World Cup Fever

Unless you’ve managed to somehow avoid all the internet and human contact over the past couple weeks other than this blog (I’d be highly flattered but also super confused) or you JUST DON’T CARE, the World Cup is happening!

For me, the World Cup is only second to the Olympics in terms of giddiness over watching sports for me.

I never got the chance to play soccer growing up because my parents only let us play one sport (and I’m such a stellar basketball player!) and I also wore glasses growing up.

The first World Cup I watched was in 1994 which was held in the US. That was an exciting time. Alexi Lalas, Marcelo Balboa. Cobi Jones. Tab Ramos. Tony Meola. That was the year that we somehow managed to get into the second round after Columbia scored their own goal in our game (and the poor dude got killed afterwards) and then during the second round Tab Ramos got elbowed in the head by the Brazilian player. Even though we lost that game, that entire World Cup got me really interested in the game.

Then women’s soccer got really popular as well and I so desperately wished that I could have played. In my high school. the cool kids played soccer.

As I got older, I realized that soccer is not a popular sport in this country. I’m not going to go into that because everyone has their reasons of why they don’t like it. What I do think is annoying is the fact that people can’t seem to just accept that it’s ok to like different things. If people enjoy one sport, let them and stop trying to talk about why it’s a stupid sport. I’m not here to convince you of why you should like it. I’m just excited to talk about something I like (and well it’s my blog).

Something that I also really like about soccer is how diverse the audience is. It’s an international sport so all different nationalities get involved in cheering. You really can’t say that for a lot of other sports.

Here’s the thing. I know we’re not going to win the World Cup unless a miracle happens. It’s going to be a while before we get REALLY good, if that ever happens. However at the same time, it’s been obvious. Our team is getting better! And there’s more interest!

This video is from the last World Cup but it still makes me smile whenever I watch it.

I went to a sports bar in downtown Reston yesterday to watch the US/Germany game and it was PACKED. Standing room only. They wouldn’t let people in due to being overcrowded. I was apparently one of the last people they let in and even then I was allowed past the steps in the entrance. Which was perfectly fine for me as I was next to the ledge and could rest my arms for the entire game and had perfect vision of TVs. But folks who left for smoke breaks during halftime weren’t even allowed to come back in. That’s how full it was.

It was the first time I’ve watched a World Cup game in a public setting so the excitement was so much greater. Also the stress level increased by 1000. I really wish we had scored a goal because I would have loved to have been able to cheer with so many folks. Those two last-minute attempts did get the heart racing with the cheers and then the groans. It was a really fun time. And I was even by myself and still had a great time.

Much like the Olympics, people get excited every four years for this event. All the other events in the Olympics take place every year but it’s not given a lot of coverage except for during that time period. And that’s when folks get excited. For me, watching the World Cup is exciting because I get to cheer for my country, watch a bunch of hot guys run around a field (hey, I can enjoy that), and enjoy a sport that I really like.

One of the goals on my next bucket list is to watch the US team win a game in another public setting. (Aiming low because I really don’t feel like I’ll ever be able to make it to a real life game.) Maybe I can cross off that goal next week?



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