I'm not a huge fan of the sport that's Soccer to us North Americans and Football to the rest of the world. Coming off the Stanley Cup playoffs and right into the World Cup felt like segueing from Yosemite Sam to Pepe LePew. Chaos to finesse. Raw Machismo to sophisticated charm.
And while the tendency among those broadcasting the game here is to play up the competing ethnicities like you're on some tour of the funny foods aisle of your local supermarket, what I've most enjoyed about the 2010 World Cup has been how identically all the disparate nations have behaved.
Yes, there are the subtle differences of culture and history that set each apart. But in the same way people go to movies to see stories about people and no matter what part of the world those movies are from the stories of those people matter to you -- there's absolutely no difference in the way every fan of every team enjoys and endures the game.
The frozen rictus during a penalty kick, the hands on the head when a ball hits the crossbar, the elated leap when their team scores. We may be divided as individual nations on the pitch, but the humanity in the stands is simply humanity.
We all still want "our" guys to win, but there's a universality in the desire to see heroes born and succeed that transcends flags and colors.
And what we want to see in those heroes is what we all most want from and for ourselves, the ability to rise to the moment and control the outcome.
That desire has been perfectly captured in one of the many videos Nike produced to promote the World Cup and their own contribution to it. It's aptly titled "Write the Future", knowing that despite what some Octopus might say, nothing is ever fated.
Enjoy the message of the video. Enjoy today's Cup final. And mostly Enjoy your Sunday.