Lovin’ the start of the FIFA World Cup! The tourney may not be an obvious fit for an ag blog. But then again, this is an ag blog for fun, I don’t to follow anyone else’s rules. However, it is really easy for me to connect soccer and agriculture because for me, they are inherently tied for me.
Granted I knew about soccer and really appreciated the sport before I knew much about agriculture. I can still remember doing a big report about Pele in elementary school. By that time, he was an international superstar. For some reason, the sport resonated with me early on. Then in college I ended up friends with a lot of people who played soccer really well and found it a passion.
When I lived in New York, the country caught World Cup fever but my friends in NY were far more focused on baseball (go Yankees!) As I moved to the Delta, I wondered if people would enjoy the sport and gladly found myself in the midst of other soccer fans.
Working in a global role, soccer became part of the casual conversation, knowing how different teams were doing. Now with friends scattered around the world, among the teams I enjoy following are lots of cotton-producing nations: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Greece, India, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and Turkey. I’ve even got soccer paraphenalia from several of the countries, my favorite is the Ilhan Mansiz that I got during the 2002 World Cup. And I have friends in or from: England, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Russia too that rank high in the loyalty camps too.
I can’t recall how many friends have gotten together to watch matches, even in the middle of the night to watch. And the matches that allow some cotton friends to claim honor over others… those stick with me for a while! The quarterfinals match between Turkey and Brazil… A dozen or so of us were watching with a Turkish friend. The first time Brazil scored, a bunch of us pulled out Brazilian flags & cheered. GREAT practical joke! However, the respect between these countries and the general fun of trading stories builds community.
The buzz is beginning to pick up and no doubt the US-England match this weekend has gotten me started in the right way. Two of my cotton countries – South Africa and Mexico – tied and Argentina did well. So as you look at the schedule, if you want to know who I will pick for… Just think cotton thoughts, cause that likely rules my loyalty!
A few resources you may want to check out:
- ESPN’s World Cup blog includes a good bit of info including the TV schedule for those of us with US ESPN.
- FIFA (the international soccer organization)
- TechCrunch‘s tips on where to find everything World Cup 2010
And I feel I must acknowledge that I know VERY FEW soccer uniforms are made with cotton. I don’t have to hold a grudge. I just keep hoping George Costanza or someone else steps up and leads the change!
And if you’re watching the World Cup, who do you want to scream GGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL for most often?