More World Cup – Props Iran!

World Cup competition truly is one of a kind! I don’t think Americans understand or comprehend the scope of football worldwide. No, they would rather watch the “big 3” sports in the USA…oh yeah hockey, I guess that is still a sport [Sorry Canada]. One thing you quickly notice during the World Cup, of which I have seen every game so far, is the sportsmanship, which is lost in other games that are played in the US. Case in point, during the pregame Iran’s keeper, Ebrahim Mirzapour presented his Mexican counterpart, Oswaldo Sanchez, who had just lost his father to a massive heartache just days ago with a bouquet of flowers. While the competition is still fierce and all squads are out to take the cup back to their home country, the sportsmanship does shine though. It is really refreshing to see.

I was listening to some sports talk show this morning on ESPN Radio and some jackass host made the comment that Americans don’t watch football…er…soccer because there and I quote, “no advertising.” What? No advertising? I guess this host has not watched much of the World Cup because there is so much advertising from players, to team to the stadiums its more than you see any any American venue from football, to baseball and basketball. I guess $40 million for advertising is nothing. That was a figure I heard for one of the corporate sponsor’s of Germany 2006 [It might have been Emirates].

I know, just what you want to read, more World Cup observations. The largest sporting event in the world, held every four years and it still does not draw the top headlines in the USA. Surprised? Not the least and what’s even worse the commentary that talk shows try to present, when some of these hosts don’t know the first thing about World Cup. You hear the same dribble over and over, none of them have an angle, its all “Well, how’s the USA going to fair?” I think it’s safe to say that if the US looses their opening match to the Czech Republic, then interest in the World Cup will diminish even further than it already is.

Finally, big props to Iran! Why do I say this? One of the other wonderful aspects of World Cup play is that all political issues and situations are left outside the stadiums and are not brought onto the pitch. To be honest, I was pulling for Iran today over Mexico and if it were not for a key mistake by the Mirzapour [GK], Iran would have remained tied past the 75th minute. Hopefully they continue to have a good showing and can pick up a few points in the group stage.