Sat | Jul 24, 2021

World Cup lessons

Published:Monday | June 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Daviot Kelly
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FIFA's showpiece event, the World Cup, isn't over yet, but it's taught me a few things, all of which bother me.

1) If you pick a winner, you're marked.

Once you pick a particular team to win, your opinion, hitherto considered fair and balanced, automatically becomes biased and skewed in the eyes of others. So it doesn't matter if you honestly feel there was a foul on the player, keep it to yourself because everybody will immediately point to your pre-Cup selection. To make it worse, if you're like me, who never played the game in any organised fashion, your football IQ is suddenly called into question. Such is life!

2) Jamaicans are blinded by ethnicity.

In the preliminary round, Nigeria benefited from two bad decisions against World Cup debutantes Bosnia-Herzegovina. I suggested because it was an African team getting the 'bly' no one would complain. Sure enough, when I pointed this out, among the statements I heard was 'Europe a tief Africa fi years, so a fi wi time now'. I don't know if the person was joking and I really didn't care to find out. My point had been made. Jamaicans love to cry for equality, fairness and the ever-popular justice... when it suits them.

3) Everyone is a regionalist, as long as Jamaica doesn't qualify for a tournament.

When I filled out my World Cup pool bracket, I didn't have any CONCACAF teams other than Mexico going to the second round. To be honest, Mexico is the only CONCACAF team (other than Jamaica, of course) I really like (love the culture, the history, Cinco de Mayo, etc). Plus, fans in places like Costa Rica and Honduras always give the Reggae Boyz hell off the field, much less on it. But I honestly (I think) didn't see anybody other than Mexico going through. So I was irked with all the persons cheering for Costa Rica et al, and chanting "A CONCACAF we say." That's not my style. I don't like you, I ain't cheering for you, regardless of what region you're coming from.

4) We love living in the past.

Costa Rica wasn't given a chance because they were in a group that had three World Cup winners. Well, that's true, but that's not the reason I had to write them off. Uruguay won the Cup in 1930 and 1950, i.e. none of this current squad participated. England won ONE tournament in 1966 at home (how convenient), and two of Italy's four wins came before World War II. Now, if the commentators said Costa Rica had the least heralded players of the four teams, that makes sense. But harping about victories before most people even had TVs to see them, is just irrelevant.

I know I'm being a grouch, but that's one thing I do well, wearing any jersey.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com