'Twas a great day of soccer watchin'. Our party guests have gone home, leaving us with a pitcher still half-full of sangria. Still plenty of My Wife's outstanding guacamole left as well. Where to begin...
South Korea v. Greece
As explained in a previous post, I would love to spend the World Cup in a country whose citizens care a lot more about soccer than the average American sports fan does. Not in the host nation but ideally in a place in a nearby time zone. My choice for this tournament would have been Greece. So, as I watched the game this morning, my more well-to-do doppelganger was sitting in a bar in Athens sipping ouzo and making friends with Angelo, a sanitation worker on his day off, watching the game here with me because his wife doesn't like him watching at home. His pals come around and shake my hand, joking with one another in a language far beyond me, most likely at my expense. We each buy a round as we watch the match. Sadly, the game is not very inspiring for the Greek team but we have a marvelous time. We agree in their broken English and my useless Greek to meet again for the next game on Thursday.
Back in Vermont, the real me feels that Korea beating Greece isn't so shocking but the ease with which they achieved victory was a bit surprising. They looked very comfortable throughout.
Argentina v. Nigeria
Boy, you've got to be quick with your Man of the Match vote at FIFA.com! Voting starts at the beginning of the second half and there isn't much of a grace period once the game is over. I was delighted to see a goalkeeper, not to mention the one for the losing team, win it. It wasn't pretty but I'm sure the Argentines, notorious poor starters in World Cup competition, were pleased to come away with a win.
USA v. England
While waiting for our guests to arrive, My Wife and I watched the pre-game festivities on Univision. It was quite amusing to find that Stephen Colbert's parodies of Spanish-language television aren't much of a stretch from reality. We particularly enjoyed the feature on various players' model girlfriends/wives. "I should be appalled by the objectification, but it's just too funny," My Wife said. She suggested we learn some Spanish in time for the next Cup so we can understand more of what's going on. I don't know. That might kill the charm for me.
Side note: I'm delighted to see that Landon Donovan is bilingual. American tennis players, take note.
The party went well, all women as it turned out! My Wife made the aforementioned guac and and sangria and I picked up beer, both English (Newcastle) and American (Sierra Nevada). There was a wide range of interest in the game among our guests which I think is fun. We all agreed that Fabio Capello, England's manager, has a head way too big for the rest of his body. We also had consensus that Tim Howard, USA's keeper, was wearing far too much orange, though the sangria improved our opinions on that one.
The draw is a very good result for the USA. England has to be frustrated. My heart goes out to Robert Green, the English keeper, for letting that ball bounce off of his gloves into the goal. I do not envy him the tabloid treatment that lies ahead.
Hey, it's only Saturday. More games tomorrow. Woohoo!