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Ike’s Sights - World Cup Fever

POSTED June 30, 2010 2:27 a.m.
Sometimes it is good to be a mutt.

The seven different nationalities I carry some percentage of in my blood comes in handy once every four years.

Thanks to some confusing breeding by my ancestors, I can root for the United States, Mexico, Netherlands and Italy with some type of individual pride in each World Cup.

The best of the four in the 2010 Fifa World Cup will become my new nationality for the next four years.

U.S.A.’s choke-job vs. Ghana was certainly disappointing, but with so many fantastic teams and thrilling players still alive, I have plenty of motivation to continue watching World Cup games as we close in on the finals.

And I’m not the only one.

Oakdale Leader editor Marg Jackson is an avid World Cup fan herself, a fact I took advantage of last week after realizing U.S. vs. Algeria would fall during a Wednesday morning staff meeting.

My 11:15 p.m. Tuesday text message to Marg of “World Cup friendly staff meeting at 10?” was enough to guarantee my Wednesday spectatorship as Landon Donovan broke open a late nil-nil draw with a group-winning score.

And the U.S. plays only a small role in World Cup drama that has captured the attention of sports fan across the globe.

Mexico delivered some exciting success before Diego Maradano and Argentina could land a 3-1 thumping in round two. Argentina looks fantastic, but Germany has been lights out since the start of qualifying and is a heavy favorite to win the pair’s quarterfinal and take the whole shebang.

World Cup soccer has come with a degree of hazard to my personal health this year, after big plays in South Africa have convinced me to attempt reenactments in pick up soccer sessions with fellow world cup fans.

I have a knot on my head from attempting a barrage of corner kick headers, and the dead-leg I received Sunday night after a collision at the goal has left me limping from my desk to the coffee pot at work.

The aches and pains are a side effect of World Cup fever, small prices to pay for the right to enjoy a hugely entertaining competition between the best futbol players in the universe.

Don’t be afraid to watch the World Cup, even with the United States out of competition. American players made for a few exciting games, but they paled in comparison to the electrifying playmakers from other countries. U.S. players could learn a few things about ball control and shot conversion by watching any game from here on out.

I’m going to get as much soccer as I can in the next few days as I battle a serious case of World Cup fever. I know the only cure comes in shoulder pads and a Dallas Cowboys star in early September.

 

Ike Dodson is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at idodson@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.

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