Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup Fever

So I actually started writing this post yesterday while watching the World Cup, but I ended up getting so wrapped up in the game that I never got to finish! Here it is:

So I recently read an article written by an American who had come to Buenos Aires to see what the first few days of the World Cup would be like here. The author's basic conclusion was that Argentinians like soccer. Reading the article, I just kept thinking "Wowwww, you really did some back-breaking investigative journalism on this one, didn't ya??" It'd be like if a foreign journalist traveled to the US to see the Superbowl and came to the shocking conclusion that Americans like football and complex carbohydrates. I kinda wanted to write the author an email that just said "Seriously?! Seriously??!!". Anyways, walking the streets here now anyone can see that the World Cup is a biiiiiig deal here. On every single street there are vendors selling Argentina jerseys, blue and white crazy hats, blue and white vuvuzelas (those annoying noise makers that you hear if you watch the games), blue and white sweaters for your dog, blue and white everything. Every bar, restaurant, and store is showing their Argentine pride by hanging flags, putting jerseys on manikins, etc. The really nice part is that this morning work is canceled... for the entire country! The game is on from 830-1030, and then the work day starts at 1030. A few of the companies where I teach have actually set up large screens in their break rooms and are ordering a full breakfast for all their employees to try to get them to come watch the game there, so then they can start work at 1030 when the game ends. Otherwise, their employees will have to deal with what promises to be an insane traffic situation as the entire country heads to work at 1030. I have to leave for work at 1045 and am already dreading the group hump session that my subway ride downtown will undoubtedly be.

For me, the World Cup has been a really funny experience. Last year, I would have maybe lasted through two minutes of a soccer game before I could no longer even feign interest. Even just two weeks ago I was complaining about how all people want to talk about lately is soccer. But now, the excitement about it all has really gotten to me. Last Saturday, when Argentina scored its first goal in its first game, my boyfriend jumped up screaming "GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!" He opened up the doors to our balcony and we could hear literally the entire city screaming "GOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL!!!!!!" I think that was the moment when I caught the bug. This morning (as there is no work) I did not have to be up early. However, here I am, at 9 am, sitting on my couch, COMPLETELY wrapped up in this game. When Argentina scored its first goal (well actually all of them) I too was jumping up and down screaming "GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!"

The next day: so this is bad. I have become a completely different person. Yesterday, we talked about the World Cup in every one of my classes. Last night, I changed the channel off of the movie we were watching so I could check Argentine sports center and see what happened with the other groups (in phase one of the tournaments the teams are divided into groups, with the top two teams from each group advancing). My boyfriend tried to play it cool and pretend to be less shocked than he was. Today, instead of reading my usual trashy gossip blogs online, I found myself reading articles about the World Cup. Whats happening to me?????

1 comment:

  1. I just realized I didn't answer any of Adam's questions in my post! Sooooo --- yesterday celebration wasn't that crazy because it was early in the morning. Obviously everyone was jumping up and cheering, people running through the plazas cheering, and people driving around town honking their horns. Tuesday's game will show from 330-530 pm here and if we win (it looks like we probably will), it means that we advance to round two. I imagine that the tuesday afternoon shiz is really gonna get crazy. Maradona is a fairly divisive character here. Everyone reveres him as an amazing player, but he's had a lot of problems with drugs and alcohol and also doesn't have a wonderful record as a coach (some people feel he isn't qualified to coach). He once claimed to be as famous as the Pope and I think many Argentinians would agree with that statement.