A Well Needed Diversion from Horribilis Politics is Coming

If the constant negativity that some members of Congress have been demonstrating during the past five years has chronically depressed you, then you probably need a little diversion or a hiatus. When you watch the news and the political talk shows on TV, you get the same repetition of negative news and comments. It is as if these politicians do not care about the country or do not have any principles to guide them. What is even disconcerting is that some members of the GOP seem to spend all their time doing one thing – bashing President Obama and trying to delegitimize him.

With the Republican Congress squandering opportunities to make the country better, the only thing they have succeeded in doing is to gain the lowest approval rating in the history of the Congress. Their relentless effort of trying to push the president over the racial cliff has become predictable and boring. Thank God, those of us who love soccer will get a well-needed diversion from the futile political bashing game that the GOP has spent all their energy on. Beginning on June 12, soccer fans all over the world will have their eyes glued to their TV sets as they indulge themselves in the most popular sport on the planet – soccer.

World Cup soccer – the quadrennial soccer tournament where countries from all corners of the globe that qualified to compete for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup starts in Brazil on June 12 through July 13 – yes four weeks of soccer glory. In case you are wondering about a football organization sponsoring this event, the rest of the world calls soccer football. Only Americans stick to the name soccer so as not to confuse it with their football game. Their football game which is played only in America (professionally that is) is a misnomer since the only time the ball is kicked is for a field goal, a punt, or an onside kick.

While the US soccer has made significant progress in soccer and has performed well in previous World Cup matches, winning the World Cup would be a major upset. I don’t see them beating the teams like Germany, Spain, Denmark, and Brazil. For soccer fans around the world I hope you enjoy the games and may the best team win.

So while the anti-Obama congressional GOP politicians continue their Don Quixotic effort to delegitimize the president, soccer fans will get a well-needed respite from the World Cup soccer matches. For those of you who do not like soccer, you have my sympathy. You will have to continue watching and hearing the senseless bantering of GOP congress members who never get tired of repeating the same old boring propaganda – “repeal Obama care;” “he is the worst President;” “he is a socialist;” “Benghazi…Benghazi…Benghazi;” and “Blah…blah…blah Obama.”

Benghazi investigation continues– by the way, why is the GOP holding another investigation on Benghazi? What do they expect to know that the world does not already know? They are politicizing the death of four Americans just to score political points. What really needs to be investigated is Iraq war where hundreds of American soldiers were killed and thousands of civilians (both US and Iraqis) injured and maimed for life. By now, most people know that this war was not justified. Edward Snowden, the NSA whistle blower told Brian Williams during an interview on MSNBC that documents confirmed that lies were told to start the Iraq war. This being the case you would expect an investigation to prevent such an abuse of power from ever happening again.

It is really a good thing that sporting events provide entertainment that gives the mind a break from bad politicians. Sporting events like the World Cup soccer give their fans an opportunity to see talented and professional athletes showcase their talent and put on a good performance – something that is badly lacking by GOP politicians. Sports also provide a therapeutic benefit as it helps one to escape from the harsh realities and frustration of life. This is why we see attendance for major league sports still doing well despite the bad economy.

Horseracing – Another major sporting event that is scheduled this Saturday is the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown race for thoroughbred racehorses. Horseracing fans will be filled with anticipation and excitement for this race in Belmont, New York. This is a big event because the Triple Crown is the crown jewel of horse racing and it has been 36 years since Affirmed won all three legs – the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. Only a few horses since Affirmed get a chance to win the Triple Crown and make racing history. Having won the first two legs, California Chrome is the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.

California Chrome demolished his opponents in the Kentucky Derby and dominated the second leg of the Triple Crown (The Preakness Stakes) though not in a dominant manner as in the derby. The Belmont Stakes is a longer distance – 1-1/2 miles (12 furlongs). This is a longer distance than the Derby – 1-1/4 miles (10 furlongs) and the Preakness –1-3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs). History has shown that when horses get into the stretch at Belmont their legs are heavy and the fresh horses that are the closers and did not run in both legs have a good chance of chasing down the tiring horses on the lead. My bet will still be on California Chrome to break the 36-year Triple Crown drought.

The Belmont Stakes race will last a little bit over two and a half minutes, so that will not give us much of a diversion and from the boring politics. We will have to wait for June 12 when World Cup soccer starts. As a big soccer fan and a big fan of Brazil from my childhood days when the greatest soccer player Pele dazzled spectators with is artistry, I believe that Brazil will win the World Cup. They will be playing before their home crowd, which is always a big boost for any team. I will be watching most of the games with my Brazilian friend who has access to Brazilian TV.