Why Aren’t You Watching the World Cup?

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If you’re not watching the World Cup—
why not? Everybody else is. Literally.
3.2 billion people— almost half the world’s population
tuned in the last time around, and it’s sure to be more this time. I’m Noah Feldman.
This is The Method, where I break down hard questions
into the ideas and values behind them. Start with the possibility
that you’re an American who has no interest whatsoever
in soccer at all, to say nothing of the World Cup itself.
According to that view, Americans have no dog in this
fight. We don’t even call the sport—which everyone else
calls football—by the same name as everybody else calls it.
We’ve got basketball. We’ve got baseball.
We’ve got football. And there’s the Olympics if you want
to throw in a little bit of internationalism. But ultimately, why watch a sport
that you don’t really understand? That doesn’t make a lot of sense.
And where—let’s be honest— not very many goals are scored. It’s just not the American way. The core value here is
watch the sports you like, and if you don’t have
a feeling for soccer, it’s stupid to watch the World Cup. On the other hand,
consider the fact that there’s a connection
between all of those 3.2 billion people when they watch the World Cup. There is no other comparable
event on Earth that draws that many people, with that much
intensity, who care that deeply about the events that are taking place.
It’s fun. It’s joyful. It’s a way for connecting.
And it matters tremendously to fans of football—which they
call real football— everywhere else in the entire world. To avoid involvement in that,
because you just kind of
don’t like the sport, it’s saying a big no to the
whole human family, almost all of which thinks
that there’s something beautiful and simple about a game that can
be played with just one ball and your feet. According
to this view, sports bring us together into the human community,
and if you walk away from the most appealing sport
on Earth, you’re just a big naysayer. You should know who
Cristiano Ronaldo is. You should know the name
Lionel Messi, and above all you should know the name
Mohamed Salah. So do you think you have every right to
ignore sports you find boring, or do you think it’s worth learning
just a little bit in order to share with the rest of
the family of humanity? Make your choice,
and you’ll know who you are. What do you think?
Let us know in the comments, and by all means,
tell us if you have questions or ideas
for future episodes. Thanks for watching.

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