Tuesday, July 26, 2005

High-kicking, low-scoring action

While I'm on the subject of my more esoteric pursuits, I might as well go ahead and admit that I went to see the United States soccer team play on Sunday afternoon. The U.S. team was playing Panama in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which is the championship for the international soccer region encompassing North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Or, as the area is better known, the beige countries in Risk.

The less said about the actual game, the better. A friend posited that it epitomized why Americans don't like soccer. After all, it was a scoreless tie. The United States won 3-1 on penalty kicks, after failing to finish roughly 217 scoring opportunities. It got bad enough at one point that one of the friends I was with remained seated when everyone around him stood for a near goal, reasoning that he'd just be sitting back down again, disappointed. He was right.

The penalty kicks redeeemed the match somewhat, as did the uniquely goofy fun of watching the actual Gold Cup _ the world's most pointy sports trophy _ as it was toted out onto the field by two uniformed New Jersey state troopers.

If the heat were making me more testy, I'd point out that Sunday was also the day that, in the name of "security" a busload of tourists was debarked at gunpoint in Times Square, Penn Station was evacuated for a bomb scare and one member of our soccer excursion was denied entry into Giants Stadium for possessing what she was informed was "clearly a backpack." (Fans with purses, however, were being waved right along.) Despite our ire being drafted into security kabuki theater, we cooled off once we made it to our seats before the anthems, and didn't allow the stupidity of others to mar our day.

No comments: