World Cup Diary : Day 1 : plus, politically correct picks

By | June 11, 2010

South Africa vs. Mexico

Truly the dullest opening match in my memory. No upsets, no good football. Sloppy stagnant stuff, not to mention the maddening drone of the “vuvuela,” one invention that I wish I’d never heard of. When the crowd caught its collective breath, one was subjected to the asinine commentary of American television (we switched back and forth between Univisión and ESPN). What stands true from this first match is one thing: the MUTE button shall be my best friend this summer.

National Anthem Rating

These are certainly not going to make it out of the group stage. Both were rather flat and forgettable. While the Mexican one was accompanied by their national salute–a dark-army karate chop to the chest held taught through its duration–even this touch of implicit malevolence was scarcely enough to make it memorable. Both teams seemed confused as to the actual lyrics of their respective hymns–though that might just have been the vuvuzelas drowning out the band

Politically Correct Team Pick for Good Honest Liberals

Certainly, this will prove to be one of the closest calls of the tournament. Two nations with much in common: rampant corruption, a severe divide between wealthy minorities and vastly poor masses, histories of  official and de facto racial segregation. The focus in the news has been on the violent crime in South Africa these days; notwithstanding, Mexico is not to be outdone in that department, with news pouring in from south of the American border of daily atrocities. We’ll call this one a draw.

Category: Mexico South Africa World Cup

About Joaquin Bueno

I am a grad student in the Romance Studies department. Currently I'm starting my dissertation, which will be a study of the importance of football in Franco's dictatorship in Spain during the 50's and 60's, the first "Golden Age" of Spanish football. I hope to also explore cultural politics and power structures in the age of global democracy. My teams are my two hometowns: Celta de Vigo (Spain), and also DC United (though I haven't followed them since the first season of MLS). I also play pick-up every week with varying degrees of success.

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