A Kiddy Shield?

usa kids.jpgYou may have noticed that whenever the players take the pitch in the World Cup, they always seem to emerge from the tunnel holding hands with innocent looking children bedecked in colorful, cheery kiddy-kits who escort their assigned player and remain with them through the playing of the respective national anthems.

So what’s up with that? I always figured it had something to do with promoting the idea of international brotherhood and goodwill, which of course is perfectly personified in the round, chubby, cherubic cheeks of little children carrying bouquets of flowers.

But then Eyegal (who always seems to see through my blindspots) came up with an interesting hypothesis: perhaps they’re there so that nobody will throw anything at the players. She went on to explain that practically nobody the world over (with the notable exception of al-Qaeda) will tolerate anyone intentionally harming a child. So if some rowdy partisan in the stands does decide to launch a cup full of Lowenbrau at the players as they pass through the tunnel, he would be immediately set upon by the crowd and disappear beneath the throng of vigilantes never to be seen again.

Could all this warm and fuzzy feel-goodness be nothing more than a ruse for a kiddy shield? Soccer has it’s share of hooliganism to be sure, but usually there’s so much security at the World Cup that it’s rendered harmless. Still, perhaps the roots of this tradition do go back to less secure venues where such a tactic prevented a face full of rotten tomato, or worse.

I don’t know, after the way the USA played this time around, I think we would have been just as well off by allowing our kiddy escorts to take the pitch instead.

  1. Brady

    Missed the games. Heard the Swiss won while listening to the radio to the France-Togo game while in France. You’d have thought France had beaten Brazil.

    The little guys are getting crushed. Maybe Switzerland, with it’s 7 million inhabitants, will advance.

    True, those guys that roll around and get better quickly make me think that some of the refs should be up soon for sainthood.

    Hop Suisse.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hey Brady, I hope you had a good walk! The Swiss finished well and held fast in their last match, but they will need to be on top of their game to take out The Azzuri. I hope you read my Plan B post. In it, I declared that Switzerland was among my top 5 alternatives after the US fell–thanks to you.

    You should have seen the Portugal v. Netherlands match this afternoon–talk about ugly. It was the closest thing to professional wrestling on the pitch that I’ve seen in a long time. The 16 yellows and 4 reds issued did little to settle anybody down. At least a few of those rolling around really were hurt in this one (although rarely as bad as they made out).

    Good luck to the Nati!

  3. Brady

    Thanks for the Swiss plug on plan B.

    Ukraine was my third team (after Switzerland and USA). So someone is dropping out tonight. I do hope it’s Ukraineā€¦

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    Brady–I just saw the PKs–sorry. Straight at the keeper is pretty bad, but I’m sure dead legs had something to do with that. Ok, but at least you still have a horse in the race.

    Ol’ England is hanging in there and winning ugly. They’ll have to start playing pretty if they hope to go all the way. Michael Davies at ESPN said they might win if they could get Harry Potter to play Seeker.

    Despite my aversion to sky blue, I will still root for Argentina in a pinch.

Comments are closed.