During the broadcast of the World Cup today, ESPN’s announcers mentioned that around 800 million people worldwide are tuned in and watching Germany and Argentina play. This number struck me as simultaneously both large and small — large, since we so seldomly experience things en masse at the same time; and small for precisely the same reason: football is perhaps the most global of all sports and since we’re more than 7BB strong now that does seem a tad conservative.
There’s something to be said about the unifying effects of a shared experience of such proportions. After all, what events other than major sport ones could command such an audience? Perhaps one day soon another landing on the Moon or on Mars, but until then this pretty accurately describes the World Cup experience: