World Cup 2014 — Let’s Just Enjoy It.

Forget the past. Enjoy the World Cup for what it is.

Some people might expect me to be negative about the World Cup, but they’d be wrong.  I’ve loved the World Cup since I was a child.  How  well I remember my dad pointing at the wireless set in 1950 and saying, Look, son, that’s Stanley Matthews there, somewhere, in his baggy shorts, smoking a fag and sharing a bag of chips with his faithful whippet, Welding Rod.

How well I remember replying, Dad, it’s your round.

Fast forward 52 years to a pub in the Aran Islands, with myself and my own young son staring dumbfounded at a television as Ireland went down to a mediocre Spain because the manager had failed to notice that we were a man up for the last  ten minutes of the game.  My son was very young, but still, despite the shock of defeat, despite all the tears, the tantrums, the rolling around screaming, he still managed to say Dad, it’s ok.  Calm down.  Stand up and I’ll take you home.

I love the World Cup.  For all its faults and for all the prima donnas we’d love to punch for their grandstanding.  It’s a marvellous spectacle and a wonderful showcase for the best of footballing talent.

Let’s not forget that every single one of these lads is better than anyone you’ve ever seen in your school, in your club, in your home town and possibly in your national side.  Every single one of these players is exceptional compared to the rest of us, no matter how good we believe we are.  The least of these players is better than any local hero you can think of.

That’s what we’re looking at right there on the TV, in the World Cup.  We’re looking at the best of the best, and it’s truly a privilege to see it.

As a kid, I had this sheet that came with some comic, and I stuck it to the wall.  Every week, you could get stickers of country flags and players and you could keep track of the results.  You could write in the scores and arrange the countries in the league table.

They’re probably not doing that  today, but I’m fairly sure kids have found other ways of retaining ownership and that’s what it’s all about.

It’s time we stopped talking about Pelé and Cruyff, Beckenbauer and Muller, Eusebio and Maradona.  You can think of a hundred great names and I can think of a hundred more, but this competition is of the modern age.  It’s World Cup 2014 and we should enjoy it by those standards.

Let’s just enjoy it for the moment.  Let’s be kids for a month.


10 thoughts on “World Cup 2014 — Let’s Just Enjoy It.

  1. These are troubling days – the Dunph has vowed to wear a dress if Engerland reach the last-eight…

    Will Billo – okey dokey – get into trouble for implying that Japanese refs are not up to scratch, long time?

    The penalty the Japanese whistle blower gave last night against the Croats was appalling.

    A ray of sunlight burst forth from Rio last week when The Times reported that Engerland were practising penalties without a keeper between the posts and some of them still missed.

    His name is Rio and he misses on the sand, we began to sing to ourselves.

    But the TT spoiled it all by informing us that they actually had a net across the goal with holes in the top and bottom right and left hand corners and the players had to place the ball in the holes.

    This, we were told, is to concentrate their minds, but what will we do if England start winning penalty shoot out? The WC won’t be the same if England don’t go out on their ear on penalties. They should stick with tradition.

    Great third from Brazil last night. Reminds me of the goal I netted for La Liga giants Deportivo de La Coruña before they handed me a free transfer to Prospect Priory D.

    Early days yet, but will we ever see the likes of the below goal and commentary from Victor Hugo Morales again.

    We don’t understand a word he’s saying, but we know everything he’s saying.

    Basically, he’s saying that Maradonna, the “cosmic kite”, is God. Which he is.

  2. It’s true, there is a lot more soccer on the TV nowadays and it’s hard to have a pint almost anywhere in peace without some soccer contest blaring in the background.
    But like yourself, I’ll make an exception for the World Cup every four years and leave it at that!
    Without doubt, it can be and usually is, an amazing spectacle and something I too look forward to.

  3. The best of the best doesn’t seem to apply to the referees and the penalty given to Brazil in the opening game was a farce. So says me who has the advantage of instant video replay on tv..

    I love the drama of the game and always liked the world cup but this year I see it differrently. We are not so naive and romantic now and the stark contrast between the jetsetting rich and the Brazillian people who are living in poverty is impossible to ignore.

    The protests by Brazillian people are working and I would like them to know that their voice is being heard across the world. This is the power of protest and if you are going to protest then what better occasion than a corporate junket with a worldwide tv audeince?

    We can all enjoy the tournament and hope the most deserving country wins. It is meant to be a beautiful game that unites people and god knows the world needs some more of that right now.

    FIFA is a sleazy and corrupt organisation and I can’t wait for the Quatar world cup. All the ass licking and apologizing in the build up will be surreal and will show us the depths some people will sink to in order to preserve the champagne cavalcade that is the FIFA World Cup.

    It will be insteresting watching England and the sensasionalist tabloid reporting of ‘events’ from town and villages across the land.

    Just sayin like

  4. The reputed best goalie in the world, played last night like a guy stuffed with suppositories!
    And I’m thinking, did some cute-hoor pay him loads-a-dosh to let a few in?
    He allowed the dutch to look like masters.

  5. Cool pic there Paul.

    ” How well I remember my dad pointing at the wireless set in 1950 ”
    19 Wha? Did I read that right Bock? 1950?

    Funny, Bernard.
    Are you a reincarnation of seconds by any chance?
    You’d recognise that lunacy anywhere. :)

  6. It’s just a game, with two groups of bright-jersied fellows kicking a rotund piece of inflated rubber wrapped inside black-and-white leather around a grass, rectangular pitch in front of cheering crowds.

    This game, like the Dunlop rubber bicycle tyre, depended on the discovery of raw rubber in Brazil , the Caribbean and the Belgian Congo towards the end of the 19th century. It has become a global spectator sport, even though the Indians, the Chinese and the North Americans haven’t learned to play it yet to World Cup standards.

    Just sip your favourite beverage at the local and enjoy the games!

  7. Barney in the Simpsons, who is of Irish stock, was fretting after Homer said that there were four bottles of beer for everyone, but Barney, and every Irishman instinctively understands where he was coming from, identified the impending doom.

    Barney correctly figured that after he drank the first bottle that there would be only three bottles left and that eventually he would get to the point where he was drinking the fourth bottle of beer – and then there will be no beer left, going forward.

    Today, we can watch three matches, but soon there will be only two and then one – and then there will be none. It’s a form of advanced existentialism, where Paddy, who can’t sit still and enjoy the moment, projects himself forward and works himself up into a state of wretchedness because he knows that at some point in the near future there will be no football.

    Paddy knows that the misery is in the post, so to speak, but he still insists on rushing forth to embrace it before it arrives. Basically, we are a nation of miserable bastards who are only truly happy when we are in an advanced state of melancholia.

    Likewise, Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis, admitted that his revolutionary medical techniques had fuck all effect on the maudlin and forlorn inhabitants of Hibernia.

    “This is one race of people (Paddy) for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever,” he said.

    Elsewhere, that Gerrard fella is very deceptive – he’s a lot slower than he looks.

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