MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: World Cup fever
Before I step forward with my prediction for today’s World Cup final, I should probably come clean with my knowledge of the beautiful game.
I never really played as a kid.
Sure I was a valuable member of the Silver Star Elementary Grade 7 boys team but I’m pretty sure everyone that tried out made the team.
Back in the day in this country it was more about baseball and that was my sport.
Not that I was an all-star or anything but I did pitch (I can still remember the refrain “Way to pitch, Mitch” that a few enthusiastic supporters used to shout when I was on a roll) and I hit the odd home run at the old green diamond at Lakeview, although never at the fenced one, much to my chagrin.
Some kids did play minor soccer back then, including my older brother, but the season conflicted with baseball pretty much so eventually you kind of had to choose, and I played ball well into my teens at Polson Park, they called it Babe Ruth back then.
However, my kids played soccer, still do (and not baseball even though one season I offered to pay for both but there were no takers, although now they blame me for their lack of experience on the diamond, ironic, huh?), so I enjoy watching the sport and understand it at the basic level.
Certainly I played it in the backyard with the kids when they were real young and might even have impressed them at one time with how high I could kick the ball. Heavy sigh.
Heck, I even helped coach it when the kids were younger but that had to stop when they eventually got to the age where they had the game figured out a little more than I did. Somewhere around six or seven I reckon.
Which, when I think about it, is when I wrapped up my minor hockey coaching career as well, for similar reasons.
However I’ve always enjoyed watching my kids play all sports, although I have to admit, like most Canadians, I find watching hockey a little more fast-paced and exciting and I get it a little more.
I’ve always had trouble with offside in soccer.
I’m not stupid and I stopped looking for the blueline several years ago but it seems to me, by the strict definition of what offside is in soccer to my limited understanding, sometimes it gets called and sometimes it doesn’t. Which means sometimes it seems goals count that looked like they were offside and sometimes they get waived off, but then what do I know so I keep my mouth shut.
However, again, that’s not to say I’m not into the World Cup specifically and soccer in general. It’s a wonderful sport that’s easy to play, cheap to participate in and translates so well around the world it’s easily the planet’s No. 1 sport and championship tournament.
And that’s a huge part of the appeal of the World Cup. It means so much to so many the stakes are enormous for all involved.
Of course that can mean conservatively played matches that end up 0-0 and are decided by penalty kicks, which drives me crazy, but here’s hoping someone scores early in today’s final and the pace accelerates from there.
So are you still waiting with bated breath for my World Cup prediction now that you know how knowledgable I am?
I thought so.
But I’ll give it to you anyway.
I’m just hoping for a good game and I think it will be. It says here Argentina scores first but Germany ends up winning 3-2 in extra time in one of the best finals ever.
Why not, eh? And if I’m wrong, which is likely, as you can see from the above, what do I know about football, er soccer, er the World Cup, er......