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Watching the World Cup

July 10, 2006

Sabot on Channel9 asked the question Why doesn't the USA get football? Its fun to read the variety of different posts on why football/soccer is not very popular here in the US.  Answers ranging from "why should we?" and "its boring" to "yes, I do get soccer".

This was my first time watching the World Cup.  It all started on a plane home on Frontier Airlines, which is a newer airline.  Which means the have newer airplanes that have DirectTV per seat in them.  I was alone and not in the mood to read much more, so I flipped the TV back on and paid for viewing access ($5).  Nothing was on, I'm not much of a sitcom/reality show guy, and the only thing that looked interesting was the soccer match between Switzerland and the Ukraine.

I thought, "Well this is it.  I'm stuck on this plane for the next two hours.  I'm going to sit here and watch this game and see what the big deal is."  Two hours passed and was entranced by the game.  The creativity of the players, the ball-handling skills, awesome build-up towards a single goal (that actually never happened) and the team work and strategy of movement.  That was it for me I was hooked.

Why might the USA not get "football", maybe because we aren't exposed to such skilled play.  I've watched high school soccer on down and it was fun but nothing like this.  Its more fun to watch a budding star or see a nice move when you've seen how a professional of 12 years can play.

I really got into the matches, once I saw France and Zinedane play I thought, "man, I'd love to keep watching them play".  And I was able to all the way to the Final.  Good game, great play, stretched into overtime 1-1.  And then something happened, Zinedane showing off his creative and agility head butts Materazzi to the grass.  What just happened?  Was it that bad of an insult or was there that much stress that he ends his career on a red card? (head butt can be seen here with multi-language commentary)

After that the game was over, France was going to lose.  All the wind was taken out of their sails by stupid move by their team's champion.  Bleh.

Oh well, at least I have a new sport to watch.

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