Among the many, many things that fascinate me about the World Cup is the creation of team slogans. Partly because they reflect the event's ability to create a (somewhat) equal ground for countries that otherwise differ dramatically in global power, and partly because they are awesome.
The Washington Post did a pretty good roundup of the slogans, but I beg to disagree with a few of them. For example:
- Australia: "Socceroos: Hopping Our Way Into History!"
- Washington Post says: C+
- Hillary says: A-. How can you not admire their commitment to something so profoundly dumb? Also, it's kind of fun, and games are supposed to be fun, the last time I checked.
- Cameroon: "A Lion Remains a Lion"
- Washington Post says: A- ("smacks of laziness")
- Hillary says: A++++++. This is arguably the toughest and most menacing slogan I have ever heard, for anything.
- Chile: "Chi Chi Chi Le Le Le! Go Chile!"
- Washington Post says: B+
- Hillary says: D. I'm pretty sure that this is just a thing you say, and not a slogan per se.
- Ecuador: "One Commitment, One Passion, Only One Heart, This is for You Ecuador!"
- Washington Post says: B (too earnest)
- Hillary says: B-, for different reasons. I am actually a big fan of their sincerity, but much like Chile's "slogan," I don't think this one really qualifies. I mean, look at its length alone.
- Ghana: "Black Stars: Here to Illuminate Brazil"
- Washington Post says: B, for cheese
- Hillary says: A+. It references the nation both symbolically and literally (black star on the flag), and it factually describes the behavior of stars. Plus it strikes a nice balance between being threatening and being terrifying. They're not going to eat you, like Cameroon! They're just going to show you how it's done. They'll show you the light. The black star light.
- Greece: "Heroes Play Like Greeks"
- Washington Post says: D, although they admit bias
- Hillary says: Are you kidding? A++. It's not as breathtakingly baller as Cameroon's slogan, but it's in the same arena. Bonus points for the mythological allusion.
- Mexico: "Always United, Always Aztecas"
- Washington Post says: B+
- Hillary says: D. First of all, why does Mexico get credit for its historical reference, when Greece does not? Secondly, this is not even accurate, as there were a multitude of pre-Columbian civilizations in Mexico, including the Toltec, the Mixtec, the Purepecha, and the Maya, all of whom could very well have been good at soccer. We don't know, because colonialism. And now we're even erasing them from our team slogans.
- Netherlands: "Real Men Wear Orange"
- Washington Post says: C-
- Hillary says: B. I don't know, I kind of like it. There's another historical callback in there, and also orange is not a color that America traditionally associates with masculinity.
- Portugal: "The Past is History, the Future is Victory"
- Washington Post says: A- ("the majesty of a great political campaign")
- Hillary says: B+, for slightly different reasons. I appreciate that the essence of this slogan is "We know what you think of us," but I also don't know if that's how you want to start yourselves off. (It's kind of like WMATA's "We get that you don't care that we're working BUT WE'RE DEFINITELY WORKING SO WHATEVER" campaign.)
- Russia: "No One Can Catch Us"
- Washington Post says: B+ (basically: too soon)
- Hillary says: A, for chutzpah. Also, it's short and descriptive, which is how a slogan should be. (Are you listening, Ecuador?)
- South Korea: "Enjoy It, Reds!"
- Washington Post says: B-, for reduced expectations
- Hillary says: B. They really nailed the essence of most of the English that gets translated from Korean - technically clear, but still a little puzzling.
- Uruguay: "Three Million Dreams...Let's Go Uruguay"
- Washington Post says: B+, because it accurately reflects Uruguay's overall position coming in
- Hillary says: B+, but again, this is a concurring opinion. I like that it sums up the World Cup's importance as a global stage. But "Let's Go [team]" is not a slogan. I don't know how many times I have to say this.
Anyway. I do agree with the Post that America's slogan ("United by Team, Driven by Passion") is stupid and probably better suited for a Chevy truck commercial. How about "At Least Our Country Is Kind of Paying Attention This Time"? Another option: "We're Still Not Calling It Football." Team USA, if you're listening, I am available as a brand consultant. Just saying.