World Cup season is upon us. My television is full of games, repeats of those games (condensed and not condensed) and a whole lot of commentary about those games. My students, often proudly wearing their nation’s jerseys or waving flags, are chatting non stop about the game. They have begged me to watch the game in class on at least one occasion. I suspect in the coming weeks, this will become a regular occurrence.
There are positives and negatives to all of this. It is great to see such enthusiasm in people. There is a hum in the air, and electric vibe if you will. In most cases, I can tell they are talking about the World Cup, even though I can’t hear what they are saying. They are either discussing the latest controversial calls, the penalties or lack of penalties, the game, or making plans to watch the game. All in all, that’s pretty exciting.
There are a few negatives, sadly. One downside is that my students are not really paying attention to school. The begging to watch the game which seemed cute on the first day, will grow pretty tiring by the end of it all.
Also, probably since I am not a fan, the marketing looks rather insincere. When the Olympic hockey was on, the sports channels proudly proclaimed it “our game”. For the Soccer World Cup, the same station is calling it something similar. While I guess it might be true for some, it doesn’t ring true for me. It just seems like shameless marketing. Of course, what this means is that I am a victim of marketing. They manipulated me before, and now they are manipulating someone else. I guess I am more upset at myself than them.
In the end, I hope my students and everyone else enjoys this month of soccer. I hope no ill feelings are created by these games. I hope this tournament creates some happiness in the world.