too much

i usually don't watch soccer (or sports in general, minus the oakland a's) so the world cup has been really interesting for me to follow while i've been here in europe. everyone is so interested in this event that it's really interesting to see how this sport seems to have united an entire globe. in a lot of ways i think it's really wonderful: athletes playing for more than just money-- playing for the pride of their countries. i love that before each match, both teams' national anthems are played. when the camera makes it's way down the line of players you can see how struck they are by the mere fact that they are representing their nation. so much honor and patriotism.

at the same time, the weight of representing your country seems to make any loss a much heavier burden to carry. it breaks my heart seeing grown men with tears in their eyes and expressions of utter defeat when they lose a game. it's amazing and also very frightening how much a single match can bring so much elation to one country, yet so much devastation to another. is it a good thing that we allow ourselves to feel this much for a game? and could it be too much pressure for an entire nation's hope to rely on a few guys whose childhood games turned into their careers?

i don't know. i don't think that there is a right or wrong answer, i just couldn't resist thinking about the depth of these emotions from an outsider's perspective.

{my photo from the united states v. ghana match}