LARNED — The World Cup is history.
The Germans defeated Argentina, who had the world’s best player, Lionel Messi, 1-0 in the final.
The happiest people about all of this, in addition to the Germans, were the Brazilians.
The only thing the Brazilians like better than winning at soccer is having Argentina lose.
Kind of a Kansas State-Kansas thing.
Brazil, one of the Cup favorites, was embarrassed in the semifinal and third-place matches so the Argentina loss was the only thing that saved them from all wanting to commit suicide!
I knew little about soccer when the World Cup matches started.
I know less now.
However, I did make note of several interesting observations.
Officials in soccer are no better than in other sports. They miss a lot of calls which infuriates players, coaches and fans.
I am thankful that they have “shootouts” to determine winners of tie games after an overtime period.
Can you imagine what it would be like to sit through those matches when neither team can break the tie?
Hour after hour?
I love to watch the fans.
The color, the costumes and the organized cheers.
It is the best thing about a soccer match.
The action in the stands trumps the action on the field and yes, the “beautiful people” love to show up in the stands, preening in front of the cameras, just as in basketball and football in the United States.
Sporting events are like a magnet for celebrities.
Soccer players are the biggest “floppers” in all of sports.
If anyone comes within a foot of them, they fall to the ground and grab body parts and writhe and moan, hoping to draw a penalty.
We fans are sure of certain death, but then miraculously, they jump up and fly down the field. Big 12 Conference basketball fans thought Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart was the king of floppers but these guys put him to shame.
They whine more than Charles Barkley!
They say that more than 26 million watched the World Cup final in the United States.
Now how do they know that?
I watched and nobody called to ask me if I was doing so.
I trust those kind of numbers about as much as I do the government’s unemployment numbers!
Moms, don’t let your kiddies practice those “headers”!
Concussion expert Chris Nowinski says World Cup organizers missed a chance to use the tournament to teach football fans and young players around the world about the dangers of head injuries.
How long can it be until we have our first lawsuit filed by a former World Cup player seeking compensation because he’s a little dingy from past concussions?
Despite warnings of unpreparedness and imminent social disaster, Rio de Janeiro mostly did a good job of entertaining thousands from around the World without major incidents.
Can they do the same for the 2016 Olympics that they are also hosting?
The Word Cup involved only 736 athletes, the Olympics will bring nearly 11,000 and they will contend for many championships while the Cup was for just one and while the soccer matches drug on for a month, the Olympics will be crammed into just a little over two weeks.
Brazil will spend over $20 billion on these Olympics, but they spent nearly $14 billion on the World Cup.
That alone tells you that the Brazilians love their soccer!
Finally, did you know why Cinderella got kicked off of the soccer team? She kept running away from the Ball! … It’s probably a good thing the World Cup only comes once every four years.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.