Thursday, June 17, 2010

Personal Discoveries from the World Cup

World Cup has hit South Africa with gale wind force. And we’ve been caught up in it. I’ve made a few discoveries in the short week since these global events started.

Discoveries about My Host Country, South Africa

South Africans are fervent football fans. They brave the cold and crowds to attend the matches, even those in which South Africa is not playing

South Africans celebrate with noise. Even if you hadn’t a clue about World Cup you would have been alerted days before the event by the vuvuzelas being trumpeted on the streets, in the malls, and most of all in the stadiums. I can tell you that people of all ages and colors are using these potent sound makers to celebrate this African event. The world will forever associate the SA World Cup with the beehive buzz of the vuvuzelas.

South Africans are optimistic. In spite of being bottom of the pile as far as World Cup teams, South Africans remain optimistic of their chances for this World Cup. Even with a very disappointing loss to Uruguay they are clinging to the hope of raising their chances on the next game.

Discoveries about the World Cup

World Cup Fever is contagious. We entered this month fairly immune to the impending events, but once the crowds started streaming down the streets in celebration and joy, we were bitten. Add to that the fact that there are three games being broadcast into our home daily. Each game pulls you into the stream of excitement and eagerness to know the outcome. The upsets we’ve seen so far feed into you an anticipation of surprises around each corner, or should I say, each game.

World Cup is addictive and distracting. During football season I’m normally unaware of who is playing whom, but since World Cup began I am struggling with getting my work done! The scheduled games are intruding into my work day. Even if I want to forget, the trumpeting vuvuzelas are reminding me of the next impending event! And the games are day after day, week after week. I need to get a handle on this today!

World Cup Fever is costly. No, we haven’t yet attended any games or bought any vuvuzelas or FIFA clothing, but thousands of people have! And thousands of people have forked out the money to fill the stadiums. Amazing.

Discoveries about Myself

My emotions are on a roller coaster. I find myself cheering for the underdogs, having compassion for goalies that miss the save, and feeling annoyed when a team soundly trounces another with apparent lack of “mercy.” I know soccer is not a place for mercy, kindness, or compassion. It’s about gritty competition and winning. No wonder I only watch it every four years!

I am suffering from vicarious failure! Almost every game produces a losing team and every game highlights someone’s failure. And these failures are broadcast over the loud speaker, on the radio and television and around the world. My sympathy goes out to those failing, and I struggle with the whole concept of unrestrained criticism that goes along with global sports. I am thinking about writing a blog post on “Sportsmanship Tips for Armchair World Cuppers.”

What have you discovered so far from the World Cup?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Jane, I never would have pegged you for a soccer fan ... before we know it you'll have your own vuvuzela to blow and your own flag to wave! Enjoy the buzz ;-)


luv to hear your thots!