Sunday, 13 June 2010

Go USA! Apparently I am Patriotic

The World Cup has started and being here in Germany it really feels like a whole new ball game....ha! Americans are getting more and more into soccer each year, but I don't think their excitement will ever compare to what I have been seeing on the streets of Berlin. Almost every other car and store is proudly waving a German flag and all restaurants and bars have a huge TV or projector screen out front showing all games. The buzz in the air is palpable. And although Germany does not play until this evening, I have been warned that the nationalism that takes over the country is not  always a pretty sight. I will keep you posted.

As for last night's tie between England and the USA, I was nervous throughout. This cup around I find myself whole heartedly rooting for my country (not claiming to be for Spain because I was born there or because I am ashamed of you know who. Thanks Obama)— my own nationalism coming in the form of nail-biting anxiety. And being away from the US, I feel especially proud to be an American. I also felt a little surge of something special, when I thought of myself, my dad, my mom and my three brothers all watching the same game from cities all over the world: Berlin, New York City, Glasgow, Oakland and San Francisco. Awwe.

And for all you non-soccer fans I will say that the close-ups of David Beckham brooding on the sidelines with a bit of stubble and impeccable hair in a perfectly tailored three-piece suit, might have been worth dealing with your 90 minutes of boredom. Sorry, his good looks are simply ridiculous.

Anyway, here is an interesting take on the game. I really couldn't have said it better myself— granted the writer is a NY Times reporter.

In Showdown, Sure Hands and Shaky Ones

The Hands Theory is often invoked by Americans who are spooked by soccer and insist the sport will never get anywhere in the United States because we Yanks only understand games that involve the use of hands.

This theory overlooks the magic so obviously visible to the naked eye, performed with the pedal extremities by artists named Beckham or Baggio or Drogba or Pelé.

For once, however, the Hands Theory made the slightest bit of sense Saturday when the Hands Nation played a highly credible 1-1 draw with the No-Hands nation in their first match at the World Cup in South Africa.

Tim Howard, an American athlete who can dunk a basketball, who plays with the looseness and confidence of a Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez, saved all the searing shots he could possibly reach, whereas Robert Green, a surprise starter in goal for the No-Hands nation, fumbled a two-hopper that came skipping straight to him.

Read the rest of the story here 

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