“This has always been the fundamental greatness of sports, the reason they’re so enduring and powerful: They turn a world of grey into one of black and white. If my team wins, I am happy, and if they lose, I am sad. Nothing in life is that simple but sports. Now, obviously, the world of sports is not exempt from politics: The exact opposite, in fact. But for two hours, that can be stowed. It is important to remember more difficult things when those two hours are over. But putting all that away during the game isn’t just acceptable: It is the point. It is the only sane response to a world of chaos.”
Will Leitch, in maybe my favorite World Cup coverage this summer. I brought this piece back in lieu of half-assing a #SoccerSunday post (I’m short on time because I am working on a World Cup piece for tomorrow at TAC) because this is a summary of so much of what I love about soccer. I obsess over each game as proxy, as metaphor, as societal force as much as any other fútbol nerd, but in the heat of the game, it’s a lot simpler. It keeps me sane by letting me go a little insane. The cruel call that opium. Bah, humbug. I call that making friends everywhere I go just by breaking the ice with a jersey, invented solidarity leading to real camaraderie.
A beautiful tournament, a beautiful game.
“Explicit secunda pars summe fratris thome de aquino ordinis fratrum predicatorum, longissima, prolixissima, et tediosissima scribenti: Deo gratias, Deo gratias, et iterum Deo gratias.”
— Scribal colophon at the end of a (handwritten) fourteenth century manuscript. The translation: “Here ends the second part of the Summa of brother Thomas Aquinas of the Order of Preaching Friars, the longest, wordiest, and most tedious thing ever written: thank God, thank God, and again thank God.” (via magnicifent