being an American football player, I never really came to appreciate “football” in the global sense until we did shows in S. America, Europe, and Asia. I never knew arenas and stadiums could be so loud, much less have people singing for a few hours straight. it was electrifying to hear from the arena near the stadium. I think we were in Malaysia when I saw my first professional game. the irony was it was Switzerland playing and I remember a fan with a gigantic cowbell seated near us.
the game was an interesting thing to watch, yet, I think as we watched, our conversation was more with the amazement that Barry Manilow was not allowed a performers visa, but Metallica was. it didn’t take long to figure out the reason, “why?” (I have to stop asking that question)
I digress. as an immigrant in a new land, there was a football club in St. Gallen that took pity on me and gave me a job watching doors. it was pretty funny in many respects as it was after a Swiss man that was a local basically spit in my direction and dismissed me, “what good is he, he doesn’t speak Swiss German!” another man who saw me working with the Elton John show said, “I will take him, he knows what he is doing even if he doesn’t speak the language.”
guess working and moving several thousand shows around the world paid off, it allowed me to “watch a door?”
I guess you learn something working around the world. one of them is prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness exist with a few folks that vegetate in one spot on the planet all their lives. I just cut and pasted the start here, as the post tomorrow will be about an American football player learning about football. but it is 4 years and the world cup is starting and I have made my dark horse teams with Switzerland and Iceland that I will root for this year, and for a legitimate shot at the higher rankings, I will root for whatever team Lionel Messi plays for, I think it is Argentina?
what I learned that with Switzerland, it was interesting to watch an entire country get behind a team that perhaps has a fan based seemingly sanctioned to root and have a little fun every four years. it is a bit like the united states in what I call bandwagon fans. if a team is winning, there are a lot of fans that just jump on the wagon and root and cheer because everyone else is doing it, not because they really care or really have any interest in it. call it “fit-in-fans?” with the world cup, there is a strong nationalistic identity which comes out.
so there are my three teams in the world cup?… Switzerland as a sentimental immigrant choice, Iceland for a simply underdog story, to me, any tiny nation qualified over much larger and better-funded groups is a cool story. why Argentina? I think when I watch Messi play, he is in a different league than all the other amazing athletes.
but as I type, I wonder whatever happened with all the corruption and favoritism of FIFA? last I heard, there was a bust at a swiss hotel in Zurich and much like the Olympics and even our current president saying he was going to drain the swamp in the USA. has the corruption really been dealt with? or is it the cost of doing business? do the fans even care how the game is played anymore?
I will stop thinking for now. if you get bored, tomorrow will be “what an American football player thinks of football.”
should I explain the “why?”
“hop schwitz! gangi per vel, island! ganar argentina!”