Once a month I teach a kindergarden class. I had been teaching them how to play “paper scissors rock” in English. The game originally comes from Japan, and seems to be used by kids to resolve any and every dispute. They quite seemed to enjoy playing it in English.
I got the whole class of 30 something kids to play a Paper Scissor Rock tournament. And a champion was found. I held up his hand and cheered him. But holding up his hand, I thought “well, someone had to win”.
Reading through Jonathon Wilson’s “Inverting the pyramid”, one of the people he quotes talks about this feeling – how winning of itself doesn`t mean much, cos soccer, like paper scissor rock, is designed to crown someone the winner. The opposing view is also supported by some quoted in the book – that winning is all there is.
The last winners of the WC – could feel great pride in meeting their potential and adding to their tally. For being there at the end when “better” teams fell. But to the neutral, this was not a team that will be talked about down the ages, this was a “last man standing” rather than a “first among equals” kind of winner. Like the kid in the PSR tournament.
The neutrals will be hoping that this year`s tournament finds more than just a winner. But whoever wins it is gonna feel happy anyway.