Nice story by Roger Bennett, of “Men In Blazers”: HELLO, WORLD – Soccer in the U.S. doesn’t need a team in the World Cup. It’s already here to stay:
So even without the Yanks in Russia, America will be watching. Yes, we will be deprived of giddy collective moments such as when Landon Donovan smote Algeria, but take it from me, an Englishman, whose team failed to qualify for two World Cups in my lifetime — in Argentina 1978 and in the United States in 1994 — that won’t ruin it at all. Those tournaments turned out to be the two most enjoyable World Cups of my youth. Being able to watch and savor without the impending failure of my team hanging over the whole thing was like being freed from a sporting Sword of Damocles.
This your permission note, then, to cut work for a month, America. Do what you do better than any nation in the world: Savor the circus. Slink out of your cubicles en masse. Day drink. Watch, revel and inhale the World Cup in its full glory. It is the world’s greatest telenovela, replete with Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, heroes, villains, echoes of wars past, dodgy haircuts and Fortnite goal celebrations. And it will be on televisions across our nation. Even in the rural bars of Maine.
Way ahead of you, Rog, on the cutting work for a month, but just as excited. Let’s go.