Monday, July 5, 2010

Oranj and La Roja

Nope, not necessarily my picks for the World Cup finals, but the colors I chose at the farmers market this morning (Lucero farms).

But back to Oranj and La Furia Roja since the World Cup is as beautiful and delicious right now as cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

July 06, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Holland v Uruguay FIFA World Cup Semi Final - South Africa 2010 - Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - 6/7/10..Holland's Arjen Robben (L) in action with Uruguay's Martin Cacares.

Footballers represent athleticism in its purest form. They are fast, nimble, enduring, and brilliant in action.

SOCCER/FUTBOL WORLD CUP 2010 SEMIFINAL ALEMANIA VS ESPANA Action photo of David Villa of Spain, during semi finals game of the 2010 World Cup held at Durban, South Africa./Foto de accion de David Villa de Espana, durante juego de la semifinal de la Copa del Mundo 2010 celebrado en Durban, Sudafrica. 07 July 2010 MEXSPORT/JORGE REYES Photo via Newscom

They are also fiercely attractive.

But recently, as I tried to get to know many of them (virtually, since there were no other options), I learned that many are womanizing, egomaniac multi-millionaires who preen themselves, the way peacocks do. As my friend Ravenna says, "there's a lot of waxing...a lot of metro out there." My fantasy boyfriend, who plays for a team that was humiliated in the early rounds of the cup, was arrested for punching someone in the face.

That’s nice.

But on the pitch, these players (using the term in all its glory here) are wizards. They can turn the ball into a rocket, dancing object or mad spinning top making it go where ever they want it to. And they—at least many on the teams that have made it to the semis—are resilient, hardworking, and care about the collective good of the players.

Carlos Tevez Argentina World Cup 2010 Philipp Lahm Germany Argentina V Germany (0-4) 02/07/10 Quarter Final in Cape Town FIFA World Cup 2010 Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

I know football is not a place to look for a husband. But watching these guys, I forget my age and their peccadilloes because they look glorious in action. Oh how masterfully they pass the ball between their feet, left and right, backwards and diagnonally with exquisite precision.

They tear down the field like jaguars, hurling their bodies after the ball uninhibitedly and tolerating pounces, shoves and blows along the way.

Even when they get violently tackled, they bounce back to sprint a couple of kilometers using their heads to ricochet 70-mph Jabulani. Didier Drogba was playing with a broken arm! Determined and purposeful, they seem to forget themselves. They will do whatever it takes.

How is that not awe inspiring? The word hero comes to mind. Oh, it just does.

Yet they are vulnerable too. Over these past few weeks I have seen the gamut of flared tempers and physical aggression, but also wild outbursts of joy, tears, and tenderness.

Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany consoles a devasted Steven Gerrard of England..FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16..Germany v England..27th June, 2010.

All things considered, I think I have discovered my favorite team, pictured below. I don't know what these guys do in their private lives, but that may be irrelevant to me because they have all the right stuff on the pitch: teamwork, technique, artistry, superb fitness and emotional intelligence. They are ethnically diverse, and short and tall to boot. (Pun intended.)

By the way, there wasn’t any black-red-and-gold produce this morning.

Jun. 06, 2010 - Frankfurt Main, Hesse, Germany - epa02189749 The Germany national soccer squad poses for a group photo as they board an Airbus A380 of German carrier Lufthansa in Frankfurt Main, Germany, 06 June 2010. (front row L-R) head coach Joachim Loew, assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick and goalie coach Andreas Koepke; (2nd row L-R) Marko Marin, Mesut Ozil, Piotr Trochowski; (3rd row L-R) Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira; (4th row L-R) Cacau, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose; (5th row L-R) Philipp Lahm, Stefan Kiessling, Thomas Mueller; (6th row L-R) Mario Gomez, Serdar Tasci, Marcell Jansen; (7th row L-R) Arne Friedrich, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber; (top row L-R) goalies Manuel Neuer, Tim Wiese, Hans Jorg Butt. The A380 with some 60 people consisting from the squad, coaches, physios, officals etc. as well as fans and journalists is bound for South Africa to bring the Germany squad savely to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Germany plays its first group match against Australia on 13 June.

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