Friday, June 09, 2006

An open letter to the media of America (of which The Ford is arguably a member, however tangientially), with apologies to the soon-to-be-ex-sportswriter who got to bear the early brunt of this Fury:

Dear schmucks.

The Ford gets it.

The World Cup is AWE.SOME.

Must you continue to bludgeon him over the head with this?

Especially considering this: The Ford agrees.

He loves the World Cup. Given more money, more vacation time, and less fear of dirty German hippies, he might have crossed the pond and taken in a few games himself this year.

The problem is this: The Ford is sick of articles about the World Cup, well, more properly, articles about the World Cup experience.

Unless this one is different. Is it? Tell me how. Is there a great player out there that will change The Ford's life, just by the experience of having seen him play, the way Pele wiped out poverty and disease 30 years ago in Brazil? Will there be BJs for the players after every third goal? For the fans? Will said dirty German hippie females (The Ford believes the German phrase is "Dirtenstankenpitz") be providing these services?

It's not that The Ford doesn't trust your judgment, mass media. Indeed, the simple fact that you're willing to pay him a living wage at The Official Newspaper suggests an generally copious amount of common sense.

It's just that he's tired of being told on how he's missing out on the world's greatest sporting event when, really, he's not. He likes the World Cup. He plans to watch as much of it as possible, an impressive feat, considering many of the games will be at his personal equivalent of 6 a.m., and he is without cable still.

He's been boning up on soccer, even beyond the few qualifiers he's watched in the past year. Just today, The Ford got into an argument with a coworker over whether David Beckham was England's key player. (Nope, despite what The Official Newspaper claims -- The Ford's going with Michael Owen, even with Wayne Rooney's super-top-double-secret-probation injury status.)

The World Cup is a fantastic spectacle, filled with the top athletes from 31 countries -- and, like, the 10th-string from the U.S., but that's enough to be competitive -- crazed fans, and plenty of just plain solid soccer playing, with goals and everything.

The Ford gets that.

And you apparently will never believe, despite The Ford's actual experience PLAYING SOCCER IN HIGH SCHOOL, that he does like soccer.

Not so much the MLS, but, y'know, that's not a rare opinion, as evidenced by, well, the low attendance and apparent lack of general fan support in cities without teams.

The Ford has watched many European and international soccer games, of my own accord, and enjoyed great portions of them.

Sure, The Ford makes jokes about soccer. He also makes jokes about baseball, football and hockey, and he spends a great deal of his disposable income going to games in those sports within easy reach of The Official Apartment. He might do the same for soccer games, were they within similarly easy reach of The Official Apartment. Unless the dirtenstankenpitz are in attendance. That's a stench too far, dear reader.

Suffice to say, this is not a rant against soccer.

This is a rant against having the World Cup shoved down his throat by everyone who's just discovered the damn game in this country, with the sole argument seeming to be, "Hey, THE WORLD seems to like it; you should, too."

Not so much you, mass media, since if we are to believe your suddenly spontanious outbursts, you've loved the game for years.

But you are vaguely enabling this by continuing to film/write/publish the frickin' stories about how Americans are totally missing out on this World Cup thing.

Which is fine. Maybe we are. But it'd be nice, if possible, if at all allowed by the powers that be, if you'd tell The Ford more about the tournament. Yes, it requires more work from you -- you might actually have to demonstrate some actual knowledge of the sport, and not just spew the same ol' numbers about how the world shuts down once every four years -- but it might actually get The Ford to read it.

Again, mass media, your judgment is generally sound; it's just that The Official Job frequently requires The Ford to read 50-60 damn stories from various sources -- and today, they were all hitting the "Why don't you love World Cup soccer?" nerve, already a bit raw this time of year.

I can't yell at the stories, so I'm going to yell at you, mass media. (Albeit by risking infuriating the random soccer lover who's equally sick of reading about World Cup Fever, both good and bad, and just came to The Ford for drunken tales of liquor, lust and ladies' love melons.) You do the same damn thing every time there's a Super Bowl, and this time, well, The Ford's had enough.

This article here, on (Fair warning: unless you're a member, you'll have to watch a commercial. The Ford can't guarantee it's worth it, since what commercial will be decided by The Commercial Gods, and they hate The Ford's personal brand of hubris -- because if referring to yourself constantly in the third person isn't one giant flashing-neon-sign of hubris, The Ford doesn't know what is.) does a good job of actually suggesting some of why this tournament -- this one, and not just the World Cup in general -- might be interesting. Of course, it takes the better part of its first page sloughing through the other crap, so it's a mixed bag, baby. (But ain't that life? Just ask The Commercial Gods.)

The point is this: The Ford likes soccer. He really does.

The Ford gets that the World Cup is HUUUUUGE. He really does.

But y'know what?

He got that four years ago, in South Korea.

He got it eight years ago, in France, and 12 years ago, right here in the U.S.

And, barring some freakish reversal of the laws of nature and/or The Ford's brain, it's a safe bet he'll get it in four years in South Africa.

Along with a barrage of voices from the mass media telling him why the World Cup is the most super-fantastic sporting event in the history of sporting events.

Though if that whole "BJs for the fans" thing The Ford made up is true, he might just be willing to cede the point.

Thus Ranteth The Ford.


Post a Comment

<< Home