I didn’t watch the World Cup and I haven’t watched soccer in years, so I will be totally bloviating out of my fanny here. I lettered in soccer in high school, but the breadth of my athletic knowledge comes from baseball. I know baseball well, and sports is sports as far as it goes. Except for maybe American football, which is an abomination.
Re the team picture…. That’s, ummm, not a very ‘diverse’ roster. Which is kinda odd, I think. I woulda thunk in a European country the size of Germany where there has been some social evolvement away from complete ethnic homogeneity…. there’d be a couple non-teutonics identifiable as the best players in the nation, deserving of a roster spot. Maybe some West African or Caribbean pro players that are native born or have attained citizenship. Maybe some Mediterranean players or Arabs.
I think I’m somewhat far from Al Campanis territory in observing that while central European Caucasian ectomorph fellas are often observed among the elite athletes of the world…. there’s players of different ethnicities we might superficially assume as faster and more dynamic…because they are. And there’s probably players like this eligible for Germany’s roster. So it’s curious to me they don’t have any of those ‘other’ players.
Thing is as a competitive athletic proposition I would think a team would be compelled to mitigate the potential of their opponents team speed with some speed of their own. And I don’t perceive that a roster of all Caucasian Europeans is one that makes that attempt…at all. Really, I don’t, with that being a negative value judgment from me. Not being wry or provocative here. Did I mention I don’t like Germany?
My premise might be wrong totally or in parts. But in the Atlantic article there’s some allusion to a notion the German team counters elite athleticism not with elite athleticism, but with highly advanced strategy and spatial command. And with the success of this, it might be the German team doesn’t need a ‘diversity’ of player types.
If that’s a good premise (… and it might not be), then what’s now curious is the Atlantic being complimentary of a strategy that allows for a non-diverse roster.
Maybe they didn’t perceive the upshot of that. Or maybe their praise of team Germany here is a proxy for the Atlantic’s lefty love of all things command / control and authoritarian, with that love superseding the editorial goal of deconstructing things in diversity terms when possible.
Now I’m being wry and provocative.
But really, it’s curious to me the Atlantic would praise this game style that is at least superficially bland. That’s kinda counterintuitive.