Football is so popular because most of us have the emotional intelligence to be able to buy in to the spectacle. The utter frivolity of what is at stake is the perfect excuse for a great big global party, in which people of all ages, from all continents and from all religions, can participate. The simplicity of the rules means literally everyone can understand what is going on. Yes, there have been idiots who use football as an excuse for violence… but the game was always the excuse, and not the cause of that particular type of stupidity. These men do not define the sport, and they are a dying breed. In their place steps an ever growing number of sports fans who just want to watch the game with their friends, old and new.
Are we wasting too much media attention on the unfoldings of a meaningless tournament in South Africa? I find it hard to be annoyed. Once every four years, the eyes of all of humanity turn towards the same place. Everyone, whether they like it or not, is distracted by the same thing. It is not religious, it is not violent, and it cannot be bought. Its a delightful phenomenon, one we should cherish.
A great piece by Robert Sharp.
Also, check out Sim-O’s brilliant piece.