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You Gotta Have Faith

Toothpick voodooTo most the World Cup is just another game, but to a strange few it is a matter of life and death.

And in the modern day nations and clubs alike will do anything possible to assure their side’s victory on the world’s biggest stage.  And sometimes they might take such steps to the brink of insanity.  Take last World Cup as an example. 

In the 2006 World Cup Germany, Ecuador felt they had increased their chances of winning the event by sending a shaman to every venue in Germany in order to cleanse the place from any bad energy or evil spirits.  Strange, yes, but at least the shaman got a free trip out of the deal.

In Togo a few devoted national team fans turned their tactics towards voodoo when their club had a must win match in the WCQ against Congo.  One believer burned a concoction of over forty different types of mixed herbs, wore hyena skin on his head, and placed the herbal mixture atop a wooden figurine. 

What ever happened to wearing a large foam finger and chanting “go team go”? 

But several teams have actually accused others of voodoo including Iran felt that Mexico had performed some type of magical negative mojo on their squad during the 2006 World Cup tournament.  And when South Korea made a brilliant run to the semi-finals the year they hosted the World Cup, a Korean man unwisely decided to burn himself alive before the match began so that the team would have a twelfth man on the pitch in spirit.  That didn’t work out either.

And just to make matters worse we Americans are considered the most desperate to win the World Cup this summer with 8% of our populous supposedly claiming that they would give away their house for free if the Yanks win the Cup.  That was ranked as the highest percentage of any desperate nation towards the insane poll and proof that we Americans no longer value the real estate market.

In other words many people believe in hocus-pocus superstitions in hope that their side will fair better and some will even claim asinine things just to see their side succeed in such a critical event.  But at the end of the day I think it is safe to say that the match will be won by the actions and tactics done on the pitch and not by bizarre fans burning herbs, stabbing dolls, and volunteering to sell their home for free off of it.

But what type of delusional faith should we expect to see this upcoming Cup in South Africa from our diverse global fan base?  Who knows, you never really can predict the absurd.  Only time will tell what people will do to spiritually or physically to ensure their side’s victory this summer.

But other then a lucky shirt I wouldn’t take the practice too far.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Juha-Matti

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