Just in case you’ve been doing something crazy (like studying) and have missed the Important News of the Day, I am here to rectify the situation.
June 12th. It’s a Thursday. It is also the start of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Mark your calendar.
Here’s the latest about what is (arguably) the Most Important Sporting Event in the World. Well, really it’s the third Most Important Sporting Event in The World (after 1. Any event a child of mine is participating in and 2. The Olympics which I love). It is, according to my friend the internet, the Most Watched Sporting Event in the World.
FIFA (which would be an excellent name for a puppy) announced the four “pots” for the World Cup draw. As far as I can tell (now might be a good time to mention that I am not a soccer expert) there are two “yark!” factors for 2014. One is that the weighting is weird (probably someone ate too much at Thanksgiving if weight is a problem) what with Iran (No. 49) having the same weight as the US (No. 13). The second is that things do not look good for the US. I determined this by reading an article (written by someone who knows far more about soccer than I do) which said quite clearly that things do not look good for the US. The author went on to explain why, but I got lost somewhere around the pre-draw so you’ll have to investigate yourself if you want additional info.
In other World Cup news, FIFA had to make A Statement that they are not racist and didn’t have any part in the whole mess. Allow me to explain.
In Brazil, especially the part of Brazil where the draw was being held, more than half the population identifies as either black or dark-skinned. Originally, the hosts for the television broadcast of the event (and, O Best Beloved, this is a Big Honkin’ Deal of An Event) were Afro-Brazilian. Probably. Certainly there are two dark-skinned Brazilian celebrities who were rumored to have been the hosts. Either that was a big spin of the rumor pinwheel or somewhere a mind was changed because two very light-skinned celebrities ended up with hosting duties. Lots o’ backlash. Threats of criminal prosecution and protests. Also probably a strongly worded Note to someone. FIFA went on record saying that FIFA is against discrimination and racism, and besides someone else made the decisions.
On a happier note, the New World Cup ball has been announced. It is called the Brazuca and somehow manages to look like a soccer ball while looking nothing like a soccer ball. High five to the designers. Everybody knows that soccer balls are black and white—this one has color on white. Everyone knows soccer balls are formed from 32 pieces of smooth leather in the shape of hexagons and pentagons. The Brazuca is made up of 6 identical interlocking round-tipped Xs (or something like that. Someone call Escher). I don’t know what material they use to make the ball but it has a “micro-texture.”
Anyway, the ball is pretty darn cool and has been tested within an inch of its spheroid life. Also, it turns out that the reason soccer balls were black and white was so that viewers watching on their black and white TVs in 1970 could clearly see the ball. And here I thought it had to do with the Religion of Soccer. Learn something new every day.
We hope you have enjoyed this break. We now return you to your previously scheduled study session.