ADVERTISEMENT

Leave everything in the field

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

A Memo from the East is an opinion column written by RGJ columnist Pat Hickey, a member of the Nevada State Legislature from 1996 to 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT

Watching last Sunday’s World Cup final with excited fans gracing Argentina and France at my son-in-law’s Atlanta brewery, I couldn’t help but hope the partisan political finale ended with such good intentions. Both countries’ teams, their stars and even their fans left it all on the field in great style.

Call me naive, I guess anyone who writes a Sunday column titled “Memo from the Mean” is already known for being. But after the kind of spectacle that ABC Wild World of Sports’ Jim McKay described as “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” it was heartening to see players from both teams tearfully embrace even their fiercest opponents.

The World Cup is a mirror of the emerging world. Michael Bradley, a former member of the US World Cup team, says of the tournament: “The joy of people watching their country’s national team at the World Cup and the excitement and emotion it arouses is something no other global event in sports, entertainment or politics has.”

Iran defender Ramin Rezaian (23) fights for a header against United States defender Anthony Robinson (5) during the second half of the group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Al-Thumama Stadium.
ADVERTISEMENT

In fact, football has outgrown the economic situation of the countries that play it. For many, football has become the language and the great equalizer of the world – as evidenced by the semi-final match between France and Morocco, the African country occupied by former colonialists over the past century. Morocco’s joy in competing with the occupier was palatable.

“The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world because (football) is the most popular sport in the world… because it is the simplest sport,” Paddy Agnew explainedfootball correspondent for the Irish Times.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
%d bloggers like this: