June 23, 2002
Well, there's a lot of crap like that, which I'll leave to others, but the part that really caught my eye, after some comments on the U.S. "finally joining the global brotherhood of athletes on equal terms," was the following:
The beauty of the World Cup is that theoretically — and, to a greater degree than in any other sport, also in practice — any country, no matter how tiny, impoverished or geopolitically insignificant, can beat any other country. China may have more people, the U.S. may have more money, Brazil may have the proudest tradition -- no matter. Little Cameroon can smoke 'em all.Well, I'm not much of a student of soccer history, but I don't seem to recall too many Cameroon World Cup championships, so I thought I'd check the record. Basically, the idea that the World Cup is some sort of model for world equality is pretty cracked. Four countries — Argentina, Brazil, West Germany, and Italy — have won 12 of the 16 championships to date, and have sent 21 or the 32 teams that have competed in the final game. If the favorites, Brazil and Germany, win the semis this year, those figures will become 13/17 and 23/34, hardly the festival of openness Kariya makes it out to be.
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