What is it about the FIFA World Cup that always gets me crazy excited? It gets me even more pumped than the Olympics! Every.time.around. For one, I know that I love the game of football, but surely that isn’t all it is. I know that it gathers people from many nations, but…so does the Olympics, no? Hmm, I might need to do more “soul searching” to figure out what it is about this particular event that is that much more attractive. When I think more of it, I love seeing a whole bunch of people excited about one thing and one thing only. To see such focus is incredible. Not only that, but seeing a renewed sense of patriotism from people who normally put aside that part of themselves is ridiculously magnetic!
Hmm! Actually, that might just be it. I know I live in a country that is crazy about the Super Bowl, but…the Super Bowl is only loved and appreciated by Americans or by those who lived here at some point. It cannot be enjoyed by the majority of the global citizenry. Football on the other hand, as it is really known, is played on the side streets of Colombia, in parts of India, in the cities of Nigeria, in the slums of Europe, and on and on. Take a look at this for a sense of where else it is played. Or this.
The fact of the matter is, when it all comes down to it, every four years, the nations of the world are pumped over ONE event that celebrates ONE sport! How rare is that? When I think of that, one word comes to mind: unity. That may be the reason for my love of the World Cup. In a globalized world where it seems divisiveness often rules the day, discovering a unifying subject is a source of joy. Why? For me it speaks to the heart of Father God. He, being the essence of Love, promotes and drives unity. Anything outside of that is not from Him. Maybe that’s why we love such events. Maybe that’s why we get angry when a terrorist act takes place right in the center of a concert, a school, or even a sport stadium. Because in those moments, we recognize that a person, a system even, is trying to fight the very idea of human beings enjoying something together. Fighting togetherness. I love the following quote from this article: “The world needs friendly competition around which to gather; at the same time football’s diversity of styles is a welcome demonstration that globalization need not mean homogenization.”
Unity. I’m all for it. And yes, I’m all for World Cup Twenty-Eighteen. I won’t be seated in Russia, but you can trust that yes, even with my busy schedule, I WILL find time to cheer on the teams that matter most to me. Above all, I will watch those fans in the stadium to see that camaraderie, that glue that brought them all together from miles away. They will be standing there cheering for one reason: for the love of football.
Olé! Olé! Olé! Olé!