I watched a little soccer on the weekend and thought there was a problem with my television reception because of a peculiar buzzing noise. It turns out it’s merely soccer fans blowing annoying horns all game. Hearing loss will be their just punishment. I’m sure some of these zealous fans would be the first to look you in the eye and say, “It’s the beautiful game.”
I like soccer well enough but I don’t have anyone to cheer for. Here in Toronto it seems it’s all about cheering for the country your family left when they came to Canada. My family came from Poland, but that was a long time ago, and aside from cooking up some traditional Polish foods on holidays, I don’t have much of a tie to that country. Back in our old neighbourhood, I cheered for Portugal, because when in the little Azores, do as the little Azorians do. Many of the houses around St. Clair and Caledonia would typically hang two flags at the start of World Cup…Portugal and Brazil. When Portugal got knocked out, Portuguese flags would be discretely rolled up, and eveyone would cheer for Brazil.
In my new neighbourhood, nobody drives around honking their horns, so I have to remind myself the tournament is on. Meanwhile, if anyone has suggestions as to who I should cheer for, let me know, OK?
Italy, their team always looks like a boy band.
But Brazilians throw an awesome party in my neighbourhood too.
I don’t understand those annoying horns, either.
With age one gains a certain expertise with soccer. Since I am old I can now consider myself an expert even though I have never been able to endure an entire game. Here is some advice drawn from my years of ummmm experience.
1) Never call it soccer. Real soccer fans call it football and if you call it soccer you immediately mark yourself as a n00b.
2)Go buy a tape of some old soccer game and play it instead of watching the world cup games. This is better than watching a game live for a number of reasons. You will get better reception. No commercials. And since all you really see in a soccer game anyways is players standing around waiting for either a bus or for someone to kick the ball to them you really wont be able to tell the difference anyways. Don’t worry about missing the real game, I can tell you right now that the score was 1 – 0. And with the tape you can read who won on the box so you will know who to cheer for.
3)The flag deal is a bit more tricky. You need multiple flags but be careful of which ones. For example never fly the flag of say Israel, Palestine, Iran, or any of the countries even close to Jugoslavia or you risk non soccer violence. This is the reason that the flags of Brazil, Portugal, and Italy are so popular – nobody seriously wants to bomb them. I suggest starting with Italy because some of your neighbours are likely Italian and they might invite you over for a beer. Then every week you can simply switch flags to some random choice. I suggest tossing in the flag of Ontario and the Jolly Roger just to see if folks are paying attention.
4)You need to pay attention to who wins games and have a selection of those car flags handy. The plan here is that when a team wins you attach the appropriate flag to one of your newfs and parade it around the neighborhood. If you have some neighbors with long lost relatives from that country they will immediately recognize you as a kindred spirit and invite you to join their celebrations. More free beer.
That really is all you need to know about soccer. Go Go Belgium!
I always cheer for Italy despite the fact that my family is so English we’re practically related to the Queen. I don’t think you necessarily have to cheer for the team of your ancestors. I generally have a favourite team per continent and as they fall off as the tournament progresses, I will narrow it down. Italy, however as I mentioned, is always number 1 on my list 🙂
And yes, those horns are annoying – however, after watching 5 games this weekend, I barely notice them anymore.