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John Doyle

The party’s over, and we’re already forgetting what she looked like. Futfanatico says reality has already been digested by the Spanish metanarrative, while David Gendelman at Fair Play says we’re all already losers. At True/Slant, Zach Dundas argued before the match that the two squads embodied the two sides of soccer: control versus incident, era versus accident. Fake Sigi says it wasn’t the worst World Cup ever, just “crap soccer masquerad[ing] as the pinnacle of the sport.” And The Globe and Mail’s John Doyle enjoyed watching the upending of North American notions of sport as a series of Hallmark moments.

(Image credit: mallix/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.)


Why You Should Be Rooting for Uruguay, Parts 4-7

That goal line handball and stabbing-the-last-hope-of-Africa-in-the-aorta unpleasantness aside, here are a number of reasons to pull for Uruguay: They have a long history of playing with joy (Eduardo Kaplan/The Wall Street Journal); they have a long history of playing with garra, or grit (Jonathan Wilson/Sports Illustrated); they have a long history of making the most of what they have (Tim Vickery/Sports Illustrated); and…they have this long, great history and enough with the Dutch, already (John Doyle/Globe and Mail).

The Prevailing Westerlies

South American sides are imposing themselves on the World Cup so far, says Tim Vickery for the BBC — mostly because of superior dribblers who are not “stale [European] academy products” without spark, but who come from the spontaneous genius of the street. Call it a hemispheric triumph, adds the Globe and Mail‘s John Doyle — and the death of the era of European dominance, of Zidane and Figo.

Read of the Day: The Forbidden, Delicious Game

To watch a soccer match in rural Ireland in the 1960s was tantamount to treason — it was a British soldiers’ game, and could get you banned for life from Gaelic football and hurling. (A GAA official attended the games and took names.) “It wasn’t hearty and Irish, it was foreign, and on that Sunday, it seemed delicious. The experience was like the shock and pleasure of the first glancing kiss from a first love, from a woman who could make a man silent, excited, thrilled and always enthralled. I would spend a life in search of that pleasure. I’d seek it out, and everywhere it would be with me, the bliss of it.” (John Doyle/Globe and Mail)

Soccer and Canada’s Culture Wars

The World Cup trophy came to Toronto last week, and the Canadian minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism was there to greet it. But while the minister’s conservative government has fetishized hockey as “an emanation of Canadian culture,” soccer codes multicultural, young, urban, sophisticated, worldly, and non-traditionally Canadian. So, did the minister know what he was doing? (John Doyle/Globe and Mail)