A 2018 FIFA World Cup That Bettered Soccer

After watching one of sport’s greatest events of the world, I gathered up my thoughts to say why I liked this World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is a quadrennial spectacle of skill, speed, and play. I can talk all day about soccer, but I’m only writing about this tournament held in Russia- eastern Russia to be specific. All that transpired there led to me liking everything about this tournament. What I liked most about it was the inclusion of video assistant referee (VAR), reaction of Germany’s surprise elimination, and the country’s hospitality, all of which bettered soccer.

Throughout the game’s history, there have been oft-questionable calls by the main and sideline referees, particularly near and inside the penalty area. Constant talks went in and out by FIFA, soccer’s governing body, on introducing video technology to this World Cup, including replay for the referees. In comes the VAR, made official this year before the dawn of the World Cup. During the tournament and after, VAR was praised and criticized. It had viewers talking with mostly praise than chide, thus marking the VAR a success.

Success, however, was not in Germany’s favor this year. Known as the four-time  winners of the World Cup, Germany advanced past the group stage since 1938. Germany began their 2014 title defense against Mexico, and lost 1 to 0. Sweden became the next opponents of Germany, which they won 2-1 and earning them three points. For the final game, Germany faced South Korea. Facing elimination, Germany needed a victory to qualify to the knockout stage. Only a scoreless draw was happening in this game until injury time, this time South Korea scoring not one but two goals. 2-0 was the final and Germany became eliminated, causing worldwide reaction according to a BBC Sport website article .

Russia’s national team was also eliminated despite making the quarterfinals losing to Croatia via penalty shootout, but the country gained respect and praise for hosting the tournament. Major network analysts and world prime ministers were skeptical of Russia hosting a world event. Russia has been scrutinized for racism, negativity towards the LGBT+ community, and political stances to name a few. It was only during and after the World Cup that every thing said and seen about Russia changed- more well-receptive hospitality of Russians in and around the stadiums and little to no violence throughout the event. According to an article from soccer website goal.com, there have only been “few recorded incidents of travelling fans being subjected to the sort of racial or homophobic harassment that was initially feared.”

A tournament without violence, technology to aid the referees, and a early, shocking Germany exit provided a sporting event like the World Cup so much rejuvenation. Viewers, fans who have attended, and broadcasting companies have so much to look forward to in the following years after witnessing a successful World Cup and possibly more good tournaments well-organized in countries such as Russia did this year.

As of now, the next World Cup is hosted by Qatar for the year 2022.

 

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Texas Southern University Founders’ Day

On September 19, Texas Southern University honored one of its important figures and alumni on the 87th annual Founders’ Day ceremony in the auditorium.

There were many founders, Barbara Jordan included, but the ceremony’s main focus was former Congressman George Thomas “Mickey” Leland.

Upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree and, soon after, a doctorate degree from Texas Southern University, Leland was not only a good person known to help others in need, he also got elected to Congress in the House of Representatives.

During his tenure, he was an activist for the people in poverty and the hungry in both the U.S. and the world.

One of the speakers at the ceremony said that to “build a bridge, you have to take the first step.”

This same quote implies the way Leland approached his plan to help the world with the problems it was facing and provided great service to all those who and wherever he went.

When he passed away in 1989, he became recognized as one of the most influential notables of TSU, later being honored on Founders’ Day.

An airport terminal in Texas is among the many things made in his name.

Many of Leland’s similarities are also those of his good friend, Gene Locke.

Locke, now a Texas attorney, spoke about his late friend at the ceremony and some of the things crucial to those attending about the opportunities.

Locke said “Opportunities are going to come.”

Leland had a vision and, when the opportunity came, he took it.

Not only did he and Locke take the opportunities that came, they were able to accomplish them due to a “successful attitude.”

A takeaway from Locke’s speech is whatever we want to do in life, we must have a successful attitude and also be prepared when the opportunity comes.

Leland and Locke did exactly just that while Locke gave his amazing speech during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, many of the students agreed on its presentation.

One of them said that it was “impactful” , “powerful”, and what she took away from it was that the only one who holds you back from what you want to do in life is you, nobody else.

Another student said the ceremony was “eye-opening” and also said “no matter” your descriptions or qualities, you can do what you want in life.

One other from the school’s choir said the ceremony was “good” and “at TSU you make your decisions” on what you want to achieve success.

Another student said the ceremony could have been “more directed”, but it was “motivational”.

Another student I interviewed said the ceremony was “interesting” all throughout, then said to “have an attitude” when speaking on what he took away from the ceremony itself.

Most of these students interviewed after the ceremony have all agreed on something after it concluded.

This ceremony is definitely one to remember, where a very good speech on Locke’s late friend who, again, became recognized as TSU’s historic figures and one of the founders of this university.

TSU Auditorium