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Pure Sole: Ole' ole' ole'

Posted: June 13, 2014 - 12:17am
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British and German troops participate in a soccer game during the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914.
British and German troops participate in a soccer game during the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914.

Ole’ ole’ ole’ ole’… ole’… ole’…

Cliché’ I know,

But I like World Cup soccer.

What can I say?

I especially like that wild and crazy Brazuca!!!

The official match ball of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

According to Adidas, the provider of the official tournament ball for the past 44 years, the vivid colors and swirly pattern is inspired by “the meandering pathways of the great Amazon river in Brazil.”

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

It just looks cool bopping around the pitch after a hard day of mentally exhausting finger punching.

I admit I thought it actually was in honor of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead and the 70’s and drugs and free love.

I always thought Woodstock and Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro were inspired by one another.

I come to find out that Rio festivals, however, date back to 1723.

That was when the last goal was scored by the United States in the World Cup wasn’t it?

I mean, really, we are not that good.

Okay, being ranked 17th or 18th out of the 32 teams in the tourney is average, but, this is a sport where a 2-0 score is considered a rout!

Lose 3-nil and you better tie your cleats to a cement buoy, you Nancy boy!

I am hoping we score three goals the entire Brazilian holiday.

The teams ranked ahead of us are, in ascending order:

Russia (vodka), Switzerland (lozenges), Bosnia and Herzegovina (gardening?), England (chips), Portugal (jelly fish), Netherlands (Dungeons and Dragons), France (escargot), Chile (honey), Colombia (cartels), Italy (cabs), Uruguay (see Colombia), Belgium (waffles), Argentina (Patagonia), Germany (Belgium’s waffles), Brazil (Carnival) and Spain (bullfighting).

Only eight teams have won the World Cup.

England, France and defending champions Spain once each; Argentina and Uruguay twice; West Germany three times; Italy four; and five for this year’s host country Brazil.

This year Brazil and Argentina are the favorites to win.

If the top four sides in the world win their pools it should play out to semifinals of Brazil/Germany and Argentina/Spain.

Sweden and Norway did not even make the tourney. I don’t know what is happening over there with my kin but that means I have to root for the Dutch, or the Swiss.

If this were the women’s World Cup my flag would be all blue and yellow!

The difference between men and women’s World Cup, in my opinion, aside from a bit more speed, is that women don’t go for that fall-down-fake-injury stuff.

I hate that about soccer!!!

Grown men grabbing their face or leg or foot or checkbook like it had just been dipped in a beehive.

“Oh the horror!”

“I have been dishonored!”

“I have been thoroughly fouled and I want my due respect!”

Of course the television replay shows either a very delayed reaction to no contact whatsoever or, just plain old no contact whatsoever.

The World Cup is held every four years since 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when World War II cancelled that streak.

It was the other way around during World War I.

In a rare moment of peace and goodwill, a spontaneous ceasefire on the battlefields of Flanders called the Christmas Day Truce of 1914 had the British and German troops coming out of their trenches to shake hands, sing Christmas Carols and play a bit of “Futbol.”

That is kind of cool.

It is also cool at the World Cup that there is a Golden Boot award.

The top goal scorer at the end of the tournament gets that honor.

Lionel Messi from Argentina, considered by many the best player in the world, is one of the favorites, as is Neymar.

No, I did not leave off his first name, or his last name.

Brazilians like the one-name moniker. The team also has a “Fred.”

Yep. Fred. You know, like, from the Flintstones or your neighbor next door.

Oh, and a Hulk.

America has a Hulk too.

He, however, is a large green super hero who wouldn’t know a meandering soccer ball from Dino’s chew toy. Plus he tears his clothes all the time so that would be an instant Yellow Card for us.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, Italy’s Mario Balotelli, France’s Karim Benzema, Spain’s Diego Costa, Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie, Germany’s Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose.

An interesting side note to today’s 3-1 Brazil opening tournament win over Croatia:

Eduardo da Silva was born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro and he plays for the Croatian national team. He sang both countries’ national anthems before the match.

If you have the time to watch a lot of running on a grassy pitch and can appreciate how some young lads can possess a ball with their feet easier than you or I can with two hands, then the World Cup is for you.

I just like that ball.

That crazy meandering Grateful Dead river ball.

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