’s also borderline obsessive compulsive.  Even he understands, however, the frustration my mother and I feel when we are preparing to watch an engaging and intellectual program, such as 60 Minutes or King of the Hill, only to be interrupted by a football game going into overtime.  For some reason I don’t comprehend, more Americans would rather watch fat men in tight pants call time-outs repeatedly then learn about, oh, I don’t know, the current status of ground zero.

I’m not sure what it is, but sports have been placed on such a high pedestal that claiming to have no interest in them is often regarded with open remarks of ridicule.  Why is that acceptable?

What really bothers me, though, is when people try to force me to talk about FIFA (Which, I may point out, is a terrible title.  Federation and Association in the same acronym?  Someone call an editor.)  Allow me to give you the following anecdote:

I had just finished a rather satisfying bathroom experience, and was washing my hands, when a surprisingly well dressed crazy person started babbling about nonsense to me.  He was asking me questions, but moving on before I could comprehend what he was saying, as the insane are wont to do.

And then I realized, he wasn’t a person off his medications at all.  No, in fact, he was what appeared to be a businessman trying to talk to me about the World Cup.

Before I could even gather myself to say something back to him, probably my usual phrase, “Oh, I missed that game,” he was gone, muttering to himself that he had to catch the next inning (or whatever) of the game as he walked out.

Two words:  Unnacceptable behavior.  I am interested in a wide variety of topics, as some may gather from this blog.  However, I do not go talking to strangers in bathrooms about my mundane interests.

Imagine, for a moment, if I cornered a man after he had just passed a sizable stool and tried to force him to talk to me about the recent scientific endeavor to mix the DNA of goats and spiders to make a super strong silk-milk material.  I would be regarded as out of my mind, no?  That would be a socially inappropriate move, yes?

And yet, in our society, it is perfectly acceptable for men to talk to each other in bathrooms about other men kicking a little ball at each other.  Frankly, I don’t get it.

I was routinely “informed-against-my-will”  during the basketball world series (or whatever), and I expect to be regularly uncomfortably confronted about the World Cup this weekend, and probably for several days afterward.  So if you find yourself compelled to chat with me about the big game, I ask you to limit yourself to the following topics:

  • Vuvuzelas
  • How hot David Beckham is
  • What kind of cocktails you will be offering me for free if you are hosting a World Cup party

Anyway, there’s my monthly rant.  Maybe not my most informative post, but hopefully there are others who sympathize with me.  And if you have a reason why you think sports should be held in such high esteem, please, enlighten me!

I’ll be back with something more…substantial…soon.  I hope.

5 responses to “Don’t talk to me about the World Cup

  1. love it love it love it, it may interest you to know that this doesn’t happen in women’s bathrooms that I know of.

  2. My technique to stop discussion of the World Cup doesn’t work very well. When people talk to me about it, I say, “That’s that game where they don’t let you use your hands, right?” This has inevitably led to continued discussion, though at least it’s a bit more heated.

  3. David Beckham is SO hot. So, hot in fact, I’d use a vuvuzela to catcall him. That’s right.

    I’m not following the world cup mostly because it’s not on my TV. Same thing w/ the Tour de France. But, one thing I do appreciate about the world cup – as opposed to things like the Olympics and the Tour de France is that it’s not as classed as other sporting events. Yes, it is still classed, absolutely. But, there are amazing soccer teams from some “third world” countries that do very well in the world cup. And soccer is a more egalitarian sport because you don’t need an elite coach or gym like you do for the Olympics, and you don’t need a bicycle that costs more than my car and god-knows how much money for an entry fee.

    That said, more than the world cup itself, I’m more annoyed by how suddenly soccer is popular in the U.S. and we’re wonderful global citizens b/c we played in the World Cup . . .

  4. “I’m not sure what it is, but sports have been placed on such a high pedestal that claiming to have no interest in them is often regarded with open remarks of ridicule. Why is that acceptable?”

    It’s not acceptable and us anti-sports types should stand up for our rights. I just watched the Australian Broadcast Service’s nightly news and despite the fact that we’re in the lead up to a very important federal election, the first ten minutes of the bulletin were dedicated to the coverage of the World Cup final. I mean, Australia didn’t even progress past the first round. Or perhaps they did. I don’t care, I really don’t.

    Aren’t there more important things to worry about than rampant nationalism?

    I like Stephen’s approach of saying something terribly ignorant so the sports fanatics look at us strangely and then walk away, leaving us normal people alone.

  5. I’m not about to attempt a discussion about willful ignorance of sports in general (which you clearly did when mentioning both soccer and basketball in concurrence with baseball terminology) as I’m woefully ignorant about general knowledge I should probably be more aware of (for instance, since my television was stolen in February, I’ve yet to read any current news articles…sad, I know). I will, however, correct two points I felt needed correcting. FIFA is an international organization, and it’s translation to English is:
    The International Federation of Association Football
    It is a federation, that spans the globe (international), and consists of association football teams, not a football association. The grammar is correct for this.

    Besides thinking your mentioning of King of the Hill is counter productive to your argument of watching engaging and intelligent programming, I would like to defend sports as a whole. The reason so many people get upset when someone says they don’t like any sports at all, in my estimation, is simply because sports encompass so much. Equivalent statements would include, I don’t like reading, I don’t like music, I don’t like movies. There’s such a variety in the type, speed, goal, etc of sports in existence that to say, I don’t like any sports seems to be, as I mentioned earlier, something done more willfully than you actually not liking any sports.

    I otherwise agree with the opinion that sports fans need to just back off and keep to their own circles, and not force their collective conversation on the unsuspecting masses.

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