The World Cup gives us arguably the most nationalistic month every four years. It's a world audience and it introduces and popularizes cultural evolution for the good and the bad. Let's take a look back at the world cup starting with the 1970 world cup and judge the pop culture and technological assets the world has gained. Not talking about the improvements in the game as much as the World Cup as a marker for progress or deterioration of society.
Let's start with technology. Mexico 1970 was the first world cup outside of Europe or South America. It was notable for the Brazil winning in a fashion not seen before or since. Namely winning every game in qualification and sweeping the entire finals. It also gave the world it's first look at soccer in color. The next big advancement was HDTV in 2006 Germany. I personally don't know how I would live without high definition in sports. It brings the nuance of sports and also let hockey stay relevent even with Gary Bettman trying to kill the sport. As much as HDTV improved the viewing experience in sports and is ingrained into the live broadcast sports community is the failure of 3D-TV.
Introduced at 2010 South Africa it was heavily promoted and even made several world cup broadcast partners start separate 3-D channels. It never caught-on and recently most 3-D channels have been taken off the air. Must be a tough life for the guy who pitched that 3-D was the thing of the future to the TV executives.
The next big thing in tech is going to be the 4K resolution. But the cameras and television sets are too expensive for consumers to make the sports broadcast companies invest in them yet. My guess is Americans will all be watching the 2018 Russia World Cup matches at 5 in the morning on our 4K tvs. Better television signals and especially a better soccer culture that is burgeoning in Denver can bring you the in stadium experience without being there. The one reason that I wouldn't go to a game here is the fans who insist on starting the wave.
Who are these people that start the wave? I put my amateur psychologist hat on and surmise that they don't care about the game they are in attendance of because no matter the situation they only care about interrupting other people watching the game. The person that starts the wave is at least a narcissist and at most a ego-maniacal borderline personality disorder psychopath. At a crucial moment of the Colorado Rapids game against D.C. United the south stands of the DSG Park tried starting the wave at least three times. Each time being curtailed by a scoring chance for either team playing on the field. The Wave did not even make it around once and i'm proud of my fellow Rapids fans for this. I could understand this behavior if the Rapids were winning by a wide margin but a tied game should leave people on the edge of their seat. Really the wave should not be done in any circumstance.
There is much debate over who actually started the wave but it looks like it was definitely created in the North American continent. It gained broad recognition during the 1986 Mexico World Cup. Since then it is referred to as the Mexican Wave around the world so I will now refer to it as such. There has been multiple campaigns to get people to stop. The commercial the Rockies made coming out against the Mexican Wave went over every Rockies fans head. I was at Coors last week and the Rockies were getting shut-out 7-0 in the 8th inning and the wave went around several times. I refused. I guess Rockies fans don't go to the stadium to watch baseball. In fact the only people that care are the people in the press-box. That's why Rapids fans are better.
What can we do about the Mexican Wave? The anwser to me is what happens in Australia. They have outlawed the "mexican wave" and enforce the rule. If we remember the contribution that South Africa gave to the world, the vuvuzela, and how fast that was banned; Then why not the "Mexican Wave" also? It's time to retire this tradition that no sophisticated fan likes. If your answer is kids like it then ask yourself if you would let kids run a marketing department and have people not watch the product and I think you have your answer. Why can't we get @rapidsfacebook to start a 100 comment thread about why the wave shouldn't be outlawed? The world's game can take us to such heights. If only people would pay attention to what was happening on the pitch.
If you want more thoughts from me go here.