>I’m not a real soccer fan but I love to watch the national teams play each other. The clash of styles — Brazilian grace, English brutishness, the Italian tradition of never expending more energy than necessary to win — and above all the attempts to get away with all sorts of stuff (including writhing on the field in faux agony until the ref gives your opponent the red card) all lend the games a semblance of Grand Opera, another spectacle where heroics are often combined with international culture clashes, irrational fans and bad acting.
The European Soccer Championship begins in 3 days, hosted this time around by Austria and Switzerland. The games will be spread out over various cities; Innsbruck will host the Group D games between Sweden, Spain and Russia.
Every time this or the World Cup rolls around, I find myself in a little bit of a muddle as to who to root for. Austria’s out of the question, I don’t know the name of even a single player. Maybe Germany? England is often a favorite of mine, but they didn’t qualify (and the police here all let out a big sigh of relief when that happened.) France? Italy?
The thing is, I don’t really have a dog in this race. I’ll happily watch the teams knock each other out until there’s a winner, and I’ll enjoy the festivities and the elation of their fans all the while. All the teams are good; whoever wins is fine with me.
And this brings me, in less of a non sequitur as you might think, to the Democratic Primary. I voted for Barack Obama in the Global Primary last winter, and I’m very happy to see him bring in the delegates to assume the nomination and go on to make history, and be a damned fine president. On the other hand, if it had gone the other way and Hillary Clinton had pulled ahead, it wouldn’t have bothered me. Some things about her campaign (and her main people) have disappointed, but you know what, she would have made a perfectly good president, certainly leagues above the man currently occupying that position and trashing the U.S.’s standing in the world. Both of them — Obama and Clinton — are good, and whoever won would have been fine with me.
And now it’s time to focus all our energy in getting our nominee into the White House!