Feb 6, 2008

Sorry, But I Don't Care About USA-Mexico...

...or any other international friendlies. And neither should you. They're boring. We're talking about exhibition games here, okay folks? Nothing's at stake other than "bragging rights," which in this case comes down to nationalism. I don't like nationalism. It's caused too much trouble, including all of last century's most bloody conflicts. And to what end? At least religion inspired people to paint the ceilings of churches and what-have-you. Nationalism just inspires people to kill each other.

This doesn't mean I eschew international competitions wholesale. The world cup is good fun--great fun, even--and I will also watch the Euro championship, Copa America, Gold Cup, etc. Those tournaments at least represent a means to an end, with a number of national teams competing against each other for an ultimate prize. Okay, that's still vaguely fascist, but then so too is GDP. But we need a way to measure a country's economic output just like we need a way to gauge its soccer output. The international cups fit this need, even if it is flawed and sometimes corrupt system (so too is democracy, after all).

Friendlies are little better than the all-star contests U.S. sports leagues put on every year: over-hyped barely-disguised money-making schemes that are forgotten almost as soon as they are played (unless of course there is some kind of "border war" or other "bragging right" involved or it results in violence or scandal). The level of play is far inferior to club competitions for obvious reasons: few of the players have trained or competed together before and many are not familiar with the coaches' playing styles or tactical formations. Over the course of a month-long tournament like the world cup, national teams can and do gel to the point where they are as tight--or more so--than club sides. But that will never be accomplished in a few days.

So please, spare me this stuff. USA-Mexico? I'll take a pass. Let me know when the games count toward something again.

Photo taken from pe.com without permission.

3 comments:

  1. Gotta disagree with your analogy. The friendlies are exhibitions, yes, but are much more analagous to spring training games than all-star games. They are anything but meaningless to the players who are trying to secure a spot with the national team or the established players who are learning to develop chemistry with players they are only on the field with a handful of times a year. This chemistry is essential for any team that wants success in competitions like the World Cup.

    I agree that the results matter little. The games, on the ohter hand, matter quite a bit.

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  2. Don't tell the players that they don't mean anything... They seemed to go into tackles hard enough.

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  3. your a jerk off, do you know what you have just said. In all your rambling, all you said was stupidity. I mean come on FIFA pay almost no attention to these two teams and thats why you dont think much of them. So thats why they try to get the "big bosses" to look at them.

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