Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup: Revolution Revisited

I am making a wild guess here that there are more people out there who are interested in the World Cup than not. It's just that most of the true fans are not here in the United States. But I'm guessing in Europe, Asia, South America... and especially this time in Africa, there are going to be a lot of people glued to some media outlet to keep up with "their team." That's what sports fans do.
We'll see what interest gets sparked here on Saturday when Team USA takes on... of all teams... England in their opening match in South Africa.

Sports sometimes becomes symbolic for much bigger, political struggles. And that's how I am feeling as we head into this match. It is really just a game between men on a field with a ball and a couple of nets. But this is an international match-up of an "us" vs. "them" that has lots of symbolism for the soccer underdog USA.

Those of us living in the Gulf Coast region of the United States would probably delight in our team kicking the crap out of the English and leaving their players bloodied and bruised... much like the ecology and economy of our poorest pockets down here in the south. If only Tony Hayward were allowed to play midfield! He wants his life back so badly. Cry that one to the fishermen who have seen their livelihood destroyed by the oil leak (which is more like a geyser), or to the people who live in the coastal communities watching the tarballs come ashore, or the wildlife and sea creatures who have lost their habitat. When we see the whites of the forwards eyes, will our team see the green and yellow of BP? Or just the images of what our greed has done to the Gulf of Mexico?

And then there is the rift between ++Rowan and reality and his punitive "new Pentecost" plan to boot our Church off the Anglican Consultative Council. How fitting it would be if it were a gay baptized member of the Episcopal Church who sends one sailing into the upper right corner of the net and leaves some sad loyalist and apologist for that wiggy Welsh man with the eyebrows... crawling back to the pub to cry in his beer. Let the poor sap blow his nose in a draft of ++Rowan's precious Anglican Covenant.

This is all fanatical fantasy on my part. I am pretty sure we are going to get our clocks cleaned in this match.

But, just as it is for this fan of the New England Patriots when we face the Oakland Raiders in American football, there is an additional history that makes Saturday's game more meaningful. No New England fan over 40 will soon forget watching Daryl Stingley lying paralyzed on the field of play, and Jack Tatum being totally unapologetic for crippling the man. "They Call Me Assassin". No, we just call you an asshole!

So it will be on Saturday between the United States and England. Current events have added new meaning to this game, bringing us 200+ years up to speed from when the real tea partiers were dumping his majesty's favorite beverage into Boston Harbor as a symbol of our discontent with the whole set-up.

May the best team win, and I hope it is us. Hope does spring eternal.

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