La copa mondial
My generally dismal view of professional sports notwithstanding, I have been enjoying following the World Cup tournament this year. The national character of the teams makes the tournament more appealing to me than the checkbook-based teams one finds in professional-league sports. I am under no delusions that soccer is more noble than any other professional sport; if anything the European football leagues are probably even more corrupt than the North American professional sports leagues. I do, however, enjoy rooting for national teams.
For the record, I am rooting for the Netherlands team to win the cup. Rooting for the U.S. team seems like just so much more chauvinism and the world needs less U.S. chauvinism these days, not more. The Netherlands has fielded the best teams among the countries who have never won the World Cup and it is about time they won. I also like their country.
As for other teams, Argentina is a team I am pulling for because I like Argentine literature, which is as good a reason as any to root for a team. I have also been rooting for Togo because a friend of mine lived there for a couple of years and because they are such underdogs. I cannot bring myself to root for England because of the chauvinism of English fans. And rooting for Brazil is like rooting for Goliath to beat David.