(Via Carlos Osirio/AP Photo)
Cleaning Up the Mess is here to make sense of what just happened at your weekend-long television party. Who put Goldfish in the blender? And why is the thermostat on 42?
This week: Jim Harbaugh was invited over to play Pictionary and still cannot stop yammering about how unfair it was that you skirted the rules even though he won. Charlie Strong stopped by, smiled, tipped his brand-new hat and said, “Good day” before dropping off Oklahoma, who had waaaaaaaayyyyyy too much to drink. Utah didn’t return anyone’s texts until later in the evening and then showed up out of nowhere only to sink into the couch and chuckle maniacally at the wall.
Think, if you will for a moment, of your country’s wildest sporting dream. For Canadians, a gold medal in hockey might be just the accessory to go with all that maple syrup. In Australia, winning the Rugby World Cup over rivals New Zealand and South Africa is a source of pride for locals. The people of the United States find it best to rest laurels on domestic competitions, only really getting involved externally if their nation happens to be exerting dominance as a sort of athletic manifest destiny. Regardless of the means, people love putting stock in competition because they believe the payoff far outweighs potential letdowns. It is fun to concoct scenarios, however unlikely, in which your team defies all the odds to win. Be careful what you wish for, however. Living vicariously means dying vicariously, and the only resting place for most is a grave on the world’s most visible stage – the FIFA World Cup.