Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This morning I heard on the radio some extraordinarily unpleasant words. Words I am tempted to not repeat, because they might keep Mrs. Blog in the U.S. until after the autumnal equinox.
It is allegedly going to be one of the hottest summers on record here in the UAE.
Already there is anecdotal evidence--humidity today hit 95 percent, beyond which it would have started raining. And it ain't gonna rain. That meant the 35 degree Celsius temperature today felt like 68 degrees. In American terms, that's 154 sweat-soaked degrees of Fahrenheit unpleasantness. And without the humidity, it still would have been 95 degrees F.
So I guess I should hunker down and turn up the air conditioning. Inshallah, by the time Mrs Blog gets back it will be safe to go outside again.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Yes. It's 1776 all over again, except with soccer balls instead of muskets. And here is the U.S. in its most recent tune-up match.
The Aussie team is really called the Socceroos. Maybe not in Spanish, though.
Portugal vs. Brazil should be a good one too, which got me to thinking--how many former colonies will be squaring off against their colonial masters? The odds are pretty good for Britain, Spain and France, I think.