Tom Hawking: I mean, yeah, I can def see that. And because America is such an intensely, determinedly patriotic country already.
Jillian Mapes: R.L. Stine (yes, that R.L. Stine) had this great tweet a couple years ago I will never forget: “I’m so glad I live in New York, not America.” So it’s so fascinating to me that New Yorkers LOVE World Cup. I asked some friends back in Ohio if they care about World Cup a lot. They were like, “Ehhh, I mean, shrug.”
Tom Hawking: To an extent I suspect it may be because NY is such an international city. There are people here from a lot of countries that really, really do care about the WC, and that’s somewhat contagious!
Jillian Mapes: This is true! So I can’t just blindly dislike World Cup. It’s not that. It’s that I don’t get it. Why should I?
Tom Hawking: Um, well, I would say that you can appreciate it as a spectacle, and a display of footballing skill, and an event that catches the attention of a LOT of people. And you can do so without embracing its patriotic side!
Jillian Mapes: How is that possible?
Tom Hawking: You don’t have to cheer for the USA! Cheer for Colombia! They’re underdogs still in the competition, and they’re a great side to watch. (As an aside: I find it interesting that people think that appreciating a sport HAS to involve rooting for a certain team. Like, I really, really like basketball, but I don’t really follow one team… because I like the sport itself, not the idea of being partisan and loving one team and hating all the others.)
Jillian Mapes: I don’t know or value sportsmanship enough to watch just for the sake of watching, because half the time I don’t understand what I’m watching.
Tom Hawking: Yeah, I mean, that’s fair. Although football isn’t that hard to understand: 11 dudes on each side, trying to kick the ball into the net at one end of the field or the other.
Jillian Mapes: No, yeah, I think I get it. I heard there is top removal too…
Tom Hawking: Yes, sometimes. I mean the dudes are all pretty hot, too, so there’s that.
Jillian Mapes: Unrelated to hot bods: Am I alone? Do you know others who are completely apathetic to World Cup? Do you know people who hate World Cup?
Tom Hawking: I know surprisingly few people who HATE it. I know plenty who are largely indifferent. There are definitely many reasons to dislike and/or disapprove of it, but they’re more to do with FIFA being an institutionally corrupt bunch of terrible people than anything else.
Jillian Mapes: Knowing that would require being interested. It’s muted apathy at most. World Cup is the Beyoncé of sports.
Tom Hawking: It’s true, no one hates Beyoncé. *ducks for cover*
Jillian Mapes: … Except you.