Doing the Geoffrey Boycott, Ronaldo Style
Soccer, football, kick-kick-goal, whatever you want to call it, is currently balls-deep into its greatest show, the FIFA World Cup; where good grace goes to die.
There have been more than a few utterances that any half decent person would turn their televisions off and eyes away from what is ultimately one huge middle finger pointed directly at humanity. Corruption? Check. Corporate greed? You betcha! Host nation with a questionable human rights record? Can I get an Amen?!
Yet, despite all this, there’s a good chance I’ll be watching it, though I truly hope not.
There are countless moments in our lives when our mettle is tested. Some of us stand tall, or kneel like Kaepernick, while most of us usually fold like a $20 bill neatly into the linings of our wallet. I am one of the latter – I don’t want to be, but I am. It is primarily due to a profound laziness, but also a fatalistic resignation that I can’t truly change anything so I may as well get my piece of the pie too. It’s a terrible confession, but at least I’m aware of it.
If the horrible, systematic corruption throughout FIFA isn’t enough to put steel into my spine, Russia’s questionable foreign policies and Israel Folau-like attitude to homosexuals might do it. We won’t want to go too deeply into all of that though, lest the fine editors of this publication find themselves victims of chemical assassination while draining their lattés down at Bronte Beach.
There is also, I admit, the mildest case of sour grapes. Deep down within me, in a dark place, perhaps one that can only be entered via a trapdoor, there is a voice whispering, “I wish we had been corrupt enough to host it.” I mean, corruption is great when you’re the one in the Gucci loafers, isn’t it?
But jokes aside, as I write this article I honestly have no idea which way I will go – heck, I don’t even know if I was joking about wanting those Gucci loafers. By the time this edition has been printed and delivered all over the Eastern Suburbs the tournament will be entering its knockout phase, and if Australia has made it I can almost guarantee my resolve will have disappeared into a wave of euphoric nationalism (unless I’m too sleepy to stay awake for the games, because sleepiness trumps everything these days).
The good thing is, if I do succumb, I’ll have another opportunity in four years to right this year’s wrongs. Because in four years we have Qatar, where good grace and migrant workers go to die.
Still, it would be nice to see Timmy Cahill go around one last time…