What I learned from FIFA 2010 about soccer and life

5. Spanish players are hot.

Okay, not all of them, but c’mon, Casillas? Torres? For David Villa, his hotness is amplified from what it actually is for being this tournament’s goal scorer for the Spanish team. I never followed soccer before this year, so when it came to choosing a team to root for, I arbitrarily chose Spain gauging by the hotness of their players. I may not have started out as a “true fan” or anything, and I certainly haven’t ended up there yet, but I feel kinship ties to both the team and their fans after this tournament.

4. Soccer is pretty rad.

Lol, Ghana.

I’ve never been a sports person, but after deciding to follow the tournament this year, I can see where all the excitement is coming from. It’s really intense, seeing if your team will make it, calculating how many goals it takes to get them to where they need to be. I can’t say the same about hockey, or American football or anything, but I do get a thrill from watching soccer games. I used to be in the same boat as others when they say, “How can you watch a game that goes on for 90 minutes and no goals happen?” Now, I see how much thought and play goes into the game. It’s not just a bunch of guys mindlessly passing the ball around, they’re running up and down the field, finding ways through the opposing defence, stealing the ball back. And when a game goes on for a long time, tied, especially during eliminations, it is nail-bitingly nerve-wracking.

3. It’s okay if you lose your first game.

Aka tournaments and life are the same in the way that even if you fail the first time around, things can always turn 180 degrees and surprise you. Wow that sounded really corny. But I’m just happy that even though Spain lost their first game against Switzerland, they came back, won the rest of their games, and then the World Cup. WOOOO! Get back on that horse.

2. Competitive rivalry sucks.

I heard so much shit talking about Spain and how all the other teams are gonna kick their asses, wipe the ground with them, etc etc. It’s one thing to be confident about your team and cheer for their win, but during this tournament, I’ve had so many people verbally stomping me just because they see that I was a Spain supporter. It may only have started with their looks, but once the games began, I really started to feel like a supporter. And who’s to tell me I wasn’t? When you first start to support a team, what reasons are there behind it? You come from that region? It’s your ethnicity? It’s who your parents are rooting for? Each reason might as well be as arbitrary as the last. Because it doesn’t matter where you start, but how you feel about your team in the end.

When they see I don’t retreat when attacked, tail between my legs, and instead start defending Spain, they’ll pull out, “She isn’t even fucking Spanish.” So I’m not, despite me telling you that I am half Spaniard. I don’t think Vietnam or Canada or even China was playing in the world cup (my Chinese roots are really a stretch). And when these fans start regaling me in the most malicious manner for whatever reason, I develop a strong dislike for the team. Ahem, Germany. Yes, the Germans. I started out being pretty okay with them, till Germany fans start coming out of nowhere and ruining the spirit for me. By the end of it, I didn’t even care if Spain lost to the Netherlands (well, till game day at least), as long as they beat Germany. And beat them they did.

1. A lot can happen in 5 minutes.

From this tournament…

And other leagues…

3-0.. oh wait, 3-3

5 minutes how long it takes me to brush my teeth. It’s how long it takes me to choose an outfit, to change laundry loads and fold them, or to make some toast and spread butter/nutella/jam/peanut butter on it. 3 of those minutes are spent waiting for the toaster. I digress, 5 minutes in a game of soccer means a lot of action. Considering it takes them 5 seconds to get from one end of the field to the other. There have been goals within minutes of each other. Corner kicks, free kicks, fouls, shots that ricochet off the goal post. It’s just too much.

Because there’s so much happening, 5 minutes lasts a really long time, and that’s with them not stopping the clock. Basketball, 10 minutes actually means about a half hour. So. What I mean to say then, is that you can do a lot in 5 minutes, even if you’re not playing soccer. So do it. Fill up your time. Do something productive. I should probably start living by that.