Beginning this Friday and continuing for the next month, countless members of the Virginia Tech community will be on a “soccer” high — or as the rest of the world calls, it a “football” high — watching the World Cup matches.
It will be a time when we will see a variety of soccer jerseys emblazoned with the respective colors of the countries involved.
Whether it is the light blue and white of Argentina, the green, red and yellow of Cameroon, or the red and white from Japan, I suspect that you will be aware of the matches’ outcomes just based on the wearers’ facial expressions.
While soccer doesn’t have quite the popularity in the United States as does baseball or American style football, the World Cup is clearly a global event.
As I write this column from London, I can share that English St. George Cross flags are everywhere you go as the excitement builds for this Saturday’s match between the English Lions and the United States team.
While the Olympics are also a major global sporting event and most people will root for their home country, it is the World Cup that galvanizes things on a broader global stage.
Being all one sport, the World Cup brings it all together under one umbrella.
When Pierre De Coubertin first created the modern Olympic movement in 1894, it was to bring the global community together through sports. The World Cup, since its official inception in 1930, has done so through soccer.
The tournament has grown tremendously, and is one of the most coveted and exclusive titles to win. Only seven countries have ever won a world cup title.
The World Cup also illustrates the growing interconnectedness of society in this modern age.
I can remember my first World Cup experience watching the tournament on TV in 1982, not really knowing what was taking place. Now that I have grown, I can better appreciate it.
Sports are a way for different groups around the world to come together for a friendly competition on the field.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case.