In Soccernomics, their Moneyball take on the footy, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski debunk the oft-accepted notion that during the World Cup, the suicide rate increases. On the contrary, they say, “the game seems to be a lifesaver:”
“In Europe today, there may be nothing that brings a society together like a World Cup with your team in it. For once, almost everyone in the country is watching the same TV programs and talking about them at work the next day, just as people used to do before cable TV arrived. Part of the point of watching a World Cup is that almost everyone else is watching, too. Isolated types – the types at most risk of suicide – are suddenly welcomed into the national conversation. They are given social cohesion.”
|SAY IT AIN’T SO ZURICH!|
|Was the Swiss exit from the World Cup more than our long-legged pal could take?|
Well, hold it one vuvuzela-tootin' minute, bubs. Zurich, the house grasshopper, was found bobbiing carapace-up in the Casa Canada pool Sunday (in case you're wondering, it's way too cold to swim here, and the pool sits forlorn and unloved, waiting for October's warming sun). He was such a good guy to come home to, sunning himself on the filter ring, jumping up on the patio stones, a real ball of fire.
What happened? Only Zurich knows for sure. Maybe a half-full Transkei Dumpie left out there by mistake did him in, and he wandered too close to the water. Death by misadventure? This whole wonderful trip seems like a misadventure sometimes, with its razor wire and grassfires and Diego Maradona pressers.
I'm not buying it. The Swiss went out cruelly here, the promise of their opening-game upset of Spain's twinkletoesin' flamenco dancers gone wrong when they couldn't do much of anything else. Swiss exit and Zurich, a floater – the timing is too close to be anything but a sad grasshopper jumping into the eternal night. I'm lookin' right at you, Kuper and Szymanski. This was no lifesaver for our sweet Zurich.