Monday, June 21, 2010

Green Dragons of the World Cup

The World Cup championship for football (soccer) is a world fair of sport. States across the globe are represented. There are the large states with the small. The traditional football powers and the rare qualifiers.

This year the games are for the first time being played in Africa. The novelty that everyone has remarked on is the elongated, plastic cornet — the vuvuzela. The high decibel droning of thousands of ill played B-flats is constant. Vuvuzela is now a new word in the international lexicon. The spelling may become negotiable. I heard 'booboozayla'.

Now, many teams are represented by their traditional colors. Argentina is always in light blue and white vertical stripes. Holland is in that wretched orange. Many teams wear their flag colors, but not all. The germans like white. The italians in the blue of the past monarchy.

Slovenija is the smallest state in this year's tournament. They have green with light green. Their flag's tri-colors are white, blue, and red. Why green? As the tournament starts, a national tree and symbol was in bloom — lipa, the linden. The leaves are green and the flowers are light green. The lipa, the linden, leaf almost made the new flag. It has been on stamps and used as logos on many government and non-governmental items.

The dragon is the heraldic symbol of the capital city Ljubljana. There is a dragon's bridge in the city. The dragon is always green. The city's football team Olimpija, is nicknamed, the dragons. The world cup team is also, unofficially the green dragons.

Group play
13 June Slovenija 1 Algeria 0
18 June Slovenija 2 USA 2
23 June Slovenija 0 England 1

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