Monday, June 19, 2006

Football Poetry

Well, Spain came back, but there is still a chance for Tunisia if they can beat the Ukraine by two goals. The compilation The Beautiful Game in National Geographic (June 2006) really pumped me up for the World Cup. The map is awesome, especially the chart that shows that 218 million watched the Final in 2002 compared to 127 million for the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics and to 95 million for the 2004 Super Bowl. Given my interest in the Classics I particularly enjoyed Robert Coover's article Morality Play: Soccer as Theatre:

The explanations advanced for soccer's intense mysterious power, the trancelike quality of great matches, its worldwide domination over all other sports, have been many...Soccer has often been compared to Greek Tragedy, or seen as a kind of open-ended morality play. Perhaps the difficulty in scoring...intensifies this sense of theatre, causing the denouement--or collective catharsis--to be withheld almost always until the final whistle.

I hope to read some more of Coover's works in the future (on the web version of the article he supplies an article on Spain).

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