Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup Fever At A Sacramento Pub

The whole world in taking the next 30 days off to see what they think is the most important sporting event, the World Cup in South Africa.

Normally, we Americans wouldn't care about soccer. Any sport that forbids using your hands and scoring six points at a time is not a sport. Two "distinguished" commentators called soccer a "women's sport" and barbaric because it was invented by South American Indians who used a human head as the ball.
Then again, some people think basketball's origins can be traced back to a Mayan game where teams had to put a ball through a hoop...and the losers are killed. That was even pointed out in an NBC sports NCAA broadcast in the 1970s. It's no more outrageous than what these "experts" think about soccer.

Some Congressmen have shown their patriotism by not having any idea what the World Cup is. I read a story in Fox News Radio where one member hoped North Korea wouldn't wind up winning the whole thing. Sure, it beat Italy 44 years ago, but that's as close as it got.

Anyway, to all you haters...

Starting the rebellion

More soccer fans

So who is HE with?

Soccer is an American game. It may not compete with the eternal battle between a Celtic and a Laker, but soccer is part of this country. We've been in the World Cup for 20 years after a long drought from the 50s to the 80s, but we matter. Besides, you can see soccer from several countries if you can handle the cable bill...or the beer tab, if you prefer seeing it at a bar.

I went to Streets of London Pub to see USA-England. It was the first time I saw the World Cup there since 2002 when the US was a goal short of reaching the semi-finals.
It was loud and crowded, with face paint and beer. Pitchers sold as quickly as pints there. And there was this...

One scary England fan

I couldn't get the red-eye out of this picture, and I think it expresses how he felt about his team.

Also, my camera almost didn't survive this game. As Clint Dempsey scored the tying goal, I tried to get a picture. Someone knocked the camera from my hand, and it looks like it was broken. Thankfully, it wasn't, and at least I got this response of people seeing the replay...

Reaction to US tying game

I think people were relieved it ended in a tie. Now both England and the US will be under pressure to win over Algeria and Slovenia by 7-0 margins to get to the next round.
If the US gets to the quarterfinals, I may consider going to another pub to see the game. Going to Pyramid Ale or a sports pub wouldn't be as authentic.

Soon, I will be at Raley Field to see an MLS exhibition between San Jose and Chivas USA. It should be interesting what type of crowd will be coming. They had Mexican league teams play before to sellout crowds. Tonight shouldn't be any different. It'll be almost like being in a World Cup game.

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