Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Matter How You Say It, Guti Is Hilarious

 Moreso than the Arsenal-Man U match itself in front of me, not to mention the recent dream in which I rode a bicycle upon a mysterious bridge before falling down a connecting flight of stairs with said bike upon my shoulders and into mid-afternoon awakeness, I'm worried most about semantics. This is partly because the match itself is such a snooze: Arsenal's lack of pace & spark is such that ancillary storylines like "Who Is Prettier: Cristiano Ronaldo or Fabregas & van Persie Combined?" and "Asian Guy Scores! Non-Asian Upper Darby Native Tentatively Thrilled" quickly overrode the game at hand. 

 Anyway, as an American am I allowed to call it football? "Pitch" and "supporters" and "corker" come easily enough, and I've even made a decision to go with the Brazilian "r=h" pronunciation of Ronaldo. But when you get to the big one you feel a little stupid about it. I tried "futbol" but it sounded like I had a speech impediment. What is this, "The Other Sister"? And "soccer", unless you're super lame and say shit like "FC Dallas" or whatever, is for bald men who wear swishy pants. Please. 

 Saying "football" to refer to the sport requires confidence and commitment. When I heard Tommy Smyth, a man of either very little or altogether too much irony,  label an MLS match between Dallas and Houston a "Texan Darby" it was hard not to feel sorry for that presumably squinty-eyed Scottish bastard. Maybe it was Derek Rae. How the hell should I know? They're both awesome. But this is what you've got to be concerned about at this point because van Persie just scored off of a penalty and seriously nobody cares 'cause the Gunners (I'm going there, too) have sucked so damn much. So you've got to BELIEVE in being an American calling soccer football when we've already got a sport called football and this nation hates soccer anyway so why confuse things? Don't be a douchebag, right?

  Luckily, we speak a tongue that holds a strong base in context. So call it a homonym, although one that you can only really use with other followers of the game. If I'm going to the post-office to get stamps I'm probably not going to ask the lady there what she thinks about Wolfsburg's surprising run up the Bundesliga table. But if I'm at the doctor's office or rapping with my cousin Sarah, I'm running headlong into the breeze and saying "football". Not like I'm going to start wearing a scarf or calling French Fries "chips" (I'll call them by their real name: disgusting!) but it's time to be real.  Be honest with yourself and those around you, closested football-sayers: there's a new day ahead. On that day I might talk about metal shit again, but until then, the time is yours.