Wednesday, June 23, 2010

So... how about that World Cup, huh?

I don't know if you noticed, but the World Cup is happening at the moment.

If you didn't know that, you're most likely being kept prisoner in a basement somewhere, in which case you probably have more pressing issues with which to concern yourself. But at least now you have an explanation for that low, droning buzz that's been contributing to the horror of your situation. 

I've tried to picture the person who decided it was a good idea to start selling vuvuzelas to drunken soccer fans. Sometimes, I picture a guy washing his hands in a sink full of cash, cackling madly to himself. Other times I picture a guy crying himself to sleep, haunted by the knowledge of what he created. However, in that second scenario, the guy is still crying himself to sleep on a bed made of money, so I think he probably still comes out ahead.

I have to admit, I was surprised when I heard the Cup was going to be in South Africa this year. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. You see, as dignified a sport as soccer may be, it does tend to result in an awful amount of rioting. I think they've actually factored it into the rules of the game. If your team doesn't win, then extra points can be scored in any ensuing riots, based on which team's fans do the most damage. Kind of like overtime, but more violent.

And South Africa, well, they're kinda known for having a whole bunch of riots of their own. This is what seemed strange to me about the decision to have them host the World Cup - basing a sport known to attract riots in a country known to attract riots did seem a bit like asking for trouble to me. What I'm guessing is they looked at the situation and decided that if they host the Cup in a country where there's already quite a lot of rioting, then the soccer fans can just join in with the existing riots. The result? Less riots overall! Smooth move, Sepp Blatter.

Oh, by the way, I do like that the President of FIFA is named Sepp Blatter. Say it out loud, you won't regret it. Sepp Blatter. Sepp. Blatter. I have noticed over the years that having a freakin amazing name seems to be a prerequisite for any kind of international sporting official position. All you need to do is brush your eyes over the list of International Olympic Committee members to confirm that. My personal favourite is Infanta Pilar, Duchess of Badajoz, although anyone who watched The Dream back in the days of the 2000 Olympics will remember Jacques Rogge and Dick Pound with a certain fondness.

Although, if it's memories of the 2000 Olympics we're talking about, my personal favourite is when the designers of the medals decided to leave Tasmania off the Australian map that they put on the back of them. I have not yet stopped laughing at the way Tassie got all offended and every other state banded together to say 'Have a cry, Tasmania!' and then laughed behind their hands.

Good times.

-Smackie Onassis