Sunday, June 18, 2006

Everyone seems to know the score

I must say that it's a lot easier to appreciate the World Cup now that Denmark didn't qualify and we're all happily rid of morons in national jerseys, flags and stupid hats with their watered down beers and ridiculous chants.
Brazil-Australia is on in the background and I've just been wondering whether appreciating football is a bit like learning a language? I mean, in both cases there are things that are obvious and basic enough, like the scoring of goals, the theoretical use of yellow/red cards and, well, basic grammar like conjugation of regular verbs, where the adverbs go in a sentence, etc.
Then there are things that are a bit more tricky, the classic example being the offside rule, which, by now, I understand and I can even sort of appreciate why it's there, but when it's used in practice, it always manages to catch me by surprise. All in all, exactly the same way I felt about the subjunctive mood when I was learning French.
But even if you get the basic and slightly more tricky stuff when you're learning French, you'd still have a hard time watching an entire movie without subtitles. And that's pretty much the same with football. I mean, I can see why De Rossi was sent off yesterday, but all the filler stuff, the things between goals, send-offs and missed chances, you know, all the passes and the different ways of playing, it just goes right over my head. In Danish, you can say "han går igen" and "han går igen" and in a slight shift of pronunciation, the sentence means either "he leaves again" or "he haunts" and I should imagine it would be pretty hard to tell for someone learning Danish. Similarly, during a match you have the commentators going "Ooer, they're really attacking much more after scoring a goal", "They're really looking tired now, pushing backwards", "That defense is so strong, look at the way they stand", etc., and every time they say something like that I find myself thinking: "What are you on about, they're running around no different from what they did five minutes ago?". So seriously people, how do you f***ing tell?!