It’s Over, Now Please Shut Up

It’s World Cup Madness!

And I mean “madness” quite literally. The people who are actually into this crap require the sort of assistance only overmedication and electro-shock therapy can offer. Perhaps then they might be dissuaded from driving around town, honking their horns incessantly, and waving the flags of distant lands in a nationalistic fervor that would normally require accompanying goose-steps.

Ever since it was founded by a bunch of fur trappers and missionaries, North America has, quite correctly, not given a crap about soccer or football or the-most-tedious-game-ever-played (whatever you want to call it). At least the parts of North America that count, ie: not the third-world-nation bits.

Just give it up!I see no appeal in watching overpaid Eurotrash kick a ball into a net so huge, a paraplegic retard cut from the Special Olympics team could scarcely miss. And miss they do, in an attempt, I gather, to keep the game so mind-numbingly dull, no one watching ever wakes up long enough to look around and realize, “Hey, this sucks.” Goals are so infrequent, there’s time to publish an entire newspaper edition celebrating the fact that a goal has occurred, long before someone else manages to score a second. And apparently just hearing about a goal is every bit as exciting as witnessing one.

I was on a train, returning from Toronto, when multiple cell phones started going off at once in my car. Various people of various ethnic backgrounds answered all at once and, after a brief message from family or friends, responded in unison in the exact same manner.

“They scored?”

And this was said like it was some marvelous herald. The way someone reasonable, like you or I perhaps, might react to a piece of news by saying:

“They declared war?” or “The shuttle blew up again?” or “Sanitary napkins are 30% off at Wal-Mart?”

In the past, the correct reaction to this sort of behaviour was obvious and appropriately xenophobic: “Assimilate, you damn-dirty immigrants!” This is Canada, and you’re only allowed to get this excited when your city’s hockey team wins the Stanley Cup. Then, and only then, may you parade through the streets, screaming about the triumph of a bunch of guys you don’t actually know, who won a game you had nothing to do with. Destroy some property while you’re at it. Nothing says “team spirit” like an overturned bus and flaming storefronts.

But this year, for whatever reason, Canadians have forgotten their traditional hockey obsession that extends into the off-season (that being the last day of June to the first of August) and have developed not only a tolerance, but an affinity for the game. I can no longer point an accusing finger at “those weirdoes from Europe” or “those weirdoes from Asia” who are so into this crap, because the bars and the streets and A/V stores are filled with cheering twits who can’t get enough of men in shorts, running around a field as large as a Maritime province, playing fetch with their feet. Among them, in shocking numbers, are “those weirdoes from Canada” who seem to have given up and climbed on board the bandwagon with the rest of the planet.

Only they may be the biggest weirdoes of all. Because no matter how loud they cheer through the finals, Team Canada will never hear them. Not only was there no Canadian soccer team in the finals, there was no Canadian soccer team at The World Cup at all. I dread the day when we might actually put a qualifying team together and send them off to compete. Not only will the number of home-grown fans double, but I’ll be subjected to their obnoxiously long faces when Team Canada is eliminated before they even step off the plane.

Seriously, I’ll tell you guys right now: I’ll never watch a game and I’ll never give a damn. But if you want to win you have to go in with a plan. Here’s the plan. Break into the stadium the night before we play, hose the field down with water, and turn the air conditioning way up so it freezes. Our boys might have a fighting chance if they play on ice, but on grass, we can’t win shit.

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