OK, this isn't poetry. However, since almost all of my creative output has
been (and probably will be), poetic, I opted to put this piece here. As the
title says, it compares soccer to Diplomacy, much to the detriment of the
|A pro (or even a decent amateur) player must be in top physical condition
in order to be able to run up and down (and back and forth) over a large
field for a considerable period of time. (Most of the time they aren't
running, of course, but they still need lots of stamina!) Fitness, diet and
excercise will allow a player to live a long and healthy life.
|A Diplomacy player expends most of his/her calories sweating over who is
going to stab them next. The next biggest consumer of calories is the
effort required to lift the beer can to the lips. However, Diplomacy
players are in great shape. Blob is a shape, right? Continued play of
Diplomacy does not contribute to longevity.
|Soccer players must be well-coordinated in order to make and receive the
brilliant passes we expect from them, and to be able to dodge the
opponents who are trying to take the ball away, or to try to get the ball
from the opposing player. Tripping over their feet or the ball is not
considered a Good Thing. Goal keepers must be coordinated and be able to
read the opposing players in order to guess where they intend to kick the
ball so they can move to block it.
|Diplomacy players only need to be coordinated enough to push plastic
pieces on a board that sits on a table, to drink their beer without
spilling any, eat their food without making too much of a mess, and to
not trip over their feet on their way to the bathroom.
|Soccer players will sometimes try to cheat by "diving", i.e. pretending
to be injured when another player gets too close. A (probably unfounded)
rumor has it that a large bird flew over the Dutch team's practice
grounds during the 2014 World Cup and half of the players fell down.
Cheating is not encouraged by the authorities and those caught are
punished with yellow or red cards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
|Diplomacy players, on the other hand, are encouraged (often by necessity)
to lie, swindle, take advantage of, betray and besmirch the reputation of
their fellow players in order to get ahead and win the game. Rare is the
Gentleperson Player who does not, and s/he is often derided as a "Care
Bear" and is taken advantage of whenever possible.
|Soccer players play their games in the fresh open air, rain or shine, in
front of crowds of varying sizes and rowdiness.
|Diplomacy players play their games in basements, living rooms, convention
centre rooms, and/or other indoor spaces, with air of questionable
quality (especially when beans are on the menu). Playing outside in the
open air probably occurs, but infrequently, and only in the best weather.
|Soccer players' tactical skills are of necessity both physical and
mental, in knowing how to read the teams' positions on the field, how
these positions are likely to change, and the best place to put oneself.
|A Diplomacy player's tactical skills are primarily mental. Useful
physical skills include a command of body language and the ability to
maintain a poker face while lying about your proposed moves and on who
just passed the gas.
|Our primary association of beauty is with the physical. Watching
physically fit, (sometimes) well-paid people run around a field in
somewhat skimpy uniforms, working as a team, can be satisfying
(especially if they are of your preferred gender). Soccer players can
(and must) depend on their team-mates.
|Diplomacy players are playing for themselves. They can work as a team out
of necessity, but nearly always are playing for themselves first. Diplomacy
players must second-guess their team-mate's intentions and always watch their
backs. And nobody wants to see a somewhat scantily-clad Diplomacy player. Ever.