Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we freely admit we’re not glued to the TV watching every minute of the 2024 Qatar World Cup. We’re spending most of our time forcefully reminding Sammy the Shark and Karl the Kraken that they must sit at opposite ends of the couch during the San Jose-Seattle game on November 23rd. And no throwing goldfish, be they crackers or otherwise, at each other during the game. Kids these days. But we digress.
On a far more serious note, on November 21st, Streiff, in a typically excellent detailing of the burgeoning revolution boiling in multiple cities across Iran, noted how Iran’s World Cup team took part in a genuinely brave defiant act against their country’s satanic regime before its opening game against England by refusing to sing the regime’s designated national anthem prior to the match. We suggest the team “accidentally” take the wrong plane home after the tournament and land here to become a new MLS franchise.
Meanwhile, the US and various European teams have been in a snit. Reason? FIFA, the organization overseeing worldwide soccer affairs such as the World Cup, has told all participants that it is far too invested in investing the ten bajillion dollars Qatar is shoveling into its coffers to pretend Festivus is an actual holiday, thus indulging the airing of grievances about how as a fundamentalist Muslim country, Qatar isn’t much for the whole Love Wins deal. More like certain kinds of love lose things: freedom, body parts, life, stuff like that.
Given that only conservative white Americans are capable of hatred (that was sarcasm, although MSNBC begs to differ), while FIFA has been yelling: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, (or at least the shamshir in his hand),” the aforementioned US and European teams have been playing as much stompyfoot as soccer. It was under threat of being handed out yellow cards like Halloween candy that the European teams nixed wearing “One Love” armbands during their games. Apparently, no one among the wannabe rainbow warriors thought of the perfect way around the ban: wearing armbands emblazoned with BOB MARLEY FAN CLUB. Meanwhile, the stunning and brave US team has boldly defaced its logo by changing its stripes into a rainbow. Not during games, mind you; only where no one except the self-impressed can see the thing. One assumes said locations are where the multiple pallets of Budweiser flown in for the tournament, only to see beer sales nixed at the last moment, are being freely consumed.
The latest purposeless protest moment occurred on November 23rd, when Germany’s national team decided the perfect way to show they were down with the struggle was posing for the obligatory pre-game starting lineup photo with their hands over their mouths. Unfortunately, this didn’t keep the team members from talking.
“Of course it’s important for us to do a statement like this,” Germany striker Kai Havertz told ESPN postmatch. “We spoke about the game, what we can do, and I think first it was the right time to do to show the people that — yeah we try to help wherever we can. Of course FIFA makes it not easy for us but we tried to show with that thing.”
What the team didn’t show with that thing was any ability to play. The traditional world powerhouse dropped its match against the traditional world “happy to be here” Japan 2-1, thus leading to some interesting moments here aboard the Good Pirate Ship RedState as it was challenging to keep one’s footing with Godzilla swimming victory laps nearby while spiking the soccer ball.
Levity aside, cold reality’s harsh light does not shine positively on the US and European soccer teams’ vapid virtue signaling. People are dying in Iran for the “crime” of demanding God-given rights. Pouting because you are in someone else’s house and dislike their rules is childish LARPing as a social justice warrior. Fifteen seconds online tells you where Qatar stands on such matters. If it was that important to you, tell FIFA to flip off, stay home, and throw together your own international tournament. You didn’t, so it isn’t, and no amount of playing to a fawning press can obscure your immaturity.