Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Avoiding the Double Standard of the World Cup vs. the Olympics

I am incredibly guilty.

I have a huge obsession with the Olympics - summer and winter - and don't really understand the huge popularity of the World Cup.

I could come here and give you a bunch of reasons why the Olympics are better than the World Cup, but in the grand scheme of things aren't they the same?

Both are run by organizations who proclaim peace, love, and sportsmanship, but then spend most of their efforts accepting bribes and sucking money out of the host city while alienating that same city.

Both create grand arenas for the games played, which most of the time end up being used only for the grand event, and then aren't used at all and become huge eyesores. That is what will probably end up happening to the arena in Manaus, Brazil, where the US team has been playing matches. And that is exactly what happened to many of the venues used in Olympics as recently as Beijing and Greece. (This video shows some of the abandonement.)

Both have the eyes of the world focused on one particular location for a month or so, and then everyone pulls out, leaving a gaping hole.

Both feature the best players on the planet, but both also feature players whose actions are deplorable and put that country in a bad light. (See: biting another player, trashing hotel rooms, performance-enhancing drugs, etc.)

So why exactly do I prefer one over the other? Honestly, it's just personal preference. There isn't any gigantic reason or reasons why I feel like the Olympics are better than the World Cup.

If I had to put my finger on why I like the Olympics more, I guess I would have to say it is because the World Cup doesn't really need my support to be a big success. Futbol is a global mainstay, and there isn't anything that will detract from that - not even the NFL.

The Olympics seems to be an event that is the underdog. People lament the Games before they start and forget they even happened moments after they conclude. Athletes of lesser-known events fade back into obscurity, despite their best efforts to stay in the spotlight (i.e. Dancing With the Stars, reality shows, TMZ, etc.). Futbol players don't need that stuff - they are stars all the time in their home countries.

If I have no allegiance to a team, I like to root for the underdog. In the match of Olympics vs. World Cup, the Olympics are most definitely the underdog, and I have no problem giving it all my love and support.

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