Photo taken with my camera phone, from FIFA.com.
Last Friday I was at the gym, doing my thing, when Michael Bradley scored the second goal that tied the game against Slovenia. Everyone at the gym erupted in cheers, because everyone had the World Cup on the monitor in front of them. I got so excited with the fist-pumping that I disconnected my earphones from the television jack, losing the feed for a few seconds, plugging back in just in time to see a joyful dogpile of celebrating soccer players.
If you had asked me three weeks ago, when we first headed out to a bar on a lazy Saturday afternoon to watch the U.S. v. England, if I’d be so jazzed for the entire World Cup competition thus far, I probably would have been all, “Meh. Doubtful.”
But something changed, and I’m not sure what. Unexpectedly, I was hooked, and tapped in, and absolutely loving it. I’m anxious to watch the U.S. to play Ghana tomorrow, excited to feel the energy and thrill of a sporting tournament that isn’t strictly U.S.-centric, but part of the entire world. Is better than the Olympics in some ways, IMHO. For one, I’ve been watching many of the games on Univision, which makes it interesting because I have no idea what the commentators are saying, being that I don’t speak Spanish. But I can tell you, they are very, very excited. About everything.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m interested this go-round, or if there’s something to my notion, but I feel like those interested in soccer have really come out of the woodwork this tourney, even if it’s just for this specific time period. Or maybe DC has a higher percentage of soccer and World Cup followers, being such a transient, international city.
Either way, had you asked me three weeks ago….I don’t know that I could have predicted it, this wondrous love of World Cup. That first Saturday, I was just expecting to eat some wings and have a beer. I certainly wasn’t expecting a month-long love affair with futbol.