Balls of fire

Porn stars, witch doctors, elephant farts, and the worst soccer team on the planet take center stage at this summer’s World Cup
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG AND LANCE GOULD  |  June 1, 2010

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READ: "Fill Your Cup: No matter whose side you’re on, there’s a spot to quench your World Cup thirst," by Chris Faraone.
For one month every four years, the United States — try as it might — can’t impose its vacuous culture on the rest of the planet. The World Cup arrives and the Americans are, at best, an afterthought.

Humanity is, of course, better off for the break. A little samba in the stands is more interesting than Saw 12.

But if the world’s biggest sporting event, which kicks off in a fortnight (that’s soccer talk for “two weeks”), highlights the shortcomings of a nation in thrall of Jersey Shore, it is not entirely kind to the rest of the globe, either.

Look closely at the tourney, hosted by South Africa this time around, and you’ll see evidence of the ridiculous everywhere: an England clinging pathetically to its colonial past; a French penchant for the absurd; Africans struggling to shake off their affinity for hocus-pocus; and an Asian communist dictatorship trying to make sense of this whole capitalism thing.

Yes, the “Beautiful Game” is a rogue’s gallery of racist coaches, drunken fans, porn stars uttering naughty soccer double entendres, witch doctors, hand-wringing Brits, and deliriously happy Norsemen.

So throw on your kit and strap up your boots (you have no idea what we’re talking about, do you?) as the Phoenix offers up a geopolitical guide to the 2010 World Cup, with a heavy dollop of the ludicrous and profane.

This is soccer as a window onto the soul. And even the Americans, afterthought they may be, are in our sights.

The vindication of Sarah Palin?
Here in the States, those waiting on the Rapture could find themselves a bit bewildered on the morning of June 11. Look around the office at 10 am Eastern Time and suddenly all the hedonist liberals, feckless illegals, and other assorted sinners will be gone.

Has God whisked them away to meet Jesus at his return? the faithful will wonder. Have these wicked folk, in fact, been the almighty’s favored all along?

Perhaps. But all the Ivy-educated eggheads and job-stealing border crossers will be nowhere celestial that day. No, they’ll just be skipping out of work — typical, right? — to gather around the television, watch the first game of the World Cup, and plot the socialist revolution between free kicks.

Yes, soccer is a blue-state sport. Elitist and dangerously foreign. If President Barack Obama makes the trip to South Africa, he will surely stop off in his father’s Kenya on the way home to burn the last remaining copies of his birth certificate.

Final proof, this World Cup, of what the Sarah Palin crowd has known all along: Obamicans aren’t real Americans.

Post-Colonial hangover
All is not well in Londontown. The English are staring down debt of Grecian proportions. And after a couple of dour years under recently ousted Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the natives now have to put up with the insufferable David Cameron.

But at least there is football, right?

England, birthplace of the game, is once again quite optimistic about its chances. And it is, once again, quite certain to be disappointed.

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  Topics: Sports , Barack Obama, David Scharfenberg, David Cameron,  More more >
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