A week ago, in Bogota, I asked a cab driver which team he wanted to win the World Cup. “Does it matter?” he asked back. “Colombia is not playing, so why should I care?” Half a mile ahead, he failed to hit a bus by an inch. “You almost killed us,” I said. “Would it have mattered that much?” he replied. I don’t know whether he was referring to the fact that he didn’t find me valuable enough through the rear-view mirror, or to the fact that, now that we weren’t worthy enough to participate in the World Cup, we might as well try to score a goal under a bus.
I’m finding that I’m reticent to talk about soccer. For one thing, I don’t know much about the game. I have never followed a league championship and, despite being from a soccer-loving country (Colombia), I have never rooted for any local team. After having followed religiously seven World Cups, my ignorance has never subsided and my interest has not increased. With few exceptions, I don’t even remember who won when. I ignore soccer history and my memory seems to be refractory to it. Should I confess, then, that I don’t really care about soccer?