Offside is Strategic: Totally Credible World Cup Advice

Jun 14, 2014 by

          “What are you going to wear for World Cup this year, a flag?” my little sister shot at me. (I swear she looks up to me. She just won’t admit it.)

          Her snarky comment was so pricelessly dry that I couldn’t help but laugh. “Naw, I’m not 16 anymore,” I said. “I think I might actually put some clothes on this time.”

 

***

 

100_1225          Ah, soccer summers: so full of excitement, pride, dating potential . . . Cue my Italian cockiness, because World Cup has arrived, and it may or may not be one of the major reasons behind my confidence that this summer is the boyfriend summer. (Come on, Azzurri, score so I can too!) To prepare you for this month of soccer, I’m going to tell you how to do World Cup the only way anyone need know how: like an Italian. (Do keep in mind that this is written from the perspective of an Italian with next to no knowledge of soccer.) Here’s to hot Italians in the streets! Let’s shut down St. Clair again!

 
1. Flaunt your pride, but drop the accent.

          First and foremost, please don’t be one of those people who suddenly develops an Italian accent out of air. If you can’t say more than a few swear words in Italian, you don’t have an accent. Accept it. Don’t subconsciously fake one. Having said that, never let someone tell you that being unable to speak Italian somehow strips you of your Italian descent. Just because you can’t produce or understand the most beautiful language in existence (Dear Mom and Dad, thanks for refusing to speak to me in more than one language despite your fluency in two. Italy hates me because of you.), does not mean you did not grow up with nonna lecturing you for being too skinny no matter how much you ate, pronouncing sandwich like sangwich (emphasis on the g), and thinking it’s normal to talk at the decibel of a jet engine. Whether you speak Italian or not, you wave that Italian flag as you should!

 
2. Know that a ball in the net is a goal and being offside is offensive, and you’ll be just fine.

          It is during sports championships like World Cup that those people who have been playing or watching the game since birth like to emphasize their superiority over us common folk who only watch the tournaments. Listen, I own it: I go to the games for the charged atmosphere and the street party after Italy wins. If you, like me, have limited knowledge of soccer, fear not. Here’s what you need to know to get by with ease: The ball goes in the net to score a point. A play made while positioned closer to the opposition’s net than a member of the opposing team is considered offside, making it illegal. (I will never ever understand why. Personally, I think being offside is strategic, but I also thought Wayne Gretzky played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. #cluelessaboutsports) Buffon is the best goalkeeper in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo cries – a lot! (This makes him highly unattractive, but most ladies disagree with me.) If Italy doesn’t score the first goal of the game, they’re most likely fucked because they lose momentum and seem to forget the importance of playing their forwards, so prepare to wipe your eyes with your flag. Spain won the last World and the last two Euros, crushing – like, might-as-well-have-dropped-a-bomb-on-the-goddam-Italian-peninsula crushing – Italy during the Euro 2012 final game. Nonetheless, Italy is the best team in every soccer tournament, because all Italians and I say so. If you take anything away from reading this, let it be that.

 
3. If you have no idea what the fuck just happened, follow the crowd.

          Space during games? Me too! Sports are like commercials to me. I could be looking right at the screen, appearing to be engaged, meanwhile I’m thinking about how the ef I’m going to confirm whether or not the hot guy at the bar has a girlfriend before approaching him. I’m selectively attentive. If the players have been running up and down the field without a goal for half an hour, I’m probably selecting not to care. Of course, this sometimes causes me to miss things. In such cases, I just look to the people around me for the appropriate response, whether that be clenching my flag in outrage, yelling at the screen, or screaming like a banshee. I then turn to a friend to find out what the hell happened.

 
4. Get your 15 seconds!

          Always wanted to be on TV? World Cup is your chance! Position yourself at the front of the bar, right near the cameramen, and give it to them: jump, cry, wave your flag like an SOS sign! Be animated, and I guarantee you a spot on TLN at the very least. If you’re a human whistle like I am, City TV is definitely within your reach, so dream big, my little claim-to-famers!

 
5. Be slutty, ladies and gentlemen. Be slutty.

          Bless you non-singles during World Cup. Scoping the crowd and collecting phone numbers is 50 percent (90 percent) of the fun! Italian soccer = lost virginity (true story and mathematical fact). Guys, ladies don’t wear those low V-necks with Italia on the boob for nothing (any chick who pretends otherwise is full of shit), and we’re well aware that Peroni you’re sipping like a cool kid while loudly flaunting your knowledge of soccer is a play. To clarify, I’m not mocking; I’m encouraging! Girls, you cinch those jerseys at your waists to flash those short shorts! Guys, you stock up on those booty calls! Make me proud, babes!

 
6. Utilize your assists.

          I love when my friends protectively offer to beat up douchebags for me. It’s sweet. But World Cup is not the time! When it comes to soccer, you want your best wingmen/women. I’m talking about the people who are down to talk to randoms, occupy a hot guy’s/girl’s friends, and intercept potential cock/coochblocks. Every good goal needs its assist! (Either that metaphor makes me erroneously sound like I really know my soccer or appropriately serves as a great example of how ignorant I am with regard to it.)

 
7. Be Italian.

          Not Italian? That’s okay! We like wannabes! And trust me, you want to be Italian. We’re pretty and we party fucking hard. Get to Market Lane, College, or St. Clair during the Italy games, and we’ve got you from there. (My Guianese university roommate wanted to go to St. Clair every day after experiencing an Italy win.) Just don’t be the dumbass that walks the streets with a flag that is anything other than green, white, and red. That’s just asking for the wooden spoon.

 
Happiness Tip: Do World Cup like an Italian!

 
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