Tuesday, June 13, 2006 by Ospite.

I'm not the largest soccer fan really, but there's something about the Wolrd Cup that gets to me. Every four years, the best players for the world's most-played sport get together and prove their worth on the grass. Often, decades of political angst go into these matches and billions of people tune in.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't have cable TV. I grew up with rabbit ears donning the top of the television set, so all we got was local. So, I'm also not a real big TV programming nut. But now there's the World Cup and I find myself without ESPN.

Taking place in Germany this year, the WC is broadcast live their local time. "Well, that's normal." you say...and you'd be right. But it poses a problem for me, that I can't just tune in during the middle of the day on my TV. It also means that I'm not likely to knock on the door to a pub at 8:55am so I can watch a match. I have one other alternative: go to work.

Like every good bar, we have two TVs in ours, both with ESPN and ESPN2 and I simply couldn't miss the USA vs CZE match yesterday. I strolled in about 6 minutes before the match, grabbed the remote and found ESPN2 just as the German soccer kids were leading the pros out onto the field. Excitement welled up as I turned up the volume, hearing the fans cheering in the background. I would give anything to be there right now. The restaurant is dead, so I turn up the volume still more.

It turns out that the good old boys from America choked when they hit the field. Their playing was sloppy, uncoordinated, and sophomoric. Naturally my zeal for the sport rose from my lips as the match went on, forgetting there could be customers around the corner.

"Come on boys, your performance is pathetic! You're letting me down!"

A short, balding man in a suit walked around the corner on his way to the bathroom just then.

With a thick sarcasm, "I'm sorry, am I interrupting something?"

"Oh, hey there. I'm only allowed to yell at work while the World Cup is on."

"Screaming at customers is unacceptable?"

"Tends to be."

"Well, I think I'm the only one in here, so enjoy all the yelling you want."

"Thank you, I certainly shall."

When the Czechs ended up stomping us 3 - 0, I followed through...


Blogger Lobster Boy said...

I've caught at least a half if not a whole game each day this week. I only watched the first half today of the Dutch vs. Ivory Coast and it was very compelling soccer. The Dutch were more organized, better at team work, but the IC players seemed to be better athletes and made up for their inexperience with raw talent. I don't know much about either team, and I suspect neither will stand up to the top ranked teams, but it made for a great first half. Additionally, since I don't have cable, I have to watch the games on the Spanish network. Believe me, my Spanish is not that good, but it is such good competetion I watch anyhow and love every minute of it.

Lobster Boy
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11:39 PM  

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At your service, Ospite

I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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