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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mini-Messi and World Cup Fever

Pausing from my Museum Week posts, I am inclined to write a about a little event that you may have heard of called The World Cup.

La Copa Mundial has taken Argentina by storm.

Thank you Married & Mobile for this amazing pic
Soccer/Futbol is the complete focus of the country until July 11 (or until Argentina loses). The Saturday of their first game, Buenos Aires was a ghost town. Shops were closed, traffic was non-existent. There are a number of places set up in the city for people to watch the games for free, as posted on this amazing blog: My Buenos Aires Travel Guide, we are surely planning on joining the crowds at Plaza San Martin for at least one of the games (possibly when my brother Chris is in town next week, Hooray!). The Argentinean team started off strong by winning their first match against Nigeria 1-0. This resulted in a huge, hilarious, blow-up Maradona head to be paraded around the center of the city known here as the Obelisco, known to us as the miniature Washington Monument). Diego Maradona is currently the coach of the Argentine national team, but is more famous for his "Hand of God" goal during the 1986 World Cup games, his highly publicized issues with drugs and weight, and his most recent venture, a reality TV show star. I would like to send a personal shout out to Coach Maradona, thank you for providing constant entertainment during the game, I look forward to more hilarity in the games to come.

Don't worry, we are also following the US team's progress, and were quite satisfied with the 1-1 draw with England in their first game, even if the goal was a partial fluke, we'll take it!

Mini-Messi-Caden cheering from afar
Tomorrow morning, 8:30 Bs.As. time marks the second game for team Argentina, this time against South Korea. We will be cheering for our adopted team, so much so that we have already begun recruiting our friend's children for the 2030 World Cup. Those colors really bring out his baby blues!

The World Cup has been easy to get interested in, even for this non-soccer-loving girl. I can trace it back to the traumatic experience I had with soccer back in the day when my family lived in Atlanta. I was in third grade, and EVERYONE played soccer, so my parents signed me up. Somehow I ended up as the only girl on an all boy-extremely competitive, semi-ghetto team of thugs that hated me. This was compounded by the fact that I was terrible. The season came to a climax when, during a game, a boy on my team (if I remember right, he had a gold front tooth - as an 8-year-old) deliberately kicked the ball as hard as he could into my belly. This is the only time in my life that I've had the wind knocked out of me. I still harbor hard feelings towards this kid, Bubba or Beau or Trent or some other ridiculous southern boy's name.
Jonathan Brandis, my childhood crush.

At the end of the season my mom, being a good team mom, arranged for a team party where everyone received a trophy and had a special trophy made for me that was a girl, instead of a boy, kicking a soccer ball. This raised some sort of controversy among the team and the parents - redic. Needless to say, I've hated soccer ever since. Not even hunky heartthrob Jonathan Brandis (may he rest in peace) and his role in the girl-soccer movie Ladybugs could change my mind, and at that time, if anyone could make me like soccer, Jonathan Brandis could.

Not that I've totally turned around, but now that we're in Argentina, I do enjoy the World Cup.

I'm loving the blue and white stripes worn by every man, woman, child and dog in this city and I'm even, dare I say, liking the whole vuvuzelo debate. It's funny to walk down the street and hear that crazy humming of the vuvuzelos - you know there is a TV close by with the game on. And who doesn't love the infamous "Goooooooolllllllllllllllllll!" cry whenever someone scores!? It's a country full of soccer/futbol-loving-passion. Vamos Argentina!


  1. Stank and BlakelyJune 17, 2010 at 7:49 AM

    I wouldn't call myself a huge soccer fan either, but I am a huge sports fan (which I am sure everyone knows) and I have REALLY gotten into the World Cup this year. It's like the Olympics -- you just have to watch and cheer for your country. My brother-in-law, Travis, is actually in South Africa going to 5 different games. He has said that it's been amazing so far.

    GO USA!!!

  2. I can't even imagine how crazy South Africa is right now. ESPECIALLY since Argentina just won their 2nd game 4-1!