Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup Of Love


I’ve been on South African time since June 11. And it’s been worth every second. I’ve gotten used to the early mornings. This event is very consuming, I’ll admit. I still wake up in time for the 7:30am games that are no more (moment of silence). I’ve noticed a lot more enthusiasm and fervor surrounding this World Cup. Probably because I’m older, I’m more aware of these things. Or could be because the world is converging on Africa….

I grew up in a home with two immigrant parents, so watching the World Cup was the norm. Of course I didn’t go to bars to watch and I didn’t know if any of my friends were into it, but the excitement was still there. I called my father before the Super Eagles’ games during this tournament to gauge the excitement level. Yes, he cut the conversation short so he could go watch. I ain’t mad at all. I even remember in my youth and naiveté taping the World Cup finals (It could be ’94 but I think France won the year I taped so that would be ’98) so my father could watch the game when he got back from Nigeria. He appreciated the gesture but had watched the game live. Duh! It’s the World Cup. Everyone’s watching.




The camaraderie during the World Cup is intoxicating. So many cultures are brought together. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about people across the globe. I watched the France/Mexico game during the group round with Mexicans (or Mexican fans), Asians (I won’t assume they were Chinese even though we were in Chinatown) and Frenchmen. I don’t speak French, but in any language you can understand the outbursts directed at the flat screen, heads hung low in despair and the hugs and high-fives. It’s a universal language.

As with any event that brings throngs of people together, there’s the potential for "love", however quick or torrid. The endorphins coursing through your system while watching the games are arousing. Couple that with viewing the event in a packed bar throw food and alcohol into the mix and there will be fireworks. I still smile about how my former Italian lover and I celebrated in 2006. That was the first time I had Nutella and I haven’t looked at it the same way since. I’ve had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a fine French gentleman about 2 months ago and the World Cup has brought us closer. Through this shared interest we’ve gone through the highs & lows of victory and defeat, wine and adult wagers. This scene must be playing out in countless other bars, living rooms or at the games themselves. I can just imagine all the interracial Pisceans and Aries that’ll be born in 2011…

The Frenchman and I had a brief conversation with his English coworker about what we’re gonna do when the World Cup is over. Shrugs all around. We all looked lost; no one had the answer to that question. It’s going to be a sad day.

How many of you are having a World Cup love affair while having a love affair with the World Cup?

Will you still love me on July 12?


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