I have a good excuse for allowing Violet to watch 3 hours of TV a day for the past month: World Cup Soccer. Okay, actually she doesn’t really watch. She plays and climbs on me, but then runs around the room screaming “¡Gooooooool!” whenever a team scores. (With a Spanish accent, you see. Keep in mind that we don’t have cable so we’re watching all the games on Univision. Much better announcers, even if I can’t understand them.) So counting “goal” as one of her first words is excuse enough for overdoing the idiot box. And it seems to make her very happy to see all the people on TV, celebrating, hugging, cheering. She gleefully joins in.
I have to say that I’m not usually a sports fan. My family never was. And, thankfully, Rob is consumed with music rather than ball games. But there’s just something about physical competition on a global scale that appeals to me; especially when it occurs just once every four years. Politics are pushed aside and clear-cut rules govern behavior and consequences. Plus it’s funny when a little poor country like, say, Ghana, kicks the ass of a big rich country, like, say, the U.S.
And there is just something so simple about the game. You don’t have to memorize stats to make it interesting. You don’t have to know the intricacies of the strategies to see the grace in it. And unlike any other sport I know of, the players are always moving. None of those interminable timeouts or halftime shows. In fact, World Cup halftime is barely long enough for a couple commercials. That’s it. For over 90 minutes. And have you seen the size of the field? Good lord, these guys run…. no… sprint around this giant field without a break. That kind of athleticism trumps any other team sport, as far as I’m concerned.
In any case, we’ll be watching the final today, in English (but flipping to Univision for the “¡Gooooooool!”) I’m not sure who to root for: Italy, since we’ve got Italian blood in the family, or France, since we have French friends. I just know I want to hear Violet scream “¡Gooooooool!” and watch her dance around one more time until the next World Cup… when she’s 5½.