World Watch: FIFA

soccerIn a world that is often divided by politics, religion, and opinions, we have been graced by a somewhat unlikely connector, The World Cup. For here is a contest that has spurred the interest of so many. No matter what language, what culture, or where you are, it has brought the world together. And although we all have our favorite teams, the one we ‘cheer’ through thick and thin, the one we would travel across the globe to ‘spur-on’, the one that seduces us to stay up way beyond our bedtime, the one we say an extra prayer for…this sport has united and mesmerized people from all hemispheres.

And so I say, thank you FIFA for you have brought a bit of civility to our chaotic and confusing lives. For no matter where we are you can assuredly turn to someone and ask “What’s the score?” and they will know what you mean.

soccer ball Today’s post introduces us to the library of humor from Punch Magazine. Founded by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells, its name and masthead was adopted from the famous French Punch and Judy puppets. Beginning in 1841, the British magazine, Punch, brought to its readers comedy and satire each week. Filled with satirical drawings, the term ‘cartoon” was coined. The magazine’s popularity had its ups and downs, when in 2002 its diminished circulation dwindled forcing the publication to no longer publish its wit and humor.

From Mr. Punch’s Book of Sports (1910) I bring you a bit of light humor in the form of poetry. Steal a moment between “games” to get an inside look at the world’s most popular sport…here is FOOT-BALL À LA MODE.

FOOT-BALL À LA MODE

[Hardly a week passes without our hearing of one or more dangerous accidents at football.]

A manly game it is, I think,
Although in private be it spoken,
While at a scrimmage I don’t shrink,
That bones may be too often broken.
I snapped my clavicle last week,
Just like the rib of an umbrella;
And sprained my ankle, not to speak
Of something wrong with my patella.
Last season, too, my leg I broke,
And lay at home an idle dreamer,
It’s not considered quite a joke
To contemplate a broken femur.
And when, despite the doctor’s hints,
Again at foot-ball I had tussles,
I found myself once more in splints,
With damaged gastronomic muscles.
Some three times every week my head,
Is cut, contused, or sorely shaken;
My friends expect me brought home dead,
But up to now I’ve saved my bacon.
But what are broken bones, my boys,
Compared with noble recreation?
The scrimmages and all the joys
Of Rugby or Association!

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