Thursday, June 24, 2010


So let me tell you what I did last night. For the second time in my life, I watched the U.S. win a big World Cup match in a foreign country.

The first time was 1994. It was late June, and I was in Spain with a big group of Yellowjackets, most notably Friends of the Blog Adam and Chris. In our hotel in Cordoba, we dominated the foosball table and watched the U.S. beat Colombia, assuring them a trip into the knockout stages as one of the best third-place teams.

That year, I looked a little like Lalas, too.

On July 4, we watched the same team lose to Brazil, 1-0, ending their run. But it was still sweet.

Last night, I watched the U.S. beat Algeria in dramatic fashion, not only sending themselves through to the elimination rounds, but putting the team at the top of the group. Sweet.

Right time, right place, right goal.

An interesting experience, too, as the U.S. game was being shown without sound (projected on a wall) while the England game--just as much of a win-or-go-home affair as the U.S. match--was on the TV. It was a good setup, too, because there was no way either team could knock the other out just by winning, so everyone could cheer for everyone else. There were no Algerian fans in the house.

It was a fun night, and I'd offer more of a play-by-play description of it, but most of the physical activity involved couch-sitting and high-fiving and beer-drinking, and most of the conversation went something like, "Oh! So close" and "How the hell did he miss that?"

Once the second matches started, it was a little more relaxed and we could all make fun of the German ubermenschen, who squeaked past Ghana and now will face England in a rematch of 1966, or World War II, depending on your point of view.

Treading on me=yellow card.

So add "high-stakes sporting event" to the list of expat experiences I have enjoyed. I wish Mrs Blog had been there to take part, but then again, she started Wednesday night at one of our favorite restaurants and finished it at our favorite bar... so I don't feel too bad.

Last night I barely had the energy to text message other sports fans after the game. Better make sure I am well-rested for Saturday night... there will be no excuse for not wildly celebrating if the U.S. continues its run.

P.S. Suck it, Sun.

Note to headline writer: Turns out "Y" stood for "Your first-place team."

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