it's an honor and a privelege

The world cup is soon upon us. I absolutely love soccer and the world cup in particular. The Olympics are cheesy, over produced, and mostly composed of sports and people you've never heard of. Unless I'm in the Olympic Village, partaking in the true "Games" I really have no interest in most of what goes on. There are just two teensie, tiny, little, problems that exists for me here.

1) I have no one to root for.
2) Soccer doesn't love me back.

My soccer career was short lived to say the least but the sport captured my imagination and every time I would pick up a new game I'd still look back on soccer with reverence. The reason I have no one to root for is because American soccer is by and large shitty. "100% Rat Ass" as they say. The ODP program in the states is meant to glean the best talent we have and turn it into the future of soccer here. Like most national programs in any country this one is by all accounts corrupt and largely useless. What we need is for all of our best talent to FIRST stop playing baseballbasketballfootballhockeyortrack and then we can talk about soccer. Right now simple market forces draw any talented young man into team sports like football and basketball because they have proven to be great ways for some kids to get to go to college for free. Soccer is the opposite. It takes a lot of time and money to support a burgeoning soccer star and even with success the payoff is minimal in comparison. I'm shocked even $250 million was enough to lure David Beckham stateside. If I was the British Michael Jordan of soccer I'd be DAMNED if I was going to sully my good name for less than a Billie.

Anyway American soccer in my eyes is cool except the star player is Landon fucking Donovan, the poster boy for entitled, boring, $50,000 a year HIGHSCHOOL soccer. I can't root for that. Clint I-Grew-Up-In-A-Trashcan Dempsey I can root for but Landon Timothy Donovan...? Naw man, cain't do it..that's right I caIn't.

The other issue, is one I can never seem to get away from. It is after all Happy Black Girl day and though I haven't even scratched the surface of my thoughts on race, this story works out perfectly for the occasion. There have been oodles of new posts popping up across the Net talking about the World Cup and trying to sell it. This one in particular caught my eye for obvious reasons, but it wasn't until I was done reading all the way through it that I realized why it was so eye catching. Now the title DOES say 7 women, 7 titles. But when there is that much pootie-tang staring me in the face I am even less want to read than I already am. So I perused the pages of the post linked above and finally got to the last page.

Perhaps the most gorgeous woman I've seen ever let alone the most gorgeous of the 7 was there staring me in the face alone...all by herself. Now I understand that there are those who could contend they were saving the best for last or that this was simply a matter of mathematics but I've seen plenty of ad campaigns and this is clear.

EVERYTHING in an ad campaign is planned out. You'll notice in the group shots Charlene is the only one who doesn't really overlap. (Read: crops out easily) She also happens to be one of only 4 women that represents a country whose won the cup in the last 50 years. So how is it she is a perfect pair for contemporary champs but gets left out of the greater display? I mentioned to start that this was a well thought out ad campaign and maybe now you're thinking it's simple matching. "She happens to be the only dark skinned women and so to match her up with a girl who looked so different might have thrown of the look of the shoot." Yea thats possible but why is that important? These girls are just eye candy we can drape jerseys and socks over. How they look should really be secondary and to be honest I'd be more concerned with the jerseys clashing than their hair or skin. Calling out racism is hard because it is so ingrained in the way we do things here on Earth that people can look right at it and not see it for what it is. It's sad really and the malice here is of the most benign sort. I'm sure the models were all treated equally well and they all had fun supporting their men and countries. What does suck is that someone at the back end of the process thought it to be more profitable to downplay the appearance of this one girl in particular because for some reason seeing an unimaginably beautiful woman who is a bit darker than your average European apparently might turn people away.

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