Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Plight of the Soccer Widow

Dilemmas and dysfunction, the plight of the soccer widow
Yet there's a curious periodicity to those moments of sorrow
The arc of estrangement, it is said, reaches its peak every four years
During the world cup, experimental evidence confirms the trail of tears

For the soccer widow wears a thick veil of invisibility
The absent spouse having discarded the burden of responsibility
Grudging grunts and head nods, barely even acknowledging
It's clear you'll have to fend for yourself and your offspring

Alienation of affection, or rather transference
For that month, football is his sole allegiance
True, the unbridled enthusiasm can sometimes be infectious
After a win, especially, the tribal cheers are precious

But it turns out that frustration is the lot of the soccer widow
And her sole consolation is that there's no game tomorrow
A temporary reprieve that day between rounds of the competition
Palliative relief, truth be told, for the husband's obsession

For instead it's the constant discussion of minor trivia
Speculation about the starting lineups and locker room drama
Lamenting bribery and corruption in the ranks of FIFA
Bemoaning those sheikhs that brought the game to Qatar

Bedraggled after the first two weeks, now he's looking rough
All conversations revolve around a draw that was markedly tough
The injustice of being drawn in the group of death
But also the upside of the situation on betting spreads

That it's now all about commerce, rank power, and globalization
Colonizers facing independent states, questions of possession
No time for the old thrills and sensations of the beautiful game
Total football is long gone, there's a sameness to the styles of play

Complaining about the commentary, he's going quite out of his mind
Expletives galore - shouting: "Can't you see? The referee is blind!"
The madness, the insanity, the chants, the screams
The color of memory, fully wrapped in this fever dream

Any hopes for discipline are fictitious, those costs are fully sunk
All schedules rearranged, it's a wonder that any work gets done
Your household in upheaval, leaving you to do all the pickups
You're left wondering when you'll see the end of this world cup

But there's also the morning after, the inevitable disappointment
Comes the letdown and recriminations when the dream comes to an end
Worse still is the glint in the eye, even after he's fully spent
He's already looking forward to the next one four years hence


"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that."

— The Shankly Code (Shankly, Bill)

world cup brunch

world cup croissant bacon and eggs


Timing is everything
Observers are worried

See previously: Dilemmas

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Writing log. December 10, 2022

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