Micah’s History of Everything: The World Cup

Posted: June 5, 2014 by Micah in A History of Everything, Sports
Tags: , , ,

Well hey everyone and welcome to a very special World Cup edition of Thoughts We Might Have Had. For the most part this site talks about movies, but also for the most part this site wanders around and doesn’t really talk about anything at all, so why not talk about something that will soon affect us all whether it be through the engaging, tense, climactic matches we love or through the endless commercials that the rest of you will have to suffer through. And so herein’ is a brief history of the World Cup, soccer, and long annoying commercials that use the phrase “Once in a lifetime” way too much.

Football, or soccer as various lame people call it, is a sport wherein two sides of 11 run up and down a huge field and hope to (at one point or another) get Dennis to PASS THE BALL!!! All across the world people of all ages play the game of football as long as your definition of “play” expands to young children sitting in the dirt and building mountains out of saliva and soil. But anyway, a lot of people believe that the first true game of soccer was played in China during the Han dynasty a dynasty widely famed for the invention of putting vague sentences that had nothing to do with the actual future in fortune cookies.

This has nothing to do with fortunes, Cookie. Nothing.

This has nothing to do with fortunes, Cookie. Nothing.

The Cambridge Rules (released from Cambridge University in 1848) standardized the rules for the game and went a long way towards stopping people from inventing rules; such as the famed “Piccadilly Chicken” rule wherein players would throw actual live chickens at the opposing team. But now that the good gents from Cambridge were involved, rules were standardized and this helped us have the first world cup!! But before we get to that let’s have a brief summary of…

The Rules of Football

At its simplest football features two teams of 11 each trying to get a tiny round ball into rectangular nets placed on either side of the field (or “pitch” as awesome people call it.) The trick being that they can’t use their hands at all to touch the ball (unless the ref is not looking)or if you are the one guy who can touch the ball with his hands as long as he stays inside a special “Hold the ball with your hands” box. This one person who can touch the ball with his hands (as long as he is in the box) is often called “the goalie,” “the keeper, or “the person everyone will invariably blame for anything that goes wrong” and it is his job to defend the rectangular goal from the other ten people and the small bouncy ball… thing.

The ten people (who can’t use their hands even if they are standing in the “hold the ball with your hands” box) are divided into various positions such as striker, sweeper, wing, left back, rear front, and receptionist. At the highest level  of the sport players shift and flex their positions to better accommodate the teams overall game plan. At the lowest level of the sport players shift and flex their positions to better accommodate the fact that no one wants to play defense.

And then of course there is one of football’s most misunderstood rules: offsides. Offsides is perhaps best explained by the following chart.

Clear enough?

Clear enough?

Ha ha! I kid. Seriously though: Offsides is when there is no defensive player between an offensive player and the goal… except for the goalie who does not count. Or if it’s a Tuesday. Or if the offensive player sounds like “A” as in neighbor and way.

So now that we have a real comprehensive understanding of the rules of football let’s take a moment to talk about the history of perhaps the greatest celebration of soccer: the World Cup.

The History of the World Cup

England and Scotland played the first ever international Soccer game and it (in an incredibly exhilarating turn) ended in a 0-0 tie.  When the world cup finally took on the form we know it as today (it floundered for a few years pre-world war 2) it was about 1950 and was (like this year’s cup) held in Brazil. Brazil (in other world cup facts) is also the country that has won the most world Cup titles (5) with Italy (4) and Germany (3) coming in behind them… or it… or whatever other plural word that should be.

Happy 2014 everyone!! Enjoy the show!

Happy 2014 everyone!! Enjoy the show!

And now we stand on the brink of yet another tournament, the football world echoes with names like Namar, Ronaldo, and Messi which are either some of the world’s top soccer playersor the names of some powerful cleaning products and with that question burning in your mind like tiny football balls of fire I bid you adieu and Merry World cup to all!!

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