Assignment Day Fifteen: You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it.
This is a revised version of my previous post. I decided to take a more humorous approach to the subject after all. It’s still about soccer, and Russia… And I didn’t change it all, just a bit. But read for yourself. The original version can be found here.
Here we go. Starting with a confession: I don’t really like ‘events’. I am not a huge friend of immersing myself into a crowd, since it makes me feel really uncomfortable. And I have a really hard time to think of anything that would make my cry out loud in despair if it were cancelled. So what is dear to my heart and could be cancelled?
Since I am currently ‘binge watching’ as many Soccer World Cup matches as I can, the answer might be nearer than I think.
Today’s news revealed revolting facts: Russia has just announced the cancellation of the Soccer World Cup in 2018.
“Shit.” Whoops. Did I say that out loud? Good that no one’s here… switching to inner monologue.
People love soccer for a multitude of reasons. And coming from a nation where soccer is part of popular culture and pretty much the most exciting mass entertainment sports thing happening, I also have my own reasons to love it. And when.
Fun fact: I am a ‘World Cup Bitch’. Meaning – I love soccer dearly, every four years. My thoughts focus on the game, I become an expert on the rules again (don’t be surprised, being surrounded by that sport for some 30+ years resulted in me even understanding most of them), I am passionately cheering for my country/team, and only have devastating comments, thoughts and looks for the opposing one. But lately it also has happened that I just enjoy the game – if it is a good one, that is. Two opponents fighting to win the match, brilliant moves, fast-running legs, eyes on the ball, hopefully no foul play. The joy of watching that can easily overpower the only national pride I show.
Little interlude: this might also be due to the fact that I totally don’t get any of the sports that are popular around here. Baseball? Nope. Football? Nil. Rugby? Forget it. Golf? Didn’t even interest me back in Germany…
And fact is – I am not the only one who loves soccer (even if only in two-year-turns since there are also European Championships between the World Cups). Millions and millions of people all over the world follow soccer. They love watching gripping games, seeing teams deemed inferior winning or falling into shame with good reason, unexpected victories, sweat, a little blood, a lot of spit. Sods of grass flying around, the ball being kicked. They cheer for their home teams, feel connected. And everyone is a little equal – fans are fans, aren’t they?
So, this is what Russia wants to deprive us from. All of us. And for all the wrong reasons.
The official press release stated (not quoted verbatim here, sorry for that, but my Russian sucks):
Russia professes itself unable to host the World Cup since the following conditions cannot or will not be met by either the country itself, the participants (who were informed beforehand and could share their two cents on it) or other professionals involved in the event.
- Bookworms: All participants, whether players, coaches, or team massage therapists, have to read the most important literary masterpieces of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Before the World Cup. A multiple choice test will be taking place in parallel to the qualification matches. Not passing can result in losing qualification, even if the matches played may suggest otherwise.
- Dancing masters: The official warm up program has to include several passages from a Tchaikovsky ballet that the players have to perform every time before the regular training starts. In appropriate gear. So – tutus.
- ‘Meltdown’: Russia is a very wide country. But in order to finish all stadiums needed for an event such as a World Cup, they might have to defrost the entire region of Siberia thoroughly, and the government is not sure whether this can be achieved in time.
- Hydration: Since not all participating nations agree to switch from water or drinks restoring the electrolyte balance to vodka as official drink of the World Cup, there might be serious sponsoring trouble. The Russian team does not seem to have problems, though – training already started and they run just fine on “potato fuel”.
- Mascot issues: The local Dancing Bear Union already issued strike notices. Union bears could not be forced to wear all those tight jerseys showing off shoulder and pectoral muscles that much, or rather last winter’s fatty love handles. Hardened fronts might soften if the same plastic surgeon that worked on ‘CR7’ might be convinced to pretty up the bears.
- Representation: Russia insists on written consent by whoever may be responsible that the next few James Bond villains will not be of Russian origin. So far, no one agreed to this.
- Funding: Potential bribes for local institutions will not be refunded by the Russian government or travel insurances, even if the participating countries and also the FIFA demand otherwise.
Dear Mother Russia. Please reconsider your stance on some of these points. Do you really want to miss the opportunity to provide excitement to the masses and host almost countless military parades in honor of the preliminaries and every final round? To see you president bare-chested on horseback during the opulent opening ceremony? Or maybe jumping out of a matryoshka? No? We just thought so. Get it together, Russia.
Please note that of course I am toying around with the most popular stereotypes about Russia and all things soccer related that I could find with the friendly help of a major, world-encompassing search engine and the Internet. This blog post is not to be taken seriously, or as representation of any kind of fact.
The challenge and the original assignment can be found here: Writing 101 – Day Fifteen