The World Cup Baby: A Life of Servitude

Front Cover, 2009 - Games - 632 pages
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The average life expectancy of a male New Zealander is 76 years, leaving the few average male New Zealanders interested in the World Cup Finals just 18 tournaments to savour. It still gnaws frustratingly that my first three - the 1966, 1970 and 1974 tournaments - were played while I was alive but somehow managed to elude me. I also doubt whether I will prove average enough to see out my remaining allocation of 15, all of which leaves me to glumly conclude that my life has been largely wasted. Euan McCabe is a football World Cup compulsive. Once a typical rugby-loving New Zealand schoolboy, he was mesmerised by his first sighting of Buenos Aires' Monumental Stadium in 1978 and has since become besotted with the global phenomenon that is the FIFA World Cup. This book traces his growing infatuation with an event that he chooses to celebrate more for its flaws and its unique ability to accentuate the complexities of human nature and engross our planet, than for its more obvious role as football tournament and sporting event. Incisive, punchy, emotional and humorous, this is a story of obsession. An absolute must-read for those people who spend four years of their lives waiting for each World Cup, not to mention those who have to live with them!

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About the author (2009)

Euan McCabe was born near Auckland, New Zealand, in March 1963. He has since spent his life attempting to perfect a state of wellbeing that could probably best be described as Post-War Western Liberal Self-Fulfilment. Fortunately, he was born with one significant talent: the ability to observe. And he has used this to dedicate his life to observing an unhealthy amount of televised sport. He could have chosen to leave it at that. But instead, he was travelled the world in pursuit of reasons why people become consumed by sport and the reasons for its effect on lives, cultures, societies and nations. This has produced two outcomes: his book, THE WORLD CUP BABY, which documents the obsessive and profound influence of football's World Cup finals tournament on himself and the people of our planet; and secondly, a realisation of just how irrational his life has become. He presently lives in Wellington, New Zealand, with his partner Diane and their two year-old adopted Russian cat, Koshka. In his spare time, he attends a place of work for 40 hours a week.

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