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我爱世界杯 Why I Love the World Cup?


  My morning ritual used to go like this: Roll out of bed at 7:15, play with my daughter for a few minutes, suck down 185 ounces of coffee to wake up, then answer e-mails and zoom1) through Web sites for a couple of hours as “SportsCenter2)” blares in the background.
  Then the World Cup started.
  Much to my surprise, the 7:30 a.m. game quickly became part of my routine. Soccer, it turns out, is the perfect sport to watch while you’re doing other things. Maybe it’s that constant soothing3) sound, a never-ending din4) of cheering and singing in strange languages. Maybe it’s that you only have to glance at the TV every so often5). Whenever something seems like it might happen, the play-by-play6) guy warns you with the rise in his energy level. There’s always time to catch a play before it unfolds … even though it usually ends with some exhausted striker7) rocketing the ball 25 feet over the crossbar8). Maybe it’s that you know what you’re getting every time-out9): six or seven exciting plays, a game that ends at a specific time, no annoying sideline10) reporters or goofy11) camera angles. All in all, a peaceful two hours of competition.
  And when something does happen, it happens. There isn’t a more electric moment than a World Cup goal, especially one of those crazy ones, like when in 2006 World Cup that Argentine absorbed a long cross with his chest, wheeled 90 degrees and whipped a soaring lefty kick to beat Mexico’s goalie in OT12) (degree of difficulty: 12.9). I looked up from Chad Ford13)’s 332nd online mock draft14) just in time to see it. Yes, this is the perfect morning viewing: better than old NBA games, better than Red Sox15) replays, better than anything on TV Land. On the morning of July 5, when I realized no games were scheduled, I actually made this noise: “Oh-awwwwww.” What was I going to do? No game? What now?

Italy's overtime goals against Germany were about as exciting as it gets.  我以前每天早晨的例行程序如下:7:15翻身下床,和女儿玩几分钟,吞下185盎司的咖啡清醒一下,然后伴着《体育中心》的喧嚣回复电子邮件,在网上浏览几个小时。

  Does this mean I like soccer? Of course not. I’m a World Cup fan, not a soccer fan. Here are 8 reasons why:
  These games feel like life or death. No, really. When the Colombian defender16) was murdered after 1994’s World Cup, the stakes were set: Screw up17) and you may die. You can see it on everyone’s face. After Argentina’s goal, the shell-shocked18) coach of Mexico looked as if he’d gotten a terminal diagnosis from his doctor. I half expected him to start hastily scribbling a will. For most of the countries involved, soccer is the equivalent of baseball + football + basketball here, if those sports came around only one month every four years. You can feel the tension. It’s suffocating. The winners are relieved, the losers decimated19). There’s no in-between.
  The red card/yellow card thing. Nonsensical20), completely arbitrary, even crooked21) to some degree … I love it. Why hasn’t the NBA adopted this yet? Can you imagine how many yellows and reds the Mavericks22) would have gotten in the finals?
  There’s something fascinating about the underlying baggage23) in every game. My buddy Kurt e-mailed me last week, “If you’re a Nazi war criminal who escaped the Allied forces after WWII, who do you root for24) tomorrow: Germany, who propelled you to the top of their system, or Argentina, who took you in and helped hide your crimes against humanity?”
  The postgame ritual of players exchanging sweaty jerseys25) cracks me up26). Imagine if some Dutch guy, drenched27) from running around in 95-degree heat for an hour and a half, handed you his shirt. Ah, gee, thanks … Can’t wait to put this in my duffel … No, really, this is great.
  You know my Remote Control Test that says you can’t deny someone’s or something’s appeal if you can’t flick the channel when he/she/it is on? Well, no matter how you feel about soccer, would you ever turn the channel right before penalty kicks28) to decide an elimination game? Ever? In a million years?
  Everyone makes fun of the flopping29), and it is hideous30), but it’s also funny as hell31). These guys drop like they were gunned down by a sniper32), then they roll around for 10 seconds in absolute agony, heroically hop up and limp around to “shake it off” , and within 30 seconds they’re running full speed again. Even Ric Flair33) didn’t sell pain so well.
  The whole injury-time34) thing. I mean, what other sport keeps some arbitrary amount of extra time in an official’s back pocket? It’s so stupid yet weirdly effective. I’m convinced the guy who came up with that was drunk.
  I have enjoyed soccer’s partisan35) songs and chants since Victory36), when the crowd inspired Sly Stallone to stone Werner Roth’s penalty kick. Yes, part of it is that soccer fans need to invent ways to kill time because so little actually happens. But you have to admire their creativity. It makes you wonder why we don’t have more chants and songs for our sports. Take Me Out to the Ball Game37) brings down the house38) every time, right? So why stop there? We can’t muster enough brainpower to do anything but sing along to crappy music that blares from the PA39)? We should make chants for goal-line stands, for closers looking for one more out, for opposing players shooting free throws40). Instead, we settle for an expletive41) (the one involving cattle) after bad calls. What’s wrong with us?

After watching all the flopping, don't pictures like this just make you want to scream?  这是否说明我喜欢足球呢?当然不是。我是一个世界杯迷,但不是一个足球迷。以下是之所以如此的八条理由:
  1. 这些比赛关乎生死。噢,真是这样。1994年世界杯后,哥伦比亚的一名后卫被谋杀了。这就向大家表明:搞砸比赛,你可能会丧命。你可以从每个人的脸上看出这一点。在阿根廷进球后,已处于严重疲劳状态的墨西哥队教练看起来就像是刚从医生那里拿到了晚期诊断书。我甚至都有点以为他要着手草拟遗嘱了。对大部分参赛国家来说,足球等同于棒球+橄榄球+篮球,只不过它是每隔四年才进行为时一个月的比赛。你可以感觉到紧张的气氛,简直让人窒息。赢家们松了口气,输家们则有可能丧命,没有中间路线。
  2. 红/黄牌把戏。没有意义,完全是随意的,从某种程度上讲甚至是骗人的把戏……但我喜欢。为什么NBA还没有采用这一套呢?你能想象在总决赛中小牛队将会得到多少张黄牌和红牌吗?
  3. 每场比赛背后都有潜在的包袱,让人觉得很有趣。我的哥儿们库尔特上周给我发电子邮件说,“如果你是一个纳粹战犯,二战后逃过了盟军的追捕,那么你明天为谁加油:是将你推上其体制顶端的德国,还是收留了你并且帮你掩盖危害人类罪行的阿根廷?”
  4. 赛后球员交换被汗水浸透的球衣的仪式。那仪式着实让我崩溃。设想一下,一个荷兰人,在华氏95度高温下跑了一个半小时,浑身被汗水浸透了,然后把他的球衣递给你。啊,天哪,谢谢……迫不及待地放进行李袋中。不,说真的,这的确很棒。
  5. 你知道,我有个遥控器测试。就是说,当电视上在演什么人或事时,如果你做不到按键换台,那么说明你无法抵挡他/她/它的魅力。无论你如何看待足球,你能在淘汰赛罚点球的时刻换台吗?你会吗?一百万年中会有一次吗?
  6. 球员砰然倒下时,大家都觉得好笑。那种倒法真是有碍观瞻,但却有趣极了。这些家伙们就好像是被狙击手击中一般倒下,在极度痛苦中翻滚十秒钟,然后英雄般跃起,跛行片刻以“摆脱伤痛”,然后30秒之内,他们又可以全速奔跑了。就连瑞克·弗莱尔也未曾使痛苦如此叫座。
  7. 伤停补时的把戏。我的意思是,还有什么其他运动让一个官员有权随意决定加时的长短?这真是愚蠢、荒唐,却出奇地有效。我深信制定此规则的人一定是喝醉了。
  8. 自从看了《胜利大逃亡》之后,特别是看到观众席怂恿斯莱·史泰龙向正在罚点球的沃纳·罗斯投掷石块之后,我就迷上了为各球队助威的歌曲。是的,部分原因是足球迷们需要想出点打发时间的办法,因为进球的确太少了。但是你不得不佩服他们的创造力。这让人不禁发问,我们为什么不为我们的各种运动多创作些歌曲呢?《带我去看球赛》每次都能博得满堂喝彩,不是吗?那为什么要止步于此呢?除了和着扩音喇叭里的垃圾音乐唱歌,我们就没有足够的智慧再干点别的吗?我们应该为橄榄球比赛中球门线前的围堵创作歌曲,为棒球比赛中竭力将对方球员杀出局的“终结者”投球手创作歌曲,为篮球比赛中罚球的对方球员创造歌曲。可相反地,我们却仅满足于误判后一句骂人的脏话(和牛有关的那句) (译者注:这里指英语中的咒骂语bullshit,意为“牛粪”)。我们到底出了什么毛病?

  No, soccer isn’t so bad, and that brings me to my big question: Why put four years between World Cups? Long ago, someone decided that significant international sporting events should occur only every four years, and everyone else agreed, even though the reason was probably something like, “We don’t have planes yet, and since everyone has to arrive by boat, we’d better not do this too often.” Why not whittle42) the window43) to three years? Would anyone be against this?
  When I asked my dad about this, he dismissed me, saying simply, “That’s the way they’ve always done it.” Well, if we used that argument for all things, we’d still be drinking tap water. So here’s my vote for a triennial44) Cup.
  In the meantime, I’m preparing for life after soccer. So long, World Cup. My morning coffees won’t taste the same.

  1. zoom [zu:m] vi. 嗡嗡(或隆隆)作响;嗡嗡(或隆隆)地疾行
  2. SportsCenter:《体育中心》,日间体育新闻节目
  3. soothing [5su:TIN] adj. 安慰的,抚慰性的
  4. din [dIn] n. 喧嚣
  5. every so often:(=every now and then)不时,间或,偶尔
  6. play-by-play [5pleIbaI5pleI] adj. (尤指对体育比赛)详细报道的
  7. striker [5straIkE] n. [足]前锋,射手
  8. crossbar [5krCsbB:] n. 球门的横木
  9. time-out:[体](球类等比赛进行中)暂停
  10. sideline [5saIdlaIn] n. (供替补球员坐的)场外地区
  11. goofy [5^u:fI] adj. 愚笨的,傻瓜的
  12. OT:加时赛(overtime的简写)
  13. Chad Ford:查德·福德,美国体育记者
  14. draft [drB:ft] n. 〈美〉(球类协会分配给所属各职业队选拔新队员权的)选秀制度,这里指NBA选秀。
  15. Red Sox:这里指波士顿红袜子棒球队,隶属于美国职业棒球大联盟。
  16. 此处指哥伦比亚国脚埃斯科巴。1994年7月2日,埃斯科巴在本国麦德林市一家酒吧门口的停车场被枪杀,起因源于他在十天前的世界杯赛场上将美国队的传球射入了本队球门,从而导致该届比赛的热门队伍哥伦比亚队小组赛后便打道回府。
  17. screw up:〈口〉弄糟,搞乱
  18. shell-shocked:患战斗疲劳症的
  19. decimate [5desImeIt] vt. 大批杀死,大量毁灭
  20. nonsensical [nCn5sensIkEl] adj. 无意义的,荒谬的
  21. crooked [5krukId] adj.〈口〉 不正当的;欺诈的
  22. Mavericks:这里指成立于1980年的职业篮球队达拉斯小牛队(Dallas Mavericks)。
  23. baggage [5bA^IdV] n.〈喻〉 包袱(指因过激或过时而成为负担的信仰、学说、特性、习俗等)
  24. root for:支持
  25. jersey [5dV\:zI] n. 运动衫
  26. crack up:使(在精神上或健康方面)垮掉
  27. drench [drentF] v. 湿透
  28. penalty kick:[足]罚点球
  29. flop [flCp] vi. 猛然坐下(或躺下、跪下)
  30. hideous [5hIdIEs] adj. 令人憎恶的;令人惊骇的
  31. as hell:很,非常
  32. sniper [5snaIpE] n. 狙击手
  33. Ric Flair:瑞克·弗莱尔(1949~),美国杰出的摔角手
  34. injury-time:〈英〉[体]伤停补时
  35. partisan [pB:tI5zAn] adj. 忠于或偏向于支持某一政党、团体或事业的
  36. Victory:《胜利大逃亡》,由美国和英国于1981年联合摄制的足球巨片。这部影片除了由当时美国巨星斯莱·史泰龙(下文中提到的Sly Stallone)领衔主演外,还有很多20世纪80年代的足球巨星出演(其中包括下文中提到的美国足球队后卫Werner Roth)。影片取材于二战时期的真实事件,一群由盟军战俘组成的足球队挫败了纳粹德国的球队,从而粉碎了其妄图利用足球比赛挫败盟军士气的阴谋。
  37. Take Me Out to the Ball Game:《带我去看球赛》,由美国的歌曲作家Jack Norworth (1879~1959)于1908年创作的歌曲,现已成为著名的棒球歌曲。
  38. bring down the house:〈口〉满堂彩,博得全场喝彩(或热烈鼓掌)
  39. PA:扩音系统(Public Address/System)
  40. free throw:罚球
  41. expletive [eks5plitIv] n. 咒骂语
  42. whittle [5(h)wItl] vt. 削减
  43. window [5wIndEu] n. 期限
  44. triennial [traI5enjEl] adj. 三年的,每三年一度的