Thursday, June 22, 2006

the greater goal

I've said that one of the things I like about the World Cup is that I can root for the US and not feel like you are rooting for the Yankees vs. the Twins, for Muncie Central vs. Hickory High, for Goliath vs. David. Then I read stories about tomorrow's match vs. Ghana with angles like:
[Ghana's win over Czechoslovakia in the last game] created Carnival-like celebrations back home, where the Accra Daily Mail compared it to the day the nation gained its independence in 1957.

Thursday will be a half-holiday in the country, and everyone will be allowed to leave work at noon to watch the match. Randy Abbey, a spokesman for the team, estimated that "99 percent" of the country will watch. Several of them will gather in town squares wearing Lance Armstrong-type bracelets that say, "Black Stars 2006, Believe It -- Believe It!"
And I think, even though Ghana is favored vs. the US tomorrow, it would be sort of nice if Ghana won.

I am not so unpatriotic* as to actively take pleasure in the US losing, even in sports where the US has not just size and resources but seemingly greater interest, like softball and those extreme-games-like sports that are part of the Winter Olympics. There is this online site from the World Development Movement that contains various statistics on the countries and gives their rankings in terms of "cheerworthiness." They have Ghana ranked first and the US ranked 30th (of 32). Given the politics of those running the site, I wondered what two nations they would rank worse than the United States. Iran? No, Iran doesn't come out so bad. Instead, it turns out there were two nations (Serbia-Montenegro and Togo) for which they did not have enough information to provide a ranking.

* I'm not unpatriotic at all! I'm more, well, mostly non-patriotic. Actually, I do have a really strong patriotish streak, but instead of for the United States, it's just for Iowa. If Minnesota or Nebraska ever tried to invade Iowa, I would quit my job immediately, travel back there, and volunteer for service in whatever way I could help.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel that way about my county. The rest of the state can go to hell.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Uh oh. Have I mentioned that a major form of recreation amongst the lowerclassmen at my undergraduate institution was driving to Iowa to steal corn?

Anonymous said...

Muncie Central vs. Milan is the appropriate comparison (unless you meant to reference the Hollywood version of the game).

jeremy said...

Anon 8:10: I am aware of this. Indeed, I bought the special edition _Hoosiers_ DVD just because it had the video of the Muncie Central vs. Milan game, which I would recommend seeing if you haven't (although watch the first 3 1/2 quarters on 2x or 4x).

Anonymous said...

i wasn't aware of the existence of this DVD. thank you.

carly said...

Well, you know, Serbia-Montenegro is two countries playing as one for the time being. So that probably screws up the whole cheerworthiness equation.

Jim said...

Never underestimate Missouri.

dorotha said...

if someone tried to invade texas, i'm sure my statespeople woudn't need me. i'd probably just encourage my family to migrate away from whichever border was being contested. anyway, i'm quite sure texas would win.

if some group of people tried to invade the woodlands, unincorporated development of my youth, i would probably join forces with the opposition. even if they were androids or mole people. my "hometown" needs to be taken down a peg.

Anonymous said...

If someone ever invaded Texas, I'd hope it was Mexico. And I'd tell them to keep it. Let's see how the minutemen deal with that!