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Stop This Madness!
Rick Reilly
June 20, 1994
Futbol Fever! Soccermania! Who said the World Cup can't catch on here?
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June 20, 1994

Stop This Madness!

Futbol Fever! Soccermania! Who said the World Cup can't catch on here?

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Everywhere I go, it's Cup this, Cup that. Father O'Malley put in a plug for the Irish team again last Sunday during his homily, and Kineesa, the girl at the dry cleaners, refuses to take off the moose mask she's wearing in honor of Klas Ingesson, the Swedish star who is going to play even though he recently hurt his neck when his car hit a moose.

My golf foursome practically never gets together anymore. Anytime I suggest we play 18, they make up excuses, and then I find them out on the neighborhood pitch, working on their bicycle kicks.

And now even my father isn't speaking to me, ever since I got up at the Kiwanis meeting when it was my turn to name the team I thought would win it all, and I said Bulgaria instead of the U.S. Soon as we got in the car, he let me have it.

"Do you think your uncle Ed went over there and got a bunch of shrapnel in his spleen—which he carries to this day, I might add—so that his nephew could stand up at the Kiwanis and root for a bunch of commies who have no goaltending at all?" he yelled.

I tried to explain to him that I liked Bulgaria's powerful offense, but he wouldn't hear it.

Personally. I'll be glad when the last Cup party is over, and the pools are divvied up, and the guy at the tollbooth at the turnpike stops yelling "Tol-tol-tol-tol-tol-tol-tollllll!" every time I throw my quarter in, and the traffic cops get back to handing out tickets again instead of those silly yellow cards, and we can all get back to our normal, boring, everyday lives.

And maybe watch a little NFL.

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