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Must World Cup fever take over everything?

This month’s Carnival of Evolution has a World Cup theme, and I’m sorry, but I haven’t even watched a single game, so that side of it left me lost and confused.

Apparently, in the evolutionary blog world, Canada has won the World Cup this year.

Comments

  1. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Of course World Cup Fever is taking over everything. FIFA was created by Obama (with his time machine) so that he could divert our attention from all of his crimes. His constant cheerleading of soccer dragged even Real Americans into the den of soccer iniquity just so we will all ignore Benghazi. At the same time, he also snubbed America! by pointedly ignoring our ignominious loss to the Belgians by not attending and thereby insuring that we lose which somehow increases our interest in FIFA while insulting the USA! USA! USA! and taking our attention away from important things like how do we give even bigger tax breaks to the billionaires?

  2. Artor says

    Ogvorbis, are you channeling Modusoperandi? Or is this a WordPress bug, putting the wrong names with people’s posts?

  3. says

    Since soccer is a sport (or so I am informed), I pay no attention to it. Not even my Portuguese genes can make me watch a game. In fact, I haven’t paid attention to any sports spectacular since the Fischer-Spassky world chess championship in Reykjavik in 1972. (Still recovering from that.)

  4. Trebuchet says

    Having followed the link, I think the fix was in. How could a spider that masquerades as bird poop not be the hands down winner? Instead, it didn’t even make the round of 16!

    Oh, and PZ, don’t worry. The World Cup will soon be over. On the other hand, the Tour de France started this morning!

  5. shouldbeworking says

    Some people even think the World Cup is more important the Olympic hockey final games!

  6. erik333 says

    Tuor du Epo hueh? Guess that’s what you go for if FIFA isn’t corrupt enough? ;)

  7. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Al Dente:

    You mean the Tour de Drogues Améliorant la Performance?

    (I love the Tour de France. The strategy, the teamwork, the coopetition, the scenery, the drama.)

  8. alexanderz says

    Rich Woods #2:

    Or not, if you’re English.

    Shouldn’t you be used to it by now?

  9. twas brillig (stevem) says

    coopetition
    fascinating portmanteau: cooperation + competition.
    Updating my dictionary of colloquialisms. :-D

  10. michaelvester says

    Soccer is very slow Brownian motion. Baseball. football, basketball and hockey are slightly faster Brownian motion.

  11. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    twas brillig:

    “Coopetition” is a NASCARism. I heard it from an ex-racer who was providing colour commentary on a broadcast.

  12. says

    Soccer is very slow Brownian motion. Baseball. football, basketball and hockey are slightly faster Brownian motion.

    Slower than baseball? Don’t think so. Slower than American football, the sport that crams 11 minutes of action into 3 hours? Debatable.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    Must World Cup fever take over everything?

    Yes, and thank you for asking.
    Betteridge’s Law of Headlines denied!

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    tacitus #19: Slower than American football, the sport that crams 11 minutes of action into 3 hours? Debatable.

    Today’s world cup games had scores of 1-0 and 0-0. I can’t recall ever seeing an American football game with that low a score.

  15. Olav says

    Reginald #21:

    Today’s world cup games had scores of 1-0 and 0-0. I can’t recall ever seeing an American football game with that low a score.

    Then again a high or low “score” is largely irrelevant in proper football. How does the game progress/unfold is what fascinates the spectators. And of course who wins at the the end, preferably after a lot of suspense.

    It appears to be a misunderstanding on the part of too many people that a sport can only be interesting if there are lots of statistical points that can be scored. That appears to me to be a form of concrete thinking that stands in the way of enjoying a good game.

  16. Dick the Damned says

    Today’s opening stage in the TDF, held in Yorkshire, England, was a pleasure to watch. Too bad about the crash in the final sprint, but that’s sport.

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Tour de France in England????? Verified!!! Swoon…..

  18. Dick the Damned says

    Nerd, this year’s Giro d’Italia started in Northern Ireland, then moved down to Dublin. It’s not at all unusual for the Grand Tours to move outside their home countries, although the Vuelta a España isn’t quite so adventurous as the other two.

    There’s even been talk about the TDF starting in the USA. That might remain as just talk.

  19. Nick Gotts says

    alexanderz@14,

    At the start of the World Cup, the satirical mag Private Eye had a cover showing the England team disembarking from their plane in Brazil, with a speech bubble from the cockpit: “Shall I keep the engine running?”.

  20. says

    Short answer: yes
    By now I’m reacting to football like Pawlov’s dog.
    I think I might even enjoy watching a game or two if not for the fact that every other year (world cup and European championship) everybody else demanded that I stop my life for 4 fucking weeks and do nothing but football, complete with mandatory patriotism

  21. says

    Olav @ 22

    Also factor in the basic concept that 1 goal = 1 point, versus American Football or even basketball.

    Not sure what score has to do with the Brownian Motion concept in the first place, Reginald. Soccer is much faster motion than even basketball.

    Not that I like sports. Organized sports, watching said sports, and commercial sports even less. People have tried to fool me with talk about the incredible tactics and strategy of American football, but it seems like so much sophistimicated theology to me.

  22. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re Soccer = Brownian Motion :
    to the unsophistimicated eye, Soccer is just a ball being randomly kicked around a big field of green stuff, exactly like a small dust particle bouncing around a roomful of air, analyzed by Brown who identified it eponymously, “Brownian Motion”.
    Oh, I see. You knew that, I misread your, “Not sure what score has to do with the Brownian Motion concept…“. I missed the part that I bolded there. I have to agree, score has nothing to do with the Brownian part. Other than the concept of the goal net being what that particle eventually gets caught in after being nudged there by the Brownian chaos previous.

  23. says

    Glad to know that “things that people enjoy that are different from the things I enjoy and are therefore stupid” is still a strong force amongst the enlightened.

    Also, the English should have no problem with the word Soccer, since they invented it, it’s short for “association football” to differentiate from “rugby football”. In America the three sports were popular at different times and thus the terminology separated into rugby, football and soccer.

    I for the life of me don’t understand people who are unreasonably proud of the fact that they don’t like/watch sports. I don’t like/watch opera, do I get medal for that?

  24. Olav says

    Lou Doench #31:

    I for the life of me don’t understand people who are unreasonably proud of the fact that they don’t like/watch sports.

    I like to watch cycling and a bit of World Cup football, but I think I do understand those who are sports haters. They seem to associate sports with uncivilised behaviour (fanaticism, hooliganism, nationalism and such) both on and off the field. I share their disgust of these phenomena and although I do enjoy watching a well played match on TV I would never set foot in a stadium or be a “fan” of any specific football club.

    I don’t like/watch opera, do I get medal for that?

    No. It also depends on what sort of opera you don’t like and watch. You can probably be forgiven for not liking anything to do with Wagner. But don’t you dare hating Marita Sølberg, my favourite singer ;-)

  25. Rich Woods says

    @alexanderz #14:

    Shouldn’t you be used to it by now?

    Yup. So much so that I even remember supporting Scotland in 1978, when England didn’t qualify. Happy days…

  26. lordshipmayhem says

    Of course Canada won.

    It’s the skates. Makes us blindingly fast.

  27. erik333 says

    @31 Lou Doench

    Why don’t you call it american handball or padded rugby or something? Would make more sense.

  28. procrastinatorordinaire says

    @Olav #31:

    I would never set foot in a stadium or be a “fan” of any specific football club.

    One of the most memorable events in my life was travelling to Milan by bus with the Ultras of AC Torino. We stopped in Asti for more supporters who brought pintoni and salumi with them. They taught us the songs as we travelled, and shared their food and drink. On arrival we were shepherded by rather surly armed police into the lower tiers of the San Siro stadium and watched AC Torino get beaten 1-0 by Inter Milan. It was an amazing experience.

  29. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    In case anyone missed it, Ogvorbis @4 is channeling Ann Coulter.

    Any growing interest in soccer a sign of moral decay.

    If more ‘Americans’ are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.

    (And for the record, as far as I know three of my great-grandfathers were born in the US, which I guess explains why I’ve seen about a quarter of the matches.)

  30. scienceavenger says

    @19 Slower than American football, the sport that crams 11 minutes of action into 3 hours? Debatable.

    Would chess be better if we made them move faster? That 11 minutes (which is actually quite larger, 11 is a myth) is far more action than all the World Cup games combined, especially if you eliminate all the time the players are, at most, walking briskly, and add extra “action” points for number of players involved and severity of impact. There’s a reason football can’t be played much more than once a week.

    Though you have to hand it to the World Cup, they have improved over previous years, scored a whopping 23 goals in the 12 tournament matches so far. /sarcasm I don’t care what the rules of a team sport are, if your best teams are scoring less than 1 point apiece, you are doing something wrong. To that point…

    @22 It appears to be a misunderstanding on the part of too many people that a sport can only be interesting if there are lots of statistical points that can be scored. That appears to me to be a form of concrete thinking that stands in the way of enjoying a good game.

    It’s not about points. If that were our measure we’d have to call cricket and basketball the best sports out there. It’s about doing things that effect who wins or loses, which is the difference between “sport” and “artistic performance”. If all you are doing is kicking a ball back and forth; you aren’t scoring points, you aren’t physically wearing down the other side, or setting up a punch-counter-punch scenario for later in the game, or doing ANYTHING that effects who the winner or loser is, then it holds interest for the fans of the artistic performance (ie people who have played soccer), not the sport (the rest of us), the same as if you were watching jugglars.

    @29 People have tried to fool me with talk about the incredible tactics and strategy of American football, but it seems like so much sophistimicated theology to me.

    I hope you are being sarcastic, because I asure you its quite real. It’s combat chess, and is very complicated, which is why you shouldn’t let the brutes and idiots turn you off the sport. It really has a lot too offer the thinking fan.

  31. says

    Lou Doench

    I for the life of me don’t understand people who are unreasonably proud of the fact that they don’t like/watch sports. I don’t like/watch opera, do I get medal for that?

    There are a few differences:

    -Social life in general does not get scheduled around opera season
    -Nobody puts up a huge screen because Turandot is on so you can watch it at a social gathering that was planned as family time
    -People don’t start randomnly talking about the opera and suggest that you need your head examined because you have neither clue nor interest in what they’re talking about.
    -It is not generally acceptable that opera fans drive through the streets at 1am playing Aida from their audio systems as loudly as possible and it is not expected that non opera fans who start working at 6am just take it.

  32. prfesser says

    -Social life in general does not get scheduled around opera season
    -Nobody puts up a huge screen because Turandot is on so you can watch it at a social gathering that was planned as family time
    -People don’t start randomnly talking about the opera and suggest that you need your head examined because you have neither clue nor interest in what they’re talking about.
    -It is not generally acceptable that opera fans drive through the streets at 1am playing Aida from their audio systems as loudly as possible and it is not expected that non opera fans who start working at 6am just take it.

    The music departments of most colleges/universities aren’t allocated disproportionate amounts of money to train opera singers.
    Most opera singers are not tacitly permitted to flout laws, beat up people, bite other singers, and in general act in a manner that is inappropriate for human beings.

  33. erik333 says

    @38 scienceavenger

    Though you have to hand it to the World Cup, they have improved over previous years, scored a whopping 23 goals in the 12 tournament matches so far. /sarcasm I don’t care what the rules of a team sport are, if your best teams are scoring less than 1 point apiece, you are doing something wrong.

    It’s interesting how you wear your ignorance like a badge of honor as you bless us with your opinion.

    It’s not about points.

    I could’ve sworn you just said that it was.

    It’s about doing things that effect who wins or loses, which is the difference between “sport” and “artistic performance”. If all you are doing is kicking a ball back and forth; you aren’t scoring points, you aren’t physically wearing down the other side, or setting up a punch-counter-punch scenario for later in the game, or doing ANYTHING that effects who the winner or loser is, then it holds interest for the fans of the artistic performance (ie people who have played soccer), not the sport (the rest of us), the same as if you were watching jugglars.

    So, you personally don’t know the first thing about football tactics and strategy. We guessed already.

    It’s combat chess, and is very complicated, which is why you shouldn’t let the brutes and idiots turn you off the sport.

    Are the “brutes and idiots” the fans or the players?

    It really has a lot too offer the thinking fan.

    Except artistic performance I guess.

  34. chigau (違う) says

    srsly
    We’re all talking about OurFavoriteSport® and no one has used the word ‘nuance’?
    wtf

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