Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup Opening Round: Mexico or Iran?

Iran and Mexico are playing this moment in the World Cup. It is in the first period and the score is 1-0 Mexico.

My Daughters and Wife have a view that world events and strategic relationships mean nothing in the World Cup, or in Soccer, or in any sport for that matter. They see it as about the players and coaches and fans. I respect that point of view: for the players, coaches, and fans it is exactly correct when one does not factor in the ‘National Pride’ thing that is attached as well. It is no different, except in scale, than ‘civic pride’ when your city’s football team wins the Super Bowl, or school pride when your college team wins a championship or beats a long-time rival.

Iran just scored. It is now tied at 1-1

I can’t ignore the National Pride thing, so which team should I pull for?

On the one hand, you have a team for an unstable country led by a mad frontman with a bevy of gnome-like mullahs pulling his strings, also intent on building a nuclear bomb while simultaneously threatening to use it against neighboring and distant countries.

On the other hand, you have an unstable country led by the whims of corruption more than anything else, and actively trying to control and destabilize the United States through use of a population bomb.

Hmmmmm. I’m pulling for (what I think is a slight underdog)……….. Iran!

Iran doesn’t have an inferiority complex that I’m aware of, the government is NOT representative of the people or the culture overall and soccer success could contribute to a decline in the influence of the radical clerics. And most of all because in the Persian culture, it is not acceptable behavior to throw human waste products and batteries at their opponents, take “drama queen” dives trying to draw a foul, or chant “Osama” during a game.

Update: Dang. The Iranian side held tough until the 75th minute, and didn't get their groove back until about the 80th. Mexico wins 3-1. Dang again.

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