Thursday, July 6
AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL YOU SOCCER SUCKERS...
And yes, we will be calling it "soccer" here. Don't like that? Tough poop.
Now, rumor has it there's been some kind of rinky-dink tournament being played lately. In Germany, of all places. I mean, is that really a very good idea? Remember the "tournament" the Germans hosted in 1972? I think Steven Spielberg just finished directing a film about it. They had hosted a similar "tournament" in '36. Spielberg got at least TWO movies out of what followed that one. Lesson? Allowing the Germans to host anything more than that mother of all Lowenbrau keggers they put on every October is a dicey proposition at best. Yet here we are again....
To watch SOCCER, of all things! Now, I know that, even as I speak, the very dear-to-my-heart Scatter o' Light and her rabid gaggle of feral fantasy-leaguers are pulling out their red and yellow fabric swatches and preparing to go all hooligan on my ass. But I have to ask them, when it comes to their beloved futbol del mundo: WHERE'S THE DAMN ACTION? I mean, there are more shots fired by Detroit preschoolers with Glock 9s on a day-to-day basis than the U.S. team managed to get on net the ENTIRE tournament. That's entertainment?! Hell, there's more inherent drama in watching George W. Bush try to ride a bike. Or eat a pretzel.
Others, it would seem, disagree. Sometimes, they even go so far as to write SONGS about this so-called "sport." Behold:
[MP3] The Charade/"Dressed in Yellow and Blue"
[MP3] The Lightning Seeds/"Three Lions"
But me, I'm going to stick with the great American pastime of baseball (so called because it long ago passed its time as America's favorite sport). All the same, the sight of Robert Redford hitting that majestic shot into the exploding lightposts in The Natural is still a stirring one. (And, in retrospect - considering Redford's environmental bent - a none-too-subtle indictment of America's electricity industry.) But even the just-recently-deceased former CEO of Enron would have found that scene far more (shall we say) "heart-stoppingly" exciting than the sight of Sylvester Stallone trying to stop Max von Sydow on a penalty kick in 1981's Victory. (You know it's true.)
So, ultimately: Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its weary ears to you...
[MP3] Randy Newman/"The Final Game" [from The Natural]
(P.S. Not that I've been paying any attention to this crap, but my prediction for the final is that Finland will kick Iceland's ass right back to that freakish, whale song-singing/dead swan-wearing island they came from. Take it to the bank.)