As I sit here watching the second game of the 2010 World Cup (Uruguay vs. France), I can't help but get caught up in all the excitement. I'm a soccer player myself and a sports fan in general (you may remember some of my posts about Yankees baseball).
(That's me with the ball! Picture taken by Sir Anonymous...the Great Photographer!)
Let's face it, despite the U.S.'s reluctance to jump on the bandwagon, soccer is truly a world sport. Sure there's events like the World Series and the Super Bowl that are highly anticipated in some countries, and there's the Olympics that celebrates sports on a world stage, but there's no single sport that captivates the world as the World Cup does.
Earlier today, I think a particular clip from the first game of the Cup (host country South Africa vs. Mexico, which ended in a 1-1 tie) sums up what I'm talking about. When South Africa scored in the 55th minute of the game, Desmond Tutu did a little dance to celebrate with the over 84,000 fans in Soccer City. This is a Nobel Prize winner who has spent his life fighting apartheid, and to see him display his pure joy over a goal was a reminder of how sports allow us all, for a minute, to set aside our differences and just revel in the simpleness of a game.
(Here's Archbishop Tutu busting a move at the FIFA 2010 World Cup Celebration.)
Tomorrow I'll be participating in my own quest for a championship when my New Haven team takes on Westport in the quarterfinals of the Southern Connecticut Women's Soccer League. Then I'll be watching at the U.S. team takes on England.