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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What They Need In Iraq Is College Football

Iraq won the Asian Cup. The Iraqi team defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 in a hotly contested game of "football", better known to those of us in the U.S. as soccer. I am sure you know of the horror stories of how Iraq's soccer team was tortured by one of the Hussein brothers when they lost of when a member performed poorly. Iraq has not had a decent sports team in decades.

So the news of a soccer win - especially when the three front guys on the team consist of one Kurd, one Shia, and one Sunni - comes as welcome news, and has nothing but positive connotations to it. There are those who speak of unity and such because of the diverse make-up of the team and how they can work together to accomplish things. Well and true, but I have a better idea.

Iraq needs good old American style College football. As you know, I am not a big pro-football guy. The prima donnas who spend the entire season trying to become the highest paid guy in the league and are afraid of getting a hangnail or something are beyond me.

But a good old fashioned rivalry, such as Auburn/Alabama, or USC/UCLA, or Texas/Oklahoma, THAT would bring people together. I am an Auburn alum and love the University. In Alabama, you have to declare your allegiance to either Auburn or Alabama by the time you are seven, or you are deported from the state, never to return. That even includes those who watch NASCAR and never step foot on a college campus.

College football brings out competitiveness. It brings out raw passion. It brings out the desire to see someone's head knocked off. Basically, it brings about the same desires and actions as an insurgency.

So since these groups are already fractured and apart, why not give them a real reason to hate each other? Give them competing teams and a venue to hurt each other, and re-direct their violence toward something really important like a bowl game. Give them team colors and a mascot and cheerleaders (with veils and long skirts, or course) and let them run and pass and maybe even allow them to roll block and clip. A good block in the back won't hurt anyone, certainly not as much as an IED in a marketplace. Lets teach them to tailgate and barbecue and sneak concessions into the stadium. Sell them bumper stickers and those annoying little flags that hook on the windows. Let them hate each other on the field and not on the streets. Let little Iraq boys grow up to be All-Iraqi defensive backs so that they can strap on pads and helmets instead of bomb vests. Give them a University of Baghdad/Anbar university rivalry. Let them play a few years and we can add their champion to the SEC schedule for a road game. Shoot, let them add their league to ours and see what the BCS comes up with then. "The Exxon-Mobil Ramadi Oil Field Bowl" sounds like a good place to start.

And you never know, maybe if they have to deal with a BCS setup for more than one season they can unite in a similar, easily understood hatred.

3 Posts From Readers:

knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

Robert said...

They don't have the internet in Cali? Not to mention the complete ignorance of capitalization and punctuation that leads one to beleive that this is less than a relevant post.

Obob said...

a united disdain could not only bring the Shiites and Sunnis together, but maybe the Palistinians and Israelis as well

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