Bigger Than You Know

Category: By Christian
It's started. Futbol season is upon us. For the first time in a long time, there was a match going on halfway across the world when I woke up on Sunday morning. One of the great things about being a Futbol fan in this country is that you can get most of your watching out of the way in the morning before things really get rolling for the day. There's nothing like getting out of bed to sit down with a cup of coffee, the paper and a 18 pound kiddo to start your day right.

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to watch the Asia Cup Championship. It was appointment viewing in that there were some great story lines. The most compelling was that Iraq made it to the final. It was a stunning upset, and the biggest futbol accomplishment for that country to date. It was also a huge morale booster and uniting force for the country as differing factions were able to find common ground and cheer their country on for the sake of national pride.

In all honesty, the game wasn't played all that well. Iraq dominated Saudi Arabia for most of the game. They missed a ton of opportunities and made some sloppy passes. It certainly wasn't the most elegant match in the world. And yet, I was pulling hard for them. Because this was a great example of how futbol is so much bigger than futbol. You saw it when they won and the team decided they couldn't go back to their country for fear that somebody might do something horrible to them to prove a point. You saw it when the Iraqi captain used his moment of victory to lobby for a US withdrawal from Iraq. You saw it in Dubai yesterday when the team protested during their own victory rally.

It seems their are two national anthems in Iraq. There is the old one that was used under Sadaam's regime. Then there is a new one for the liberated Iraq. It seems the DJ at the rally didn't know there was a new one, and played the one that is deemed a symbol of oppression by the Iraqi people.

And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons why early morning futbol is compelling appointment viewing at my house.

Fair Dinkum

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