Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Love, Fútbol & Africa

This is less a meaningful blog entry than my own shameful ode to the iPad.
I've tried not to become a Fan Boy. Ardently (check my prior posts for some meaningful Apple bashing, literally). I'm in the airport lounge typing away a rare blog entry. This is the first time this device has left my bag. No laptop-into-the-bin-through-security struggle. I'm rather Clooney-esque as I zip through the security line. Grumbling at the laptop-wielding cretins who held me up was entirely satisfying. How great is this thing? Great. Sorry.

That's not the point of this entry. I'm on my way to the mother continent to soak in a few days of futbol. Right here I'd like to insert some Roots-y reference to transcending 400 years of slavery to return to the homeland in its moment of glory. It's not true. My great-grandfather was a rabid Pan-Africanist, who shuttled back and forth to the continent. I'm always puzzled that he never lived out his convictions by actually moving to Liberia or something. Last man standing?

That's not the point of this entry either. This is mainly a response to the somewhat quizzical lemon-face that is a common response to futbol-fandom in the US. The lemon-face tightens on the mention of South Africa, along the lines of telling your folks you were moving to New York in the 80s. Why suffer hooligans, car-jackings and terrorist threats to watch a sport played mainly by small children and foreigners? If the egregious ball kick-and-chase isn't yet illegal in Arizona, it soon will be.

It's basically this: I speak one other language poorly (that's English) and three others barely enough to utter a few common phrases (or, in the case of Spanish, just enough to decipher the clever metaphorical insults of my in-laws, I think). My verbal expression is constipated. Futbol is the language I speak fluently. Most of the folks on the planet understand it. It's my own little Mandarin.

It leads to peace at home, for the most part. My entire fandom can generally be resolved between the hours on 5 am and 10 am on the weekends, leaving me free to my pursuit of ideal parenting and spousing. Cheerfully attending brunches and family dinners without score-check fumbling with my smartphone under the table or fighting for the seat facing the TV over the bar. No conflicts with Fantasy on Ice or other forms of men in sequins and feathers (except that the esteemed Martin Rogers, fútbol writer of the highest calibre,
inexplicably turns to figure skating every four years: Beats me). Mexico playing the US does not lead to household harmony. Glad that doesn't happen so often.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Post Way, Los Angeles, United States

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