World Cup Quarterfinal: Netherlands v Costa Rica
Saturday, July 5
In advance of this year’s World Cup, Harper’s published a thinkpiece speculating that the tournament is becoming decreasingly nationalistic (relating it to larger trends of globalization, entertainment, trade, etc., etc.). As many countries’ top players regularly play for professional teams outside their own homeland, fan allegiances can potentially become fuzzy: is one more likely to root for one’s country or the players on one’s local squad, regardless of nationality?
A fine question, but it probably doesn’t matter too much here in the States. For, while soccer fandom is certainly on the rise, it is still probably fair to say that the Cup is for most of us nothing but another excuse to chant U-S-A, U-S-A (never mind that many of our players do indeed normally play overseas — and several even have dual citizenship and could very well play for another country in the Cup).
In ‘Merica, it is always about ‘Merica.
So, now that the U.S. has been eliminated from competition, it all becomes a bit academic doesn’t it? With no skin in the game, we can decide if we want the underdogs to win a game or the favorites. We can applaud skillful technique or those that play with the most heart. Do we like yellow or blue? Acting or sportsmanship?
Or, if you’re like us at Betalevel, you ask far more pressing questions, like: What would it look like if the tournament was held in the early nineties as channeled by circa 2011 Tumblr? On a computer-generated seascape? With dolphins? Well, this weekend we pull out some of the finest Standard-Definition prosumer video equipment available in 1993 and attempt to answer these questions.