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1 Comments World Cup 2014: More Than Just a Game

Article written by Boris Bozic on the 13 Jun 2014 in Current Events

“Euphoria and disappointment are emotions that will eventually fade, but memories last a lifetime.”

It must be a part of my genetic makeup, but I just hate to lose, pretty much at anything.   I’ve always been that way, and because I’m wired that way – it’ll never change.  What changes with age is perspective, and understanding that defeat does not have to be undignified. For me it’s no longer emotion first, think second.  Unfortunately for me, to get this stage it took a lot of years, and I mean a lot of years, as well as some sound advice along the way.  As an example, a few years ago I was playing a round of golf, a game that has tortured me for years, I was madder than hell at this one round.  During the round I decided not to suffer silently. I shared my feelings with my playing partners in the most colorful manner – I was in fine form.  I guess one of my playing partners had heard enough, and he decided it was time to give me a reality check.  He was wonderful golfer, so when he walked up to me and said “I have some advice for you”, I was all ears.  He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You’re not good enough at this game to get mad, so just enjoy the day”.  After the round I reflected on what my playing partner said to me, and I came to the conclusion he was absolutely right.  Now when I play golf, and the demons start to creep in, I remind myself it beats the alternative.

My ability to put things into perspective was put to the test yesterday.  It started with the Liberals being re-elected, even though the party has been riddled with scandal, currently under two separate OPP criminal investigations, and a well-documented disregard for the public coffers, the Liberals were reelected.  The voters have spoken, the voters are always right, and the people of Ontario will get what the so justly deserve.  

My second brush with perspective had to do with something far more important than the results of the Ontario provincial elections, the opening game of the World Cup.  The game of soccer was introduced to me by my father.  I still remember as an eight year old, my father taking me to my fist soccer game when we went on a family vacation, in what was then Yugoslavia.  The game took place in Split, Croatia.  The local team, Hajduk, played Red Star, from Belgrade, Serbia.  As an eight year old I knew nothing of politics, and what was causing the underlining tension in the stadium.  But I could decipher the atmosphere, the vibe, and the mood in the stadium was almost palpable.  At that point in my life I had never been in a stadium with a crowd of that size.  I was mesmerized, and from that moment on, I was hooked on the game.  My parents are proud Canadians, but they ensured I had a connection to my ancestry.  It’s for that reason my juices get flowing when the Croatian national soccer team plays in major tournaments.  The opening match of the 2014 World Cup was Brazil versus Croatia.  Being a fan of the game I was under no illusions.  Mighty Brazil against a country with a population of 4.5 million, it was a re-enactment of David versus Goliath. Much to my surprise Croatia took the lead, but it was in the middle of the second half of play I had to put things into perspective. Brazil is a glamor team, they spent far too much money to host the tournament not make an easy passage into the second round, Brazil means high TV ratings, there was no way they were going to lose.  It mattered little that the officiating during the game would lead one to question the integrity of the game. Commerce trumps all in soccer. That’s just the way it is. Brazil 3 Croatia 1.

Perspective allows me to put the results of yesterday’s game aside, and focus more on the journey and experience I’m about to undertake.  On Monday, my father and I leave for Brazil, to watch Croatia play against Cameroon and Mexico.  I would love to be able to celebrate a couple of victories with my father.  But if that’s not to be…that’s okay.  Euphoria or disappointment will eventually fade, but memories stay with you for a lifetime.

Until next time,



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Have a good trip, Boris…Vatreni!

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