More than 500 bums, hobos, transients, tramps, and the “socially marginalized” from 48 countries have gathered in Paris, France for the 9th annual Homeless Cup games. Yes, it is exactly what you think – homeless people playing soccer. However, these aren’t the meth-addled, schizophrenic dumpster-divers that you and I have grown to loathe and avoid eye contact with. These are down-on-their-luck men and women with a collective goal of ending global homelessness. You know, low aspirations.
I have to admit, when I first read about this yesterday while eating diamond-encrusted lobster and wiping my mouth with hundred dollar bills, I pictured a more barbaric, Thunderdome-esque competition, with discarded food being thrown into the arena to encourage violence. But it’s actually a pretty nice looking event.
In fact, it reminds me of a similar idea that I had last year. *cue wavy dream flashback sequence*
In my September 2010 Axis magazine column (the magazine that brought us the UCF Playboy Playmate scandal), I suggested that the city of Orlando could solve its increasingly problematic homeless problem by establishing a new football league, which would also solve the problem of spending millions to clean and renovate the Citrus Bowl.
Once the field is in shape and the stands don’t stink of frat boy pee and vomit, we’ll hold open tryouts for an all-homeless football league. We’ll network to other cities and reach out to enterprising young, handsome future leaders like myself and provide entertainment and city pride by watching these rejuvenated people battle it out on the field they just helped repair.
We’ll eventually establish an entire Olympics competition featuring only homeless people and we’ll never again worry about vagrancy cluttering our streets because now they’ll be local heroes and we don’t have to worry about stepping over lifeless bodies on our way to work in the morning.
And yet people called my suggestion terrible and inhumane. I don’t get it. Either way, good for you, Paris.
Unfortunately, the U.S. homeless team already lost 4-3 to the Philippines yesterday. But hey, at least they got a trip to Paris out of it. Maybe I’ll visit the City of Lights for a week of soccer when I’m not busy working. Dare to dream, friends.
And now, you can enjoy the best of the patriotism and vagrancy of the 2011 Homeless Cup.
(Images courtesy of Getty and Demotix Images.)