A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Marital Differences, ESPN, and the Meaning of Life.

Yes, I have a mixed marriage. It has created difficulties over the years, but every now and then, it becomes very ugly around the Cornelius home.

I love sports. I love dancing. My husband? Not so much on either count. Now five hours on the Playstation Playing SSX Tricky? Him: Yay! Me: Eye rolling disbelief.

It is now one of those bad times. It is World Cup time, and I love what the rest of the world calls futbol. It all started when I was in elementary school, and we played soccer at luchtime recess. I then played casually with with friends in German Club in high school.

Then I became a "soccer mom." I got hooked. I followed the exploits of Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Cobi Jones, Marcelo Balboa, Eric Wynalda, Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain as much as I could in a country which is not so soccer-crazy.

See, I wanted to watch soccer on cable, by ESPN usually preempts coverage in favor of the World Dominoes Tournament or some other red-blooded American sport. Plus, the husband kept saying we couldn't afford it for years, so I suffered.

But here we are! Hours of coverage on ESPN2! I was ASTOUNDED that ESPN managed to find time in its thrilling schedule of showing thrill-fests such as bowling, billiards, poker, and dominoes to actually devote programming time to an endeavor in which the participants actually RUN and come into contact with each other and drip sweat. Here are my sentimental favorites, the Aussies, after they kicked Japan's butt in a big upset. Three goals in the last 10 minutes to come from behind! Good on ya, mates!

I would just like to say to the folks at ESPN: Dominoes is NOT a sport, and we don't want to watch the World Domino Championships and a bunch of middle aged guys communicating in code to each other about the domino they're going to play. Give us SPORTS! If you HAVE to go exotic, here are some suggestions: rugby, lacrosse, martial arts tournaments, cricket, Australian Rules Football, and how about some SOCCER?! I mean what's next-- tiddlywinks? Rock, Paper, Scissors? (Oh, please go read this link!)

Now here's a picture that arouses nothing but disgust in me. Who were those people on the pitch wih the Czechs? Everytime the USA had the ball, they were retreating, fer-cryin'-out-loud. News flash: One's chances of scoring a goal increase if you get CLOSER to the goal (that's the "meaning of life" part.) Here's Claudio Reyna continuing to do what our team did for over 90 minutes-- grovel. And has anyone filed a missing person's report on DaMarcus Beasley?

Well, the USA still has the Italians to face. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying this World's Cup. And if you haven't tried it, try tuning in for a game.


At 6/13/06, 2:32 PM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

I have a mixed marriage too. When we first got our house, we had the biggest TV screen around (now it's the smallest), and my wife's family came over screaming, yelling, betting, bargaining, totally insane over the world cup.

They still can't get over how little difference it made to me.

At 6/13/06, 3:04 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Oh, come on, NYC, reach out and share this with 95% of the planet.

The poetry! The strategy! The patient evlution of the opportunity! The rooting for the underdog! It's like teaching, but more aerobic.

At 6/14/06, 3:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, I know jack about soccer and most other sports, but...

Don't be dissin' bowling :)

Extreme feat of physical prowess? Perhaps not. Requires strategy and some know-how to do it well? Sure. A sport? If curling's considered a sport...so is bowling.

That said, perhaps I'll tune in :)

At 6/14/06, 7:07 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Ummm, I never said curling's a sport ;-)

But hurling-- the Irish stickball game-- now THAT'S a sport!

At 6/14/06, 7:59 PM, Blogger NYC Educator said...

OK--here's the thing--I'm equally disinterested in watching any and all sports. My father and brother thought there was something wrong with me. I still can't get remotely interested when people, any people, start talking about sports, any sports.

I used to get marginally interested when a NY team would win, but Giuliani's love for the Yankees convinced me they must be basically evil. Otherwise why would he like them?

At 6/14/06, 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curling rocks! After moving to Canada, I found out about the joys of a good curling match. "Men with Brooms" should be on your to-see movie list.

Right now, it's Stanley Cup finals time. Do you think I'll ever get to watch TV around 6 pm on a game night? Nope.

At 6/15/06, 1:53 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Curling... rocks. gaaah!

I'm sorry, mellowout, I will have to fine you for that excessively bad pun. You are hereby condemned to sharpen the bristls of the brooms of curlers for all eternity!

At 6/16/06, 12:35 AM, Blogger Dan Edwards said...

I mildly follow el Cupo Mundal or what ever they call it here in Spanish California. I sort of got interested years ago after seeing how jazzed the guys I worked with at a local restaurant got about the games. That was back when powerhouse Deutschland was led by the great Klinsmann.....who is now coaching the German National team. I was proud of that goalie for Polska almost single-handedly stopped the German blitzkrieg..... only to be out manouevered after over 90 minutes of stopping German shots. It was a great defensive show, worthy of US footballs repeated goal-line stands. Hopefully, the Poles will at least score one goal in this years World Cup.....
Of course, Mexico is the favorate team around here..... I hope the US team doesn't embarass themselves any more.


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