Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The Pickup Game as a Model for Peace?
"Over the centuries, there have been many utopian schemes for world peace, now mostly consigned to the ash heap of history, but soccer offers a vision of how such a world order might actually work. There are none of the vague platitudes you hear at UNESCO conferences; the sport allows for plenty of competition; it's not just about love and brotherhood, as witnessed by the recent World Cup. People push, shove and sometimes foul. They want to win. But they must subordinate even the fiercest rivalries to the game itself. If a fight breaks out, the game stops. No one wants that...All right, all right, so maybe it's not a model for world peace. So how about "world play?"
"This is not to say that national identity didn't matter. The Arabs and Africans favored showboat dribbling and cartwheeling bicycle kicks in front of the goal. Irish, English and Americans like me preferred a more team-oriented, ball-control style. The more repressive the political system, it seemed, the more individualistic the soccer. These styles mixed and meshed and sometimes clashed, but when a long pass arced across the mouth of the goal, no one was thinking of the ethnicity of the person who passed it, only of heading it into the back of the net."
from Bernie DeKoven's FunLog