1994 World Cup

Fat Players Got No Reason
June 20, 2010

Soccer, unlike baseball or football, is not a sport which lends itself to portly participants. In football the offensive linemen can resemble sumo wrestlers, and no one can argue that baseball’s David Ortiz and Joba Chamberlain are not at least slightly rotund. This largess makes sense when it comes to protecting a quarterback from the blitz or hitting a fastball out of the park. But in soccer, the fluidity of the game dictates that all players save the keepers be in a constant state of motion for all ninety minutes.

Nation, Nostalgia
June 18, 2010

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.

The Turnips
July 04, 1994

The best-selling sports video in England at the moment is titled "Do I Not Like That." The sports section of The Independent on Sunday newspaper contains a column called "Do I Not Like That." On t.v. a few weeks ago, the hosts of a satirical soccer program wore t-shirts bearing the phrase "Do I Not Like That." A recent c.d. release on the hip Too Pure label is titled "Pop (Do We Not Like That?)." In a t.v. advertisement for the yellow pages, a middle-aged, slightly nerdish man exclaims, "Do I not like orange!" when offered a choice of colors for the goods he wants to order.