After decades desperately trying to make an impact in the United States, the greatest sporting event on Earth—the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament—finally rocked America in 2010. Rocked...to sleep. Sound, peaceful sleep. Sawing giant sequoia logs sleep. Zzzzzz.
Shift workers and sleep disorder clinics across the country reported miraculous insomnia cures which coincided with the June 11 tournament kickoff, thanks to the around-the-clock ESPN television coverage of FIFA’s four-a-day opening round World Cup matches.
“For our sleep disorder patients, this soccer showcase was an absolute godsend,” said Dr. Neva Nevaland of the Sleepless in Seattle Institute. “For example, just fifteen minutes into watching the ‘thrilling’ U.S. versus England opening weekend match put Beula Henpeck, who hadn’t slept for eight years, into a complete vegetative coma. She still hasn’t woken up."
"We now know that the strongest narcotics and sedatives in our arsenal don’t come close to the sleep-inducing effects of World Cup soccer," Dr. Nevaland continued. "Even our nurses and orderlies kept toppling over, fast asleep, just from being in the same room while soccer was on TV.”
U.S. pharmaceutical companies certainly took notice. These die-hard pill pushers are reportedly still in high-level negotiations with FIFA, ESPN, and the FDA to license videotapes of this year’s tournament for over-the-counter sleep-aid use. Unconfirmed drug insiders acknowledge that five to fifteen minute dosages of every 2010 World Cup match should be available for the sleep-deprived on drugstore shelves by summer’s end.
Congratulations, FIFA. Americans hadn’t sleep so well since the Dan Quayle vs. Al Gore Vice-Presidential debates almost 20 years ago. You made your impact, and millions of well-rested Americans say thank you.
(An earlier version of this article appeared on the author's home website HumorVolcano.com.)