Friday, October 23, 2009

World Cup Ball Set

I love the Eurosport catalog. It's a reminder of the days before the wonders of the Inter-webs, when a soccer geek like me had to go out of his way to find soccer related gear. I grew up in a rural area, and none of the local stores or even sports stores carried any real soccer related gear. Sure you could get your generic balls and shin guards, but try to find a replica jersey or even a pair of Copa Mundials boots and you were in for a drive of at least an hour to the only soccer store in 5 counties.
Then a friend of mine gave a copy of the Eurosport catalog. It was about 50 pages filled with more shoes, clothes, balls and other soccer equipment than I had ever seen. I would spend days looking at the action shots of pros in distant leagues I had never heard of. You see, cable TV had not come to my part of the world yet (Hard to imagine, right kids?). Eurosport was part of my soccer education and I would spend days scheming on how I would save up money to buy an Italia 90 World Cup t-shirt or Addidas three striped socks.

Ahh, the olden days...

Nowadays, I've been desensitized by overexposure via FSC, GolTV,, etc. I still get the catalog in the mail, but the anticipation of spending hours pouring over each page is no longer dripping from every pore. Normally now when I open my Eurosport catalog, I just peruse the latest version of the soccer gear that I consider way overpriced and the catalog hits the trashcan a few minutes later. It is rare that I actually see something that I get excited about like I did in my youth.

However, the other day when I got my latest edition, I casually flipped through it and had to flip back because something interesting caught my eye. It was with particular nostalgia that I spent a minute or so on each of the 10 balls offered as part of the Adidas Historical World Cup Match Ball Set. Glorious!
Each ball is made using the same materials and methods used to create the original. I could imagine knocking around each ball to test the difference that 40 years makes in football technology... Then, I saw the price... $849.99!!! In this economy! Fortunately, for those of us not in the top 1% of the economy, they also have a mini-ball set for $99.99. It'll make a nice Christmas present for myself.

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