28 Games, 19 TVs, 9 Cities, 4 Countries …(and we didn’t keep track how many cervezas, vinhos, pisco sours, caipirinhas, and other adult beverages we consumed.)
As we roamed the globe working on RahRah4Good, we took time out to watch many World Cup matches on TV—in sports bars, apartments, hotel rooms, and restaurants. Now, we’re in withdrawal …
World Cup madness has been part of our lives for years, including:
Ed was in Brazil in 1970 when Pele played and Brazil won the whole thing! He still occasionally hums Pra Frente Brazil, the tune that captured the nationalistic spirit of Brazil during the period of military control.
With Leslie and Ben, we attended the 1994 World Cup at Stanford Stadium – cheering for USA and Brazil (against Germany and Cameroon).
Åsa, one of our au-pairs in the 90’s showed us how to cheer for Sweden!
And we shared the agony of the Dutch loss in the 2010 final in Geneva with Kitty, another of our au-pairs from the 90’s, and her family.
This year we had a lot of teams to cheer for.
Naturally we cheered for the USA, whenever possible.
In Africa, we had to set the alarm to wake up to watch the June 16th match between midnight and 2 am. (Then we had to arise again at 5 a.m. for our trekking activities.) No photos here!
When possible, we also cheered for last year’s adopted country – Ghana, with our custom Black Star jerseys!
And, we extended our loyalty to all-things-African to include Nigeria, and Côte d'Ivoire, home to some of our SEED clients, and even Cameroon and Algeria, (where we’ve never been).
Of course, we also cheered for Chile, our current adopted country, with Leslie and Marcelo.
In memory of Nana Petra, who took care of Leslie and Ben when they were very young, Mexico got our support. For Kitty, we had to cheer for the Dutch.
It got complex, but a clear hierarchy of favorites emerged.
When necessary, we found sports bars that showed two games simultaneously! Marcelo brought his Chile jersey from his childhood to selected games to bring good luck!
Jan met this Chilean soccer fan, who reminded us of San Francisco!
Also, we attended parties, went to sports bars, and used our Slingbox from the US, and watched in hotel rooms. We found ourselves scheduling other activities around games involving our “favorites”.
During matches involving Chile, activities other than watching games ceased. Avenida Presidente Riesco, a main boulevard, was completely empty during the Chile/Brazil game:
Many matches were shown on the enormous roof display at the Startup Chile incubator.
We couldn’t believe that some the SUP Chile participants worked through the games despite the blasting commentary. Talk about dedicated entrepreneurs!
We watched the championship match in a Peruvian restaurant in Concepcion, Chile, right next to a mural of Machu Pichu.
Atypically, one of our “favorite” teams wasn’t in the championship match, so we found ourselves cheering for Germany in solidarity with our Brazilian friends who couldn’t bear the thought of Argentina winning on Brazilian soil.
So long World Cup! We’ll miss you. It’s been fun. See you in 2018!
(Cartoon courtesy of Åsa, a true soccer fan! )