Premier League

Booze, ‘Birds’, Betting. Why On Earth Do We Love The World Cup?

Looking forward to the World Cup? Well I am. In this tedious trap we call life, grinding you down in the most muffled manner, there’s not much to look forward to. Waiting for the bus, waiting to pay for a cereal bar, waiting till that irritating tit at work shuts that ugly hole in their ugly, irritating, jabbering face. It’s not fun is it? Nope, there’s not much that can coax out a slither of excitement or raw emotion. But the World Cup can. Now I’m not just talking about the World Cup as the pinnacle of the sport. I’m talking about everything that goes with it, the whole shebang, from an individual fan’s point of view (i.e. my point of view). So, let’s have a look at five lovable things about that lovable World Cup:

1. The collective: The likes of French sociologist Gustav Le Bon concluded that crowds are essentially irrational, driven to mass collective action by emotion and not rational argument. This is probably true – and is the reason why caution must be held (his ideas were drawn upon and vulgarised by fascist leaders in the 1930s) – but, in its most pure and benevolent guise, the inclusive collective group can be a beautiful place; particularly when everyone is united behind a cause like the World Cup.

Indeed, the World Cup campaign is possibly one of the only places this togetherness and bonding behind the nation can feasibly be found; often in the pub, with that heavenly warming sensation of a creeping drunken haze. But whether in the pub, at home on the sofa, with friends or with family, it’s nice to experience emotion (rather than the usual dull nothingness) and – whether jubilation or despair – it’s nice to do so in a big nationwide group.

2. A little flutter: A few quid on the football is always nice, but it’s particularly fun during the World Cup: studying the form, the markets and the spotting the value, carefully making your selections, with real expectation, and then usually ripping up your bet slip prematurely. Of course there’s always one mate that takes it too far; lumping it all on and quivering in the corner of the pub, praying for Italy to equalise. Best bets at this stage: group betting accumulators (to qualify, not to qualify and dual forecasts).

3. The Girls (and boy’s): It wouldn’t be a World Cup without television cameras hovering over beautiful girls longer then is justifiably necessary. Ah, just look them all, all these curious charming creatures, all gathered together: Italians, Spanish, Koreans and Brazilians, especially Brazilians, there’s so much to behold. It’s a little puerile, yes, and shallow but it’s only that we appreciate the aesthetic beauty of life, yeah? Plus it’s the cameraman’s fault; the little pervert. But because this isn’t a sexist site, and in the interest of balance, we should also say there’s all those muscular men on show too; have you not seen Crouch? Mmmmm he’s bloody gorgeous.

4. (All) the games / the dark horse / keeping an eye on your players (yeah, I’m squeezing it all in): I don’t know about you, but I like watching every game possible. The teams and the games that usually you wouldn’t care about take on some majestic quality, often spawning the most entertaining exhibitions. There’s also the dark horse to look out for. Euro 2008 saw Turkey as both the dark horse and also providing great entertainment; it’ll be interesting to see who does so during this World Cup: keep an eye on Serbia. Lastly it’s nice to follow and keep track on your clubs players throughout the tournament; they’re representing, and you want them to put on a good show…though not too good, we don’t want any poachers now do we? I’ll be keeping an eye on the likes of Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, Holland and USA (two bonus points for a correct answer… yes, that’s right, Everton)

5. The build-up: who will win it, who’ll crash out, the Brazilians look strong, but what about Maradona hey? Van Persie for top scorer? The songs, the coverage, the chatter, ah, I love it all. The expectation! England expects; yeah we’re probably all deluded, yeah our hope will probably be cruelly dashed, yeah I’ve got carried away and pissed myself, but its fun why it lasts.

So, put World In Motion on, get excited, punch the walls, and lets go, go…run out into the streets and express yourself, (create the space), you know you can win, (don’t give up the chase)…and for those who try and negate from your viewing experience in anyway or say ‘oh, it’s only a game’, or anything of that ilk, well they can just absolutely f**k right off, yeah, Yeah? You with me?! ….oh

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/jonathanellisTT

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