Sunday, July 8, 2007

Burn. It. Down.

Soccer is just 22 players on a smooth grass field, two goals, some lines, a few do's and don'ts and a 32 panel ball.

So why does this video show that several generations of emotion, history, religious strife, and civil war could be put into the past a little more by a soccer match? Should life be like that? No. But life isn't like a textbook, unless you are reading abnormal psychology.

This video documents Northern Ireland's ("Norn Iron") 2006 World Cup qualifier against England, on Northern Ireland's home field. It takes just 7 seconds for N. Ireland to commit their first foul. The video is a montage, but from other sources I have established that David Healy (#9) scored in minute 73, and that N. Ireland won the match 1-0.

Did any one think N. Ireland was going to win the 2006 World Cup? No. But this small victory was all they could have dreamed of, and they got it. Imagine believing that if your house were just payed off, many other problems would disappear, and then waking up and finding a check for that exact amount shoved under your front door during the night. Would $100,000,000 in lottery winning have been even better? Of course. No matter. That was out of the picture. Undreamable. Truly impossible. So in the context of this N. Irish soccer world, this was like winning the lottery.

Should the crowd be so excited that they set flags on fire which could have led to a big disaster?
No. But this is soccer. This is abnormal psychology. This is life. The fans went home (along with millions others watching on tv) and had ... pleasant thoughts as they fell asleep. Maybe for some, there was actually an easing of long-held frustrations over Britain's dealing with N. Ireland.

Worse things could have happened that night in September in 2005 than having ... pleasant thoughts as you fall asleep.

PS - Yeah, he looked offside to me. Life, soccer: neither is fair all the time. This night was N. Ireland's. And remember that EVERY team has its night.

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