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Footballers: World’s Best Athletes?

June 23, 2014

Those World Cup footballers are some amazing athletes. In the games I’ve watched I’ve seen these guys get elbowed, get hit in the head, get hit in the face, get kicked in various parts of the body, get their feet stepped on, have their ankles and knees rolled, get knocked down and get run over. About the only thing I haven’t seen is hair-pulling and eye-gouging. And what’s fantastic about these footballers is that they do it all without time outs and rests and, for the most part, they get right up and continue playing. In other words, I’ve seen these guys do things American NFL throwballers (thank you to Gus Sanchez for that name) could never do.

In addition to my appreciation of the athleticism of the players and the game itself, one of the best things about the FIFA World Cup for me has been that it truly is a global tournament. It’s not just players from different parts of the world playing on a few different teams, it’s national teams from 31 (I think I have that number right?) countries playing on a truly global stage. How beautiful is it that the entire world can come together peacefully for a full month while we all watch each other play a simple game? I think it’s pretty amazing.

I love baseball and I’ll always love baseball and I’ll continue to defend it as the best, and most complex, sport around, but I’ve come to the realization that the Major League Baseball powers needs to sit down this winter and come up for a new name for the World Series because until baseball becomes a truly global competition (something I know they’re currently working on), like the World Cup, then it shouldn’t be using “World” in the name.

The World Cup so far has been great stuff and I can only hope that football catches on here in the United States. And as much as I don’t care for Zygi Wilf and the Minnesota Vikings, I hope that Mr. Wilf is successful in bringing a Major League Soccer team to his new throwball stadium in the not too distant future.

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