Football

Friday, June 13, 2008

Being in Europe, "football" does not mean football in the American sense, but Soccer, and are they nuts about Soccer here.  It's time here for Euro 2008, a huge international soccer tournament.  God help us all....

Everywhere you look, you see it.  Bars and restaurants have it on their big screen TV's.  It's all over the news...even I can understand when I hear "xxxxxxxx Football xxxxxxxx".  As it is election time, politicians are giving away posters with schedules and scoring brackets.  And if that isn't bad enough, the McDonald's Happy Meal also comes with its own schedule and scoring sheet.  Amazing....

I was at a little cafe/bar with Catalina and her friends, when the bar employees turned on the big projector TV (the screen was next to where I was sitting) and there right before me was the start of some soccer game.  Of course, the announcing was in Romanian, so even sure who was playing.  At least in the US they put the team names in the little box in the corner so you can always see the score.

Here..nothing.  Some of the guys in the white and red looked kinda German, but I had no idea about the other team.  I think I was about 20 minutes into the game before I figured out it was Austria playing Croatia.  I was close with Austria....but Croatia?  C'mon...I had no chance to guess that one right.

After about 5 minutes, the team that I later determined was Croatia scored.  Yes!  A Score!  I thought that maybe this might be an interesting game...but for the next 85 minutes....nothing.  No score...just back and forth...back and forth...back and forth.  I just wanted someone....ANYONE to score.  There were some shots at the goal, but most weren't even close.  Final score:  Croatia 1 - Austria 0 - Jeff Bored.

I had heard that Romania played someone that day, but I didn't know who.  Later in the evening, when Cata and I were out walking, we saw some cars driving around, horns honking, waving Romanian flags out the window.  I thought that this must mean that Romania won their game.  People were happy.

By the way, Catalina isn't into Football (Soccer).  Good.

Back at the apartment, I check the score on the 'net, when I was surprised to find out that when Romania played France, the score was a 0 - 0 tie.  These people were celebrating the fact that both teams sucked to the point they couldn't score one lousy goal.  They were celebrating the fact that the didn't LOSE!  Really..what does a tie get you anyway? 

I don't understand it at all.....

First of all, I like scoring.  Maybe its the competitive nature of most Americans, but I think we are a goal oriented, driven people.  We like results...and scoring is a result.  After 90 minutes, and the score is only 1-0, I'm ready to fall asleep. 

And a tie is not winning.... and I wouldn't think something to celebrate. 

When somebody wins, that means somebody must lose, but at least half the people are happy.  When the teams tie, is anyone really happy?  I thought not, but after today...I might be wrong about that.



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