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2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer: A Treasure Not Appreciated Nearly Enough By Americans

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The 2010 FIFA World Cup is underway. For the first time Africa will be the host, specifically South Africa, which 2010 World Cup in South Africahas as glorious a history of progress and human development as any nation on Earth over the last quarter century. The emancipation of Mandela, followed by his election as president sent the world a resounding message: we are free. And they are.

This year’s tournament has thirty-two nations taking part; some seven hundred thirty-six players in venues stretching from Cape Town in the south to Johannesburg in the center to Polokwane in the Northeast. Durban, Tshwane, Mangaung,and Nelspruit  are also venue cities with flashy new stadiums, and pitches for tourist's dollars, euros, and rubles and pounds.

If there’s a better venue in Philadelphia than Fado at 15th and Locust please let everyone know. They will have all sixty-four games live on TV.

Because this happens infrequently, once every four years, it is a rare event.

This is, after all, the world’s favorite game.

The soccer world and its culture are strange to most of us baseball-football-basketball-hockey  centric fans. There is also a certain rough and tumble that both oppresses and brightens soccer. It lends excitement, which we have far too little of in its positive iteration.

Most of our entertainment is sanitized by the time it gets to us. It becomes repetitive, and hence boring. Most of our excitement recently is the OMG variety, as in how did this (financial, economic, political, or environmental) problem get on us this unexpectedly?

The elephant in the room, of coarse, for the worlds of soccer and South Africa, is security. The least mentioned single organization is Al Qaeda. The most obvious target is any game, anywhere, especially in Tshwane, Mangaung, or Nelspruit. Or the night’s before concert with some entertainment heavyweights like The Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys.

Lets us tilt our attention and hopes toward the good people of South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the next month.

Contact Michael Settle at msettle@philly2philly.com

Photo: www.tripwolf.com