There’s a great line in the brilliant first series of ’30 Rock’, where Tracey Jordan asks Jack Donaghy ‘Do you like Phil Collins’? To which Jack replies, ‘I have two ears and a heart don’t I?’
Well, in the aftermath of Japan’s dramatic World Cup win over the United States last night, those with two ears and a heart worldwide no doubt are basking in the happiness emanating from a truly agreeable human story. This ‘season’ Japan has won the Men’s Asian Cup, the Women’s World Cup, and are at this moment making plans to take home the World Series and Superbowl.
A sporting triumph probably shouldn’t be over stated, but the whole point of this first section, this thinly veiled disclaimer, is to point out that this column completely understands the positive effect this trophy has on Japan’s people.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. As they say.
However, and surely you knew there was a ‘however’ coming, this column is resorting moodily to drugs and alcohol to block out the incredibly stomach churning headlines and articles we are being treated to this morning. You are left wondering, did these people watch the World Cup? Did they actually watch the final itself?
Let’s just get the nagging, stinging suspicion that’s hanging in the air out in the open. This column suspects there are an awful lot of people writing stories this morning that didn’t watch the match last night, and are gleefully jumping on the human story element in order to get some interesting copy printed up. The same people that produced shoddy, pop pieces on ‘The top five hottest World Cup players’ and then sat back and watched their hit counts rise.
You think that didn’t happen? It did. Some of the biggest sporting websites in the world produced hard hitting, Pulitzer prize worthy, meticulously researched slide shows on the Women’s World Cup’s hottest babes. You know what though, at least they didn’t get up this morning and write an article headlined ‘Japan’s destiny’.
At least the people judging the top hottest female World Cup players are transparently trying to load up on Internet hits. Sexist, swarthy and plain stupid as their actions are, they are just doing what many mainstream writers are resorting to. Namely, talking about butts and boobs in order to lure people into reading the sports/pop culture articles.
This column’s ire is reserved for those inane clowns writing this morning about ‘Japan’s destiny’. Destiny, really? So it was Japan’s destiny to largely survive twenty seven (TWENTY SEVEN!) shots on goal? It was Japan’s destiny to withstand several shots against the woodwork? It was their destiny to cynically chop Alex Morgan down, clean through on goal ready to pull the trigger on the World Cup winning goal?
The ‘destiny’ story line is such a paint-by-numbers, blasé and boring cliché that any journalist that uses it should be terminated immediately. On top of that, calling it their destiny is actually insulting to the Japanese themselves. Frankly I am sure they have greater things in their destiny, as a people, as a race.
Was it Uruguay’s destiny to cheat Ghana out of a World Cup semi final place in the men’s tournament? Japan basically did the exact same thing. Uruguay’s resident scum bag Luis Suarez (Too harsh? Reminder: He bit a player a few games after his disgraceful handball) was nodding with approval as Japan hacked down Morgan as she raced through clean on goal.
Much like the magnificent women’s World Cup was much more than just a collection of soccer’s hottest babes, the final was much more than a neatly parceled, tidily wrapped up ‘great human story!’ Laud Japan all you want, but spare us this ‘destiny’ rubbish. Japan had a defensive, clever game plan, and they rode their luck, and executed great cynicism in taking the trophy.
Of course, nobody wants to hear that.
The big, successful Internet sites indicate people don’t want any part of actually dissecting the tournament and the big game itself. The billions of Internet hits they get suggest that what people want is to roll out of bed, check out a few pictures of Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Lisa Dahlqvist, read about Japan’s destiny, and then go watch re-runs of Two and a Half Men in their boxer shorts.
Did this column enjoy the Women’s World Cup? Well, I have two eyes and a heart, so yes. And congratulations Japan. But, please, spare us the asinine garbage about destiny.
‘I have two ears and a heart don’t I?’