Opinion

EDITORIAL: The beautiful game

Forgive the beer-commerical-slogan feel of this comment, but we are all Canadians.

And, unless you are of First Nations ancestry, we are all immigrants.

This is never more apparent than when the world gets together to contest the global championship of the beautiful game at the World Cup.

Yes, we understand the 'Bread Not Circuses' argument — we agree there are infinitely more good causes for billions of dollars than a soccer tournament.

But it's here and upon us (well, in Brazil actually) and we get excited about watching Canadians connect with their roots. Two groups of people who live in our region with certain European roots, and the contrast of emotions they must have felt last week as the results began trickling in from South America, come immediately to mind.

We can only imagine the elation of the Dutch, as the Oranje absolutely pasted the reigning world and European champions Spain 5-1, the most lopsided scoreline of the first round thus far. 5-1! Versus Spain!

Or the anguish of the English, who lost 2-1 to longtime rival Italy in a game that was played with a pace that belied the jungle location.

Our favourite result to this point was an emphatic, well-deserved 3-1 triumph by Costa Rica over heavily-favoured Uruguay. Costa Rica is one of the nations (along with the U.S., Mexico and Honduras) representing Canada's region, CONCACAF, often viewed as a less-skilled child to the powers of Europe and South America.

The games thus far have been entertaining (injury-time winner by the Swiss!), full of both skill and goals. North Americans so trained to see high scores in their sports often cite a lack of action for the reason the beautiful game hasn't grabbed hold here like baseball, basketball, football or hockey.

In Parksville Qualicum Beach, we don't get to experience the excitement during the World Cup those in the Danforth of Toronto or Commercial Street in Vancouver get to enjoy. But it was good to see a few orange jerseys of the Netherlands on the backs of locals these past few days. It reminds us we can be proud to be Canadians and proud of our heritage at the same time. And it reminds us we are part of a global village.

— Editorial by John Harding

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