Opinion » The Rant

The Rant

Soccer, football, twitter, FedExForum, Mud Island, nightmares, murder, and other random musings.


  • Katie Nesling | Dreamstime.com

Okay, so maybe I spent one too many Saturday nights riding around in a van airbrushed with a pot leaf motif to understand all this, but why do I keep seeing disturbing headlines about the FIFA World Cup. To tell you the truth, the real, honest truth, I wasn't even sure what this was, so, yes, I did a quick Google search and learned that

FIFA stands for "Fédération Internationale de Football Association." And all this time in the back of my mind, I thought this was a soccer championship. So is it football or soccer? Or is football in other countries what we consider to be soccer in the United States, further separating us from the rest of civilization?

Actually, it really doesn't matter to me if it's football or soccer. I don't keep up with either. I used to watch New York Yankees baseball games sometimes but now that Derek Jeter is retiring, why bother? I also used to be a huge Grizzlies fan until they traded Shane Battier. Oh, I still love them and root for them and all that stuff but I'm still bitter. Very, very bitter about that trade. Plus, I have a really difficult time in FedExForum.

I have, oh, four or five hundred different neuroses when it comes to height and motion. I have nightmares about heights almost every single night. It usually involves being in a glass elevator that begins to horribly malfunction on its descent from the top floor to the lobby. It becomes detached from its main cable and swirls around the high-rise hotel in a circular motion while plummeting to the ground. Sometimes my nightmares involve driving. I don't drive on the interstate — or anywhere else for that matter — more than 45 miles per hour. I have some kind of physical reaction to it that renders me almost to a state of vertigo. Bridges: Uh, no. No driving over even small bridges. When I go to Harbor Town, I have to drive all the way around Mud Island down Second Street into that weird sort of inner-city rural area and back around down the street along the river until I get to the entrance where the leasing office is, and then I get completely lost trying to find wherever I am going. It's a beautiful place to be lost but it still throws off my equilibrium. But back to FedExForum and all that commotion that goes on in there. For me, there is way too much going on at one time, with all of the music and noise and lights and speakers and such. I used to do fairly well at The Pyramid but FedExForum, even with seats near the court, is sensory overload for me. And, yes, I know most people love it, as they should, and it's just me. I went to see Elton John there a year or so ago and was in one of those private suites, but I still had to hold onto something while trying to get up to it. And, once seated, if I looked up at the very top seats in the arena, my legs turned to ice from the kneecaps down. I also recently went to a Memphis Redbirds game. A foul ball slammed into the section where I was sitting (yes, in a suite again, watching it through the glass), and I felt like a cat with one life less than the nine I was given. But it was fun. Other than almost being killed or living the rest of my life in a home for the sports-injured.

But I digress. I digress a lot. It doesn't take a lot to make my attention span scatter all over the place. So back to the World Cup and God and murders. I keep seeing stories about places in the Middle East, where huge groups of people watching the World Cup are being attacked and killed by terrorists. I even saw one story about an Italian man who murdered his wife and two kids just before leaving to go watch the World Cup at a bar with his friends. There are tanks at the Rio de Janeiro main airport, in anticipation of angry scenes after airport workers announced a 24-hour wildcat strike. There are angry protests in Sao Paulo. And then, there is this news report from Iraq: "Shocking footage has emerged showing Sunni insurgents of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) beheading a police officer. In the clip, the militants knock on the door of the police officer's home at night. After he answers, they blindfold him, cuff him, and behead him with a knife. After the decapitation, the militants took a picture of the officer's head and posted it on Twitter with the comment: "This is our ball. It's made of skin. #WorldCup." The brutal act has sparked outrage on Twitter. 

And this is about soccer? Or is it about using soccer as an excuse to just be evil? I'm going back to ignorance is bliss on this one. Same with Twitter.

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