Monday, July 11, 2011

Victory or Death

Big sports news this weekend - no, not Derek Jeter's 3000th hit (Which, could everyone in NY just calm down a bit? Hitting a baseball is literally his whole job, and he's been doing it for 16 years). Rather, there was all manner of screaming, honking, and celebratory gunfire yesterday as Mexico won the Superbowl of soccer's Sub-17 division. We don't follow the sport very closely, and we assumed "Sub-17" was one of those over technocratic league names the soccerites are so fond of. In fact, it turns out to mean "children under the age of seventeen," meaning the entire nation spent a summer weekend enthralled by a high school soccer game. Hey, who are we to judge?

So both our local papers, and we assume many hundreds of others across the country, we with the same boldface tribute to the team's heroic children:

The niños héroes, as the headline writers surely know, were a group of young cadets who slaughtered by US forces - one of them ("el niño apócrifo") throwing himself off the parapet wrapped in the Mexican flag - as the yanquis took Chapultepec Castle in 1847, en route to winning a humiliating war that would cost Mexico half her territory.

We were going to say something obvious about how, as metaphors for victory go, this one is somewhat lacking. But of course, this is Mexico, where there are few things as glorious as a 16-year-old boy hurling himself to his death wrapped in the bandera nacional. The analogy between that and a 16-year-old winning a soccer championship, is pretty straightforward; they’re practically the same thing. Rather than being historically ignorant, as we originally thought, the headline writers clearly know their readers.


Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of soccer, but I can't stand Derek Jeter. I'd rather hear about his 3000th colonoscopy.

Charles Darwin said...

The two fans going for baseballs, one of which died, was the big sports news around here.