The World Cup – Not long to go now folks!
Excitement is building in the Wait Until Next Year household. The World Cup, four years in the waiting, is nearly upon us! I’m sure I’ll be ramping up the posts in the ‘proper’ build-up, and, of course, during the tournament itself. However, I thought it was worth spilling my brains out (only in a metaphorical sense, naturally) and list a few of the things I’m looking forward to:
1. Everyone caring about football. No doubt this will annoy me in time as everyone pretends to have always loved the beautiful game, while simultaneously spouting the most ill-informed tripe I’ve ever heard. But, before that moment, there will be that wonderful atmosphere you only get with a major sporting event. There will be flags. Strangers will actually talk to each other, and sometimes even smile.Unbelievable.
2. The first round. This is the best bit of the World Cup. There is still hope. there is good quality, meaningful football on, every single day. We’ll be seeing all manner of fantastic teams and fantastic footballers. There will be the fun stories, upsets, and teams building momentum. Plus, we don’t have to worry about penalties yet.
3. Watching football during work hours. At first, I was pretty annoyed to see so many daytime games , particularly those with 3pm weekday kick-offs, but now I’ve decided to see it as a challenge. Lunchtime games are easy, relatively, but will still take some careful planning. The afternoon games may require some clandestine viewing at my desk, or some sort of shift working pattern, or failing that, trusty radio broadcasts. However it goes, for four weeks, work will be that thing I do from time to time when the football isn’t on. Bliss.
4. Finding the right venue. I’ve had too many bad pub football experiences, with all sorts, from real thugs to the well-to-do, all seemingly more interested in drinking and getting in the way than in watching the game. This time, however, I have a particular local pub in mind, with a strong landlord, locals always glued to the football and a good atmosphere. Failing that, I have a nice big telly to watch it at home, in peace,with my feet up, and no queues at the bar. Perfect.
So, what are you looking forward to then? I’d love to hear.
I’ll tell you something to which I’m not looking forward: Listening to all the fair-weather soccer fans here in the States go on and on about how this is the year we make a real run to the Cup only to swear off the game forever after we lose a couple of matches to lesser competition and get blown off the field by a football power.
I look forward to the days immediately following the US’s exit so that I don’t have to hear about soccer anymore and prepare for the upcoming college football season.
Wanna place a wager on the US/England match? I bet we come within three goals of your boys.
Well, it sounds like US soccer/football fans aren’t that far removed from English fans – a huge wave of expectation and over-confidence, followed by the inevitable disappointment when they face a real footballing power.
College football is huge, isn’t it? I found it fascinating on both my trips to the States to see on TV 90-odd thousand people watching a non-professional game week-in, week-out, especially as I can’t think of a similar situation for any other sport. I kind of follow the University of Texas, just because I spent a week in Austin and got a t-shirt. Plus, their stadium looked pretty impressive. Dumb reasons, I know. Although it was odd getting the hand/horn-thingy in London last year when I wore the shirt. The guy who did it wasn’t even American!
I like the idea of a wager, despite thinking England might get in trouble versus the US. How about I give the US a two goal start? And to make things interesting, the loser has to write a post on the subject of the winner’s choice?
Somehow, I knew that about British soccer fans. I used to work with a bunch of Brits at YMCA camps in the summers. They’d go on and on about their football team. Although, I think it was in ’94 when they didn’t even qualify for the Cup and the US made an inspired run. I had a lot of fun with them and I’m not even a soccer fan. At least the British are true to their team and their sport. Americans just pretend to be interested every four years.
College football is a big deal over here. Even at the smaller universities. I can understand following a team like Texas, but my loyalties lie with The Ohio State University Buckeyes. 105,000 pour into Ohio Stadium every Saturday to watch one the winning-est college football programs ever. I can’t wait for this season to begin. The Buckeyes have a good shot at the (mythical) national championship.
That’s a good idea for a wager. I’ll have to think about it. A two goal start is probably more reasonable than three. It’s a deal!
Every four years it is the same in England, the hope and expectation that has been around for every world cup since 1966 (when England won) the pubs are full, banners and flags everywhere, car flags, a real party atmosphere and sense of excitement, the whole nation really does get behind the team. A few early wins and the excitement builds, only for our hopes to be dashed in the later stages. We fold up our flags, drink up the last few drinks and then probably watch from home when somebody else lifts the trophy. But you never know, it could be our year, that’s what keeps us going!
Hope springs eternal, eh? There’s a small part of me that would rather go out early, than suffer the build-up, hype, excitement and then inevitable disappointment of a quarter-final defeat on penalties. But I guess that is half the fun, eh?
In the meantime, I need to be optimistic about England, at least against the US. Must win that bet!
[…] Wait until next year Consuming sport, and other less important stuff Skip to content HomeAboutBaseballGBLinks ← The World Cup – Not long to go now folks! […]