The Spectacle Blog

Ghana Brought to Heel (Or Is It to Toe?)

By on 6.17.14 | 11:13AM

I see that what we have learned to call Team USA brought the 33rd largest country in Africa to heel in the World Cup in Natal yesterday. (Sarcasm warning for college students:) Joy is unconfined.

My local daily, the Tampa Tribune, continues to lavish extravagant coverage on the Cup, giving it more column inches and more photo space than sports events Trib readers are actually interested in. The Trib’s fanciful headline to the story of yesterday’s epic kickaround is, “Fast Start, Furious Finish.” Huh? The score of the game was 2-1. How can any contest that ends 2-1 be either fast or furious?

Wondering if I could possibly be underestimating the interest in soccer in the Tampa Bay Area, my reliable sources and I have been interviewing locals non-stop in an attempt to locate local soccer aficionados. So far we’ve identified an even dozen. Ten are illegal immigrants who habla no Ingles, and the other two hail from the Vampire Belt of the far reaches of Eastern Europe and have names made up entirely of consonants.

The melancholy fact is that almost all writers and editors at such newspapers as survive in today’s brave new media world have degrees in journalism (or a vague and abstract neologism called mass communications). Apparently, news judgment can’t be taught.

Newspaper suits (and pants-suits) gather occasionally to anguish over declining interest in their product. J-Schools put on endless chin-scratching panels. Their lament is, why do so few Americanos these days have any interest in reading the “Daily Bugle and Thunderstorm”? Perhaps I’ve put my finger on one of the reasons. It’s at least worth kicking around.

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