From the little of the World Cup that I watched this year, one thing really stood out: the hilarious arm-folding. None of my friends really watch football, and yet this topic keeps being brought up. FIFA should seriously leave creativity to creative people, even if they don’t watch football. This arm folding thing is a disaster.
Disasters are funny though, and Slate has the funniest article I read in ages.
It turns out that’s surprisingly hard to ace on your first (and, presumably, only) try. Hundreds upon hundreds of millions of television viewers have watched players from all 32 teams botch this seemingly simple technique in the lineup presentations before each World Cup match. Nailing that turn and arm-fold is crucial, though: It’s the difference between looking like an ordinary, nice dude (like Japan’s Atsuto Uchida) and an unlucky guy caught posing for his mug shot (like the United States’ Kyle Beckerman).
So what can we learn from these athletes’ struggles to fold their arms and look to the left in a convincingly human manner? The primary issue is where your hands should go. Should they go on the outside of your biceps, like those of the Netherlands’ Daryl Janmaat? Or would you prefer, as does Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, to tuck them inside, thumbs up?
Would you like to adopt the pose of a hip-hop dancer, like Greece’s Ioannis Maniatis, or that of a perfectly upright Cossack dancer, like the Ivory Coast’s Salomon Kalou?
But whatever you do, don’t stuff your hands into your armpits like Colombian players Carlos Sánchez, Abel Aguilar, and Juan Cuadrado. Gross, guys!
But best of all is Cameroon’s Benoît Assou-Ekotto. Graceful, funny, relaxed, Ekotto’s arm-folding is a joyous invitation to come to his place and watch some Adventure Time. Assou-Ekotto wins the World Cup of Arm-Folding.