The weather is on the up, summer is fast approaching and the year ends with an even number. This means there is a big kick ball tournament coming up, and this time it is the The World Cup 2014 in Brazil. I know there are a lot of people who probably loathe these times of year where everyone starts talking about football, so I have come up with this handy little survival guide for the non-fans.
If you want to at least semi follow the action unfolding on the green grassy rectangle, choose your team wisely. Now is not a time to be truly patriotic, down that path only disappointment lies. It may not sound in the spirit of the game, but hell, you don’t like the game. Just choose to support Germany or Spain, maybe Brazil. On the other hand, choose a team with player names you like hearing. Back in 1994, Germany had a player called Stefan Kuntz. You don’t have to like the game, but a commentator excitedly screaming KUNTZ repeatedly would be comedy gold.
You don’t have to enjoy football to enjoy the World Cup, you just need to know what to look for. Why not embrace the Olympic spirit of Daleymania and offer scores for dives? Extra points for commitment, lack of contact, acting, technique and rotation. Form is important and some of these guys have turned diving into a real art, an 8.7 dive could easily become a cup winning 9.1 with a perfectly executed cheeky hidden glance at the referee to make sure he bought it.
There are many other commentary alternatives too. Foreign streams of football games can be amusing, especially Mexican or Italian streams. Their commentators are beyond brilliant, you know the sort GOOOOOAL, GOAL GOAL GOAL (deep intake of breath) GOOOOOOOAL. Alternatively, mute the damned thing, partner up with a friend and form your own commentary team Dodgeball style. “He’s taking the penalty blindfolded, he’s not going to be able to see very well” or “that beardy guy kicks the ball like a magnificent gazelle standing on top of a mountain… kicking a ball”. It’s a bold strategy Cotton, lets see how it pays off for you.
Why not spend the game breaking down commentary clichés and metaphors. The one that always gets me is “that save/shot/tackle was top drawer”. You know what my top drawer is for? Underwear. That shot was underwear.
“Kuntz deep on the ball like a slippery fish pulls a goal straight from the underwear drawer.” What’s not to love? Besides, one guy just committed to a dive so hard that he just rolled out of the stadium, is half way across the parking lot and still going.
Perhaps you are interested in the English disposition? As the competition progresses and Gary Lineker becomes progressively more orange, made all the more noticeable by the stark contrast against his radiant white teeth, you will notice a change in the country’s general demeanor. Consider it a psychological experiment on a massive scale. First comes optimism, then anger and blame followed by acceptance that we never stood a chance in the first place. On an intellectual level, it’s fascinating.
Or you know, go outside, it can be nice outside, the sun is out there. And guess what it’s like out there now the football is on? Desolate. Sparse. As quiet as a vegetarian restaurant in Texas. While everyone else is inside glued to their TVs, the roads, the high street and the parks are yours and yours alone. Enjoy it.
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