Thursday, June 26, 2008


I never thought this would happen. I resisted it, I ignored it, but after years of wondering what all the fuss is about, I've finally gotten hooked on soccer. It's not my fault, really. When you live in Europe (or anywhere else outside of the 50 United States) you are bombarded by soccer, excuse me, football, on a daily basis. What's more, Europe is currently going crazy for the 2008 Euro Cup championship. This once-every-four-years event is followed with such intensity and thoroughness that it is impossible not to get caught up in it. It's kind of like how everyone in DC can talk politics because the city eats and breathes politics. Europe is currently eating and breathing football.

Unfortunately, this year's French team was less than stellar. They went out in the first round (groups of countries all play each other, France played The Netherlands, Italy and Romania) scoring a misérable one goal in three games. It would have been fun to root for my adoptive home team, but alas, I'm left rooting for whichever team strikes my fancy at the time. Last night was the big semi-final match between Germany and Turkey, and I was definitely rooting for the Germans. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe it's because there were some really nice German students in my French class at Sciences Po, maybe it's because Germany is a country I would really like to visit, or maybe it's because I think it's funny that Angela Merkel attends the German matches and they always show her sitting in the stands wearing a different color of the same pantsuit. Whatever the reason, my cheers were not in vain. In an exciting back and forth match the Germans took it, 3 to 2.

Next up is the semi-final between Spain and Russia. Then it's on to the big final to decide who is 2008's European champion. I'm definitely looking forward to joining the entire continent in watching that important match. But despite my newfound love for the world's sport, I haven't forgotten about that great American pastime. This Sunday, as I sit down to enjoy the final, a little part of me will be wishing I was in a baseball stadium enjoying a hot dog and a beer. Go Twins!


Nomadic Matt said...

France's team was awful this year!!! I never expected Spain and Germany in and was hoping my beloved holland would get in!!

sigh...i love this game!!! It took a trip to europe for me to get hooked too!

Tanya said...

I was so hoping that Holland would win as well, but Russia totally dominated...and then got dominated by Spain! It's been great!

Greg Wesson said...

It's been a little bitter sweet over here in England, with their team not even making it to the first round to lose 3 matches like France did. However, folks here are still watching (and betting). Germany seems like the favourite to take the final game on Sunday based on what I have heard the locals say here.

Of course, right now in England we have the other distraction of "The Championship, Wimbledon" as they call it, so at least I get a little tennis mixed in with my nightly report on football.

Meanwhile, I am in the dark about is going on with the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs GM situation? Man, don't people here have any idea what is really important in sports? ;)


Tanya said...

It's so hard to lose track of your home sports like that! We're hooked on Wimbledon over here too. Tennis seems to be really popular in France, and they even talk about the NBA, but mostly about Tony Parker, the hometown boy :-)

Tanya said...
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