Thursday, June 20, 2024

It's not a bug, it's a feature


As I follow the European Soccer Championships, actually called The Euros, I find myself in an oddly neutral position to the whole thing. Yes, I always sort of want one team or another to win, or sometimes I just want one team to lose. And I would like Spain to win the whole tournament if it could be so. But unlike with many years involving Barcelona and Argentina, my mental health isn't involved in anything that happens. I can endure any result pretty comfortably.

And this is teaching me some strange things about my decade long relationship to soccer. 

I have been watching a good number of goals scored in this tournament by accident. Called "own goals", these have been shots where a defending player has tried to clear the ball out of the area, or just been in the way and the ball bounced off of him, and it went into the goal! No one is trying to put the ball in the goal here, on the contrary, but it goes in anyway!

And watching these repeatedly it suddenly occurred to me:

It might not be the beauty of the game that so appeals to me, nor the wild story lines, nor the heart pounding excitement, nor the dreams dashed or coming true, nor the dazzling talent displayed in top level soccer.

No, alas, I think I might be drawn to the injustice.

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