Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup FEVER

(The horns are for the RED DEVILS, the Korean mascot)

It has taken over like a furious insupressible virus. Its contagious factor is nearly 100% and all that is required to contract this dangerous virus is to be near a television. It has leaked into every pore and each blood line of this country. That's right, I am talking about the World Cup Fever. And I am as sick as pup with a gimp leg and a lazy eye with the sickness.

I've never really been one for sports. In high school, I attended football games, but never really understood the rules. I might have been able to comprehend the rules had I actually kept my eyes on the field instead of socializing like a fluttering butterfly. I might have learned the dynamics of that barbaric sport had I had an inkling of a care. I could tell you the shape of the ball and that there were two goal posts and a touch down was 7 points, but other than that, football was like an uninteresting puzzle that I didn't plan on untangling.

Leading up to the Korean game, all anyone could talk about was the World cup. Specifically the Korean game and where they planned on watching it. Every inch of Korea with a population over 10 had something planned for the opening game. For our part, we debated on what to do and where to go, finally deciding to head into Seoul for the ultimate Korean experience. Walking into the crowd of red, devil horned, rain soaked Koreans, the electricity jumping off of one person's horns to the next created streets upon streets full of pure ecstatic energy. It was enough electricity to enliven the dead to rise from their graves to see what all the ruckus was about.

We met up with some friends who had painted their faces not only for the Korean game, but also for the USA vs. England game. An exciting night indeed. We would have loved to stay and watch that game at 3:30 am Korea time, however we had to head home, as Kyle had overtime work the following morning. One great thing about the World Cup is that it instills a sense of national pride only paralleled by the Olympics. In spite of the fact that the number of tickets purchased this year by Americans was second only to South Africa, Americans still don't cherish soccer like the rest of the world does. Cherish really isn't the correct word. It is a mania bordering on religious for many countries. I had an English friend once tell me that soccer was a basic necessity for him next to food, water and shelter and without soccer his body would shrivel into a pile of decaying sadness. America has many sports that it cherishes- football, baseball, basketball, and in the north at least, hockey. Soccer just doesn't have a lot of leeway room to squeeze into the hearts of anyone but children looking to burn some energy on league teams.

I still don't really like sports and to be honest I don't really WATCH watch the game. I mean, I pay attention if I hear cue noises from the crowd, but the rules once again allude me. We plan on watching as many games as we can however because the excitement grows as the Argentina/Korea game nears. For anyone interested in results of the games:
  • Korea beat Greece 2:0 (They were evenly matched so a 2:0 score was more than the Koreans could hope for)
  • USA and England by some miracle tied 1:1 (yes, they have ties in soccer. I know what is up with that?)
  • North Korea scored once on Brazil. Brazil which is one of the best teams in the tournament should have spanked those sheltered crazies in the butt, but somehow, the score was close. 1:2
  • Mexico and South Africa tied. I know this because I was surrounded by South Africans this weekend.


Stephanie said...

I was thinking about you two yesterday during the game!!! And you are right, Brazil was sleeping through their game yesterday! Trust me, at half time my husband was pissed. Im glad they won because if not I think our house would have suffered the night in silence LOL, its mania over here too! Now I have a question, someone posted on facebook that Korea will not show the games live and will not show the games that the country loses...obviously this cant be true because you watched them right? HOpe you guys are doing great!!

Vanessa Rogers said...

They were talking about North Korea not South Korea where we live. I'm glad you guys won. North Korea doesn't deserve to win.

MissKris said...

As always, great photos! Soccer fever rules the world right now, that's for sure. I enjoyed your comment, Vanessa, and I agree with you about cursing. I worked in the Portland schools for several years at the middle school level and even at that young age, conversation is full of it. Even so, even if I hear it all the time, I still don't think it's necessary. But, just like with lying and cheating, it's become an accepted part of our culture. It's sad, but that's the way the world seems to go.

Peter and Leslie said...

I also briefly caught football fever when we were at my mom's last weekend. Peter and I watched several games. I'm not a sports person either but I really found it exciting. I remember several years ago a Korean man committed suicide so that he could "assist" his team in the afterlife... hopefully none of your friends are showing that level of fanaticism!