* I received most of this indirectly through Donald Horowitz's deployment of it to explain ethnic conflict.So, we get a series of identity rivalries/dynamics this month:
- Most obvious/expected: that people's happiness ride on whether the teams with which they identify do well and teams that they see as the natural "other" do poorly.
- Immigration countries have more complexity: many people may not have a team they like in either a particular match or in the entire tourney (Canada), so they then have a rooting interest in the team associated with their ethnic identities (Italian-Canadians root for Italy, for instance) or against those with which they have ethnic enmities. (Yes, I am biased to see ethnic ties/enmities everywhere). And, when soccer is played in the US, the US National Team is often facing a hostile crowd since more folks with ties to Mexico or country x show up than those who root for the USA team.
- Pedants in competition: That some people really care about whether the game is called soccer or football. Their passion on this is perhaps beyond comprehension unless we factor in that people's identification and their self-esteem ride on whether their preferred group is popular/accepted or not.
- Sports rivalry: Last night's rivalry on twitter between the hockey fans scoffing at the World Cup and the soccer/football fans scoffing at hockey. Why can't these people just enjoy their sport without taking shots at the other? Because they feel better about themselves if their group (soccer/football lovers or hockey lovers) are seen as better.