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Good morning, Hank! It's Tuesday!
Hank, you've just been greeted by the Project for Awesome donors who joined me this weekend to watch AFC Wimbledon's 2-1 victory over
Oxford United, a critical win because in order for
everyone's favorite third-tier English soccer team not to become a fourth-tier English soccer team, they need to finish in
20th or above. And that win took AFC Wimbledon up to the dizzying heights of 18th.
But anyway my 27 hours in England reminded me of something weird about contemporary US life, which is that we're going through
challenges that lots of Americans don't even know
exist, right? Like people get their news from such wildly divergent sources that we don't even hear the same
stories, let alone agree on what they mean. And so even if something
terrible happened, say back in October, many people won't have heard about it,
which means that some of you are about to learn for the very first time that the US
men's national team did not qualify for the World Cup. I know right? How is this even possible?
I mean the United States is the richest nation on earth and FIFA is famously bribable
What went wrong? Basically we lost to Costa Rica twice and Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago.
But you know the old saying, when God closes a door how do you lose to Trinidad and Tobago?
I think that's the old saying.
Okay, but look, the United States was not the only country to fail to qualify for the World Cup
Italy won't be there nor will the Netherlands or Chile or
Canada or China or New Zealand or lots of other countries and for all of us in those countries we have a problem, or
possibly an opportunity
Who do we root for?
And also is there any way we can sell our support- for charity of course- or possibly for our own enrichment-- no for charity.
That's better. People of the
179 nations that did not
qualify for the World Cup, we need to band together as one bad-at-football world and find one or possibly a
few countries to root for. And I'm talking about going all-in.
Jerseys, face paint, learning some chants, weeping for joy and then sorrow and then joy
and then finally sorrow. The obvious strategy would just be to auction off our love --some nerdfighters
And I did this back in 2014 and raised over $10,000 for sarcoma research--
And that might still be the best way to go about it
But the big down side
was that of course the rich countries ended up donating the most which kind of took some of the fun out of it.
So if you have any ideas on how to raise money while deciding who to root for please leave them in comments,
and if you don't have any ideas, please read the comments and vote for your favorite ideas.
You know who made it to the World Cup by the way? Iceland, which has a population smaller than that of Wichita,
Kansas. Also Costa Rica, which just passed the US in life expectancy and also obviously in soccer ability.
But I'm on a tangent. The important thing here is that those of us without a rooting interest in the World Cup need to find
one because otherwise we will be forced to gaze into the yawning abyss of meaninglessness.
I'm not totally kidding about that by the way. Like I know a lot of you will say that you don't care about soccer and
that it's just people trying to get a spherical object into a net without using their hands
which is like the stupidest human activity imaginable.
And I get that, but the central mistake of your reasoning is that football is not actually about feet or balls.
It's about community. Football matters because we share it and we need to find big endeavors to share across geographic and cultural
divides because they remind us that we are truly all in this together.
Of course sport isn't the only way to achieve that feeling but I think achieving it in sport does help us feel it elsewhere.
So I'm not kidding. I want to find a team to root for in the World Cup.
We need to care about stuff. Caring is so underrated! As Pope John Paul the second put it, "of all the unimportant things,
football is the most important." Hank, I'll see you on Friday.
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Who Should We Root For?

1 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 30, 2020
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