Saturday, June 26, 2010

Watching The World Cup From America

I thought I'd better get this post in quick before England play Germany tomorrow morning. Not that I'm a doubter you understand, it's just that if it goes to penalties, I may choose the cyanide pill option.





























You can take the girl out of the country.....

Neither of them look too happy do they? Lucy looks like she's facing a firing squad and Anna said 'but I'm American'. Cultural indoctrination is not easy. It reminds me of Gavin and Stacey which I am addicted to right now. (DVR it, or failing that, put it on your Netflix, it is well worth the effort)......when Smithy turns to his infant son and says 'lets get one thing straight, when it comes to football, you support England. None of this Ryan Giggs nonsense'.

Exactly.

Watching the World Cup in America is a vastly different experience now than when I moved here 15 years ago. Back then I had to watch England's World Cup matches on the Mexican channels as it wasn't even covered on any of the English speaking networks. I was the lone sad act at work asking if anyone had seen that corking Ivory Coast game last night.

Things have definitely changed. For the last couple of World Cups I've organized a pool at work, where teams are drawn at random for a $5 buy-in. Now that there is $160 to be won it's amazing how ardent my coworkers are, following their teams and checking the results. Americans may be generally clueless as to the location of Slovakia/Slovenia or the merits of the Spanish back four, but they do welcome a bit of gambling. Of course, nothing sours an office atmosphere more than the organizer drawing Brazil and my boss getting North Korea. (Come on Brazil!! We need the money!!).

On that note, it is refreshing living somewhere so multinational. The big teams here are the US and Mexico - with Mexico having a much fiercer fan base - especially in the barrio I call home. You can hear the roars when they score - definitely more so than the US games. Even though it would be nice to be at home during the World Cup it is nice to be surrounded by so many people with different affiliations; the Danish lady who works across the building from me, the Swiss/Italian EEG tech, the Mexican groundskeeper, our Australian friends etc. It's also nice when you can condemn that England v Algeria game to history here, without it being completely dissected and rehashed like it was in the English press.

I'm sad that the US are out. Apart from their first match I was cheering for them all the way. I wish they'd gone further. A decent run at the cup would have quieted all those who think soccer is for 8 year old girls. A bluster that fails to hide how pissed off they are at losing to Ghana. Again.

So yes, I'll be up at 7am tomorrow, coffee in hand, no doubt groaning with the rest of my countrymen. I know it's just a game, that there's far too much hype, and in our case, far too much hope, but knowing that every member of my family will be doing just what I am, (except with better, more partisan commentating), even when separated by over 5,500 miles, is brilliant.

Come on you England!

3 comments:

Muddling Along Mummy said...

How funny, I've drawn Brazil too, which slightly takes the sting out of that dire performance at the weekend

Only slightly mind

Nimble said...

It really feels like a different level of attention and awareness of the World Cup in the US this year. It's fun, I'm all for it. It seems so much more civilized than American football which just gets more and more savage. I love watching football in the fall... until the injuries. And I don't expect anyone else to understand baseball.
Sorry about England. Go Brazil!

AliBlahBlah said...

I agree, the level of awareness has certainly gone up this time around. They showed the last USA match at a huge theater here in SB and it was packed, people standing in the aisles.