By Alfredo Hernandez
Many parallels can be drawn between school and soccer. In both activities teamwork breeds success, only the best succeed, and Americans seem to only care when finals are involved. Every four years, the world prepares to witness the most watched spectacle of human fitness, the World Cup.
A goal fest of a tournament that this time around not only broke records, but also frayed the already few brain cells of soccer aficionados with its tension-filled matches and nail biting score lines.
Even the United States decided to join in on the fun, drawing in viewership numbers never before seen in the states. But many still missed the World Cup bandwagon, which was seemingly driven by Adriana Lima in Kia commercials and her seductive pronunciation of soccer as “futbol.”
I’ve taken it upon myself to break down some of the World Cup’s biggest events into school terms for those that missed it this summer.
Luis Suarez and his affinity for shoulders
Some soccer players are known for their acting. Occasionally, some let their rage affect their judgement. Others are just a bit crazy and have an affinity for biting other players. Luis Suarez is that one crazy kid that just stares at you with a mesmerizing set of illuminating eyes.
During a match against Italy, the Uruguayan striker seemed hungry for shoulder mid-match. That shoulder belonged to Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini, and he was none too happy at Suarez’s sudden craving for prime Italian shoulder chuck.
In school terms, one of your classmates, Suarez, bit a random sophomore in the middle of the quad during lunch, and got away with it! After the biting, Suarez fell to the ground and claimed to the admins that the sophomore’s shoulder attacked his teeth, and even with vast amounts of witnesses, it worked. The poor kid protested and protested, showing the fresh toothy indentations, to no avail.
“Suarez the Cannibal” got away with stealing a cookie from the cookie jar, but was thankfully punished by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) retroactively. He is currently serving a four-month match ban.
German field-day in Brazil (El Mineirazo)
A semi-final round, full of past champions began with host team, Brazil going up against Germany. Imagine a game of Dodgeball Inferno, where one team is a conglomeration of spry Brazilian freshmen, full of youth and emotion, poised to win the trophy after triumphing against this imposing group of German foreign exchange students dressed in black and red. At match start, the freshmen seemed in good form. They played well, until Jürgen came out of nowhere and decked poor Johnny in the face. Everyone stood stunned, waiting for some kind of reassurance, but none came. The exchange students netted total of seven points, four in the span of four minutes, and Brazil only managed one at the end, due to a defensive error.
Our little Dodgeball Inferno team was beaten so severely that there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to how badly they were dominated. A thrashing that broke nineteen World Cup records had never been seen so late in the tournament before, and may never be seen again. It seems Gary Lineker was right in saying, “Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans win.”
The school-soccer parallel isn’t limited to semi-comedic retelling of outrageous outlier events; it extends out into hard-work and dedication. Just as soccer is the wonderful outcome of hours and hours of practice, your future is a culmination of the experiences and knowledge you’ve gained throughout your education.
So every once in a while take some time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the game.