Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Periscope: World Cup Presents a Great Office Tactic

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Periscope: World Cup Presents a Great Office Tactic

Article excerpt

The U.S. soccer team had a nice run in the World Cup before getting the boot in the Round of 16 at the hands - or rather feet - of the Belgians.

The tournament has enthralled Americans like no World Cup before, with 20 million tuning in to watch the U.S. team play to an exhilarating loss against Germany. But it was enough for the U.S. to advance to the next round. The idea that a loss might be exhilarating spawned quick debate in The Journal Record newsroom, dividing those who think the beautiful game is the world's finest sport from those who think it isn't nearly as beautiful as a 6-4-3 double play.

Soccer, as reporter Molly Fleming pointed out, doesn't even have a squeeze play.

Nonetheless, American office workers are buying up Nike jerseys with the U.S. team crest at prices usually reserved for Garth Brooks concert tickets. On-the-clock staffers root passionately for countries they couldn't spell three weeks ago. March Madness week looks productive by comparison.

My solution: stoppage time. Like soccer, the office clock should just run down its eight-hour day, then a manager would declare that a certain amount of time - say two-and-a-half hours - shall be added to the workday to make up for the time work stopped to root for those fun-loving Argentinians to beat the comparatively stoic Swiss.

With the U.S. out of it, expect the World Cup to be forgotten as quickly as 2012's Olympic beach volleyball gold-medal game, which was all the rage for about 17 minutes.

Historically, U.S. interest in soccer stops with the post-game juice pouches. The best the United States has ever done in World Cup play was a semifinal loss to Uruguay, and that was in 1930. We played again in 1934, but in the next 26 years, the U.S. showed up just once, in 1950. The tournament was in Brazil.

Not a single U.S. newspaper sent a reporter to cover the team. …

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