5 lessons from the 2010 World Cup

Like a Nigel de Yong karate kick to the chest the 2010 World Cup is over. Spoiler alert: Spain won.

Now the big question: so what? What did we learn after a month of matches? I’m not sure, but here’s some things I now know that I didn’t before:

  1. One word: vuvuzela. Those obnoxious noise-makers are a footnote in our pop culture history. Of course, I still can’t pronounce the word and will forever be forced to refer to them as “those horns from the World Cup …”
  2. The Netherlands plays rough. From karate kicks to late tackles to just plain being the tough-guy, the Dutch earned their place in World Cup history by making the final the most penalized game in history. The 2010 final: 14 cards (nine to the Dutch). Previous high: six. I knew it was a historic match for some reason. (Corollary lesson: The English don’t make good referees … but that’s just a side note.)
  3. Low-scoring, patient, ball-controlling (read: boring) teams usually come out on top. Spain had the most 1-0 wins in World Cup history and their low-scoring attack proved enough to win it. Which leads to the next lesson …
  4. Americans hate low-scoring, patient, ball-controlling (read: boring) teams. And since that’s the strategy that many teams play the higher the stakes are, most Americans hate soccer. But that’s not the only reason …
  5. Americans hate soccer because Americans aren’t that good at soccer. Sure, the U.S. team won their group (whatever that means) and were one of the top 16 teams … but who’s rooting for 16th? No one. And if we can’t win it, we don’t like it. It’s the American way. … unless you’re the Cubs, but that’s another lesson for another time …

What lessons did you learn?


2 thoughts on “5 lessons from the 2010 World Cup

  1. Good break down sir. The Dutch were lured into the kind of game Spain love, a ball control low scoring defensive battle, and Spain proved they would win those battles the entire world cup. As for the ref, he lost control early on, and it might have been a different game to watch if he had nipped the ugly, scrappy style of play early. The De Jong karate kick brought back to mind the Zidane headbutt of 4 years ago. In the end I am left with still being an American, still being a soccer fan and player, and still being considered in the minority when it comes to ‘real’ sports.

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