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World Cup 2014: The Bigger Picture

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(June 25, 2010 - Source: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images North America)
(June 25, 2010 – Source: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images North America)

The culture of the FIFA World Cup and the game of soccer is a relatively new idea to the American public. Even though the United States had an international team since 1912, the popularity of soccer in this nation didn’t really blossom until after the year 2000. In fact, the World Cup became a true fascination in 2006 when it was held in Germany.

In 2006, Americans were finally talking about soccer or as the other nations would call it football (spelled and pronounced as futbol in other nations).

Part of the fun is the upbeat music and the humorous commentary. Speaking of the commentary you might hear phrases such as “meaty challenge”, which simply means when one player on the defense makes a slide to intercept a pass and instead tackles the other player instead. It may sound strange at first, but everyone can get used to it.

Logo courtesy of Robert Haffeman, www.heavy.com
Logo courtesy of Robert Haffeman, www.heavy.com

What does the world cup have that other major sports don’t have? There is drama in every major sport. However, in the United States we typically focus on what the best team is, what the dangerous underdogs are, what players are the top players heading into the year, what the postseason might have in store and what team is going to consistently annihilate the others. That is sports in America.

Is it all about the best teams? Is about the best players? Is it about the postseason (which is the World Cup as teams must qualify for it in preliminary stages first)? No, there is more to the FIFA World Cup than what meets the eye.

FIFA is a desirable window into the future of humanity just like the Olympics. The “spirit of cooperation” among all the nations involved is stressed throughout the tournament. The fact that a bunch of fans from all the teams can get together and even have conversations about the sport they are passionate about despite their differences is a step in the right direction in and of itself.

Even if two nations are not on the best of terms with each other, people can still get together and have a good time watching this dramatic sport. They can revel in the best moments, talk about which team they like and which is the best and even engage in nice banter all in good fun. The beauty of the World Cup is bringing people together. It is both positive and fun.



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