Hey, are you covering the World Cup? You know, that thing foreigners mistakenly call “football” between shouts of “goooooooooal!”
World Cup soccer is cool. Like, Olympics cool. It’s a sporting event, yes, but it’s also an excuse to celebrate minority communities in your neighborhood and better understand cultural dynamics that are easier to ignore when folks aren’t taking to the streets and chanting fight songs while draped in their native flags.
Some ideas for community journalism:
- What does the spectacle mean to the local high school soccer team and coaches? Is this something they’ve been looking forward to for months? How do they explain their love of the beautiful game when all their friends are fixated on the Spurs and Heat?
- Do you have an influx of Hispanic residents? If you do, you can bet some of them are gathering somewhere to watch Mexico and Colombia and Honduras and other Latin nations square off in what is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world. They may have a league of their own on Saturdays. They may have ties to their national team. There may be a story in there somewhere.
- How about other, potentially smaller communities? Here in Half Moon Bay we have a sizable Portuguese community. You can bet folks will be streaming in to the local Portuguese Community Center to watch the games. You might have clusters of Germans or Poles, who knows?
- Is the sport exploding in your area? While my generation grew up playing football, basketball and baseball, kids born after, say, 1980 are at least as likely to play soccer. Explore that. Are there pressures for new youth fields in your neck of the woods? Who would pay for it? Why do suburban parents swear by soccer? …
- How about a viewing guide? Where are the best spots to watch a game in town? Highlight games that might be most important to the communities within your community.
The final is July 13. You aren’t too late.