1. There is a God and He strikes down a grown man with impunity. Not with lightning or locusts but in the far more ruthless form of an accidental nudge or, like, a flailing hip. It's like that scene in The Godfather where (spoiler) Sonny is mowed down by fifty goons but if instead of James Caan, Sunny was being played by a sack of those adorable fainting goats and instead of bullets, the mobsters used fingernail clippings or gently used Q-Tips. His hands point to the sky as he falls and in the blink of an eye, the player is scooting around on his ass like a dog with worms. The collapse of the world class athlete victim is witnessed by a billion people across the globe, but two slightly obese Americans in Omaha capture the spirit for their country when they wonder if they can still call it soccer or if they're supposed to call it football with that weird spelling that has a dash over the U.


2. The player is dead. Like, really. His body set in rigor mortis, his mother notified, his face frozen in that scared look babies get during thunderstorms. Aside from the stream of tears, he isn't moving. RIP, brother. The sod reclaims him, fulfilling the circle of life right there beside the penalty arc. No one seems to really care except his teammates who retaliate the only sensible way: by waving wildly at the officials as if the ref just stole their parking spot. The opponent escalates with an equal amount of arm waving of their own with dramatic hand gestures that only make sense in their weird hometown (population: 12.) The two sides squabble in a manner that is somehow more embarrassing than watching two ducks fight over a piece of bread but less embarrassing than watching two NBA players throw punches. The ref ignores them all. The game screeches to a standstill, providing just enough time for the two people from Omaha to try and wrap their noggins around Offsides before forgetting again until the next World Cup.


3. Two morgue workers scurry out carrying all the medical gear currently available in Brazil-- an orange sled and a spray bottle of Febreze. The dude with the sled sort of stares off in the distance while the other worker spritzes the exact location of the imagined injury. Maybe it's the hint of lavender or the scent neutralizing molecules, but the player returns to life like he'd just escaped that weird sandworm world in Beetlejuice. The attacker leans over and helps the victim stand. Together, they embrace. Only for a moment. The two Omahans , one a soft spoken dental hygienist with a widow's peak, the other currently unemployed though enrolled in a few online classes, realize that throughout all of this, the clock has continued running but that it does not mean the game will end sooner.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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