Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More Than a Game

Coach Lars Lagerback and his 23-man soccer team, the Nigerian Super Eagles, arrived today in South Africa for the World Cup. Big news in America? Not so much. Big news in Nigeria? Absolutely! I don’t know of a single person at Faith Alive who won’t at least try to find a television to watch their team play against Argentina on June 12 or against Greece on June 17. Yes, “their” team. It’s the biggest unifier of different tribes and religions. You can bet that NEPA will turn on the electricity for those games or risk a major backlash.

Sports writer Patrick Malee’s article in the Oregon Daily Emerald sums it up well. “You may not love soccer, or even like it enough to watch more than five minutes of a match. But its impact on the world is undeniable and highly unique. Don’t believe me? Turn on the World Cup next week. Watch closely as 70,000 people wave their flags as one. Listen to each country’s chants as they are passionately repeated. Do all that, and try to tell me soccer doesn’t mean something. Maybe writing about sports isn’t so shallow after all.”

If you're still not convinced about the power of sports on societies, just watch the movie Invictus.

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