Oliver’s Disregard for Football as Told from his own Perspective

FootballMy father died a few years back. During his lifetime, he was able to see a total of 15 FIFA World Cups: from the Brazilian Maracanaço to the last final in Berlin 2006. Seeing 15 World Cups, I think, is having a good life. I have seen 11, so far, and I think, with 4, I would have been satisfied. I wish I could reach 15, like my father. No more. No less.

But the truth is that football never interested me; it was all just an excuse to chat with my father. With him one could not discuss politics, because he was very conservative, or women, because I was shy, or books or music for that matter, because art did not concern him. We sat, silently, in the dining room watching TV. When the screen went green, no matter the importance of the football match, we sat there for a whole 90 minutes and we talked. It could be a game of second or third division, or the rerun of a classic match from long ago, or an Asian tournament for that matter. I did not care. We were talking. When I moved out, I kept the habit, just in case he would phone.

Later I moved to another country and still kept the tradition of watching basically any game, at any time, perhaps because he called via Skype to discuss the ongoing game. When he died, tho I kept up the habit, because maybe he can still see me from wherever he is. But I must confess that I still do not know what a hook kick is. I do not recognize a fake 9. I have no idea what 8 lanes means. I honestly do not care for the game; I care about those minutes, hours of conversations we had.