This week sports fans around the globe will turn their attention to the most watched athletic event in the world — the soccer World Cup. In remote villages and urban centers, close to 1 billion fans will stop what they are doing and find the nearest accessible television set. Except in the United States. While the enthusiasm for soccer here has grown, its fan base pales in comparison to the Super Bowl, for instance.
The philosopher Paul Woodruff suggests that, to be a good spectator, you need to know how to care about what you are watching. Here are some suggestions for developing a deeper appreciation of this monthlong competition.… Seguir leyendo »
The Italian novelist Umberto Eco apparently suffered a crisis of faith while watching a soccer match with his father when he was 13 years old. Surrounded by thousands of passionate fans who were living and dying with their team, all that Eco observed on the field were «senseless movements» of the players that added up to nothing. It was a «cosmic, meaningless performance,» he determined. This childhood experience forever linked soccer, in his mind, to the vanity of all earthly things. But he might have thought otherwise had FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi been on that field.
I have seen Messi play at Camp Nou, Futbol Club Barcelona’s 100,000-seat stadium, which is again drawing packed crowds as the new season commences in Spain.… Seguir leyendo »