Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guestie

Courtesy of FOG:TB, Shlara, a little live coverage of last night's U.S.A/Costa Rica World Cup qualifier from rainy RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. We'd have pictures from the event, but Shlara's noted for her inability to use most forms of modern technology.

Who knew that Americans liked soccer this much?

Not me. I mean, I follow DC United: I go to games and follow their progress in the WaPo. Plus, I played soccer growing up, but I'm not really tapped into the whole international futbol hysteria. And, I think that's pretty typical for an American sports enthusiast. So, it was a surprise to see so many knowledgeable, rabid US soccer fans at RFK last night.

The cold & rain didn't deter them, nor did the fact the the US already clinched the spot in South Africa.

Most of you guys watched the game or saw the highlights, so I won't recap it for you. (Note: I think she overrates us, so a little context follows. Costa Rica needed a win to qualify for the World Cup. The Ticos came out like they meant it, scoring two first half goals to reach the cusp of qualification. Not to be for the valiant Costa Ricans, as the U.S. potted two in the second frame - with the equalizer tallied in stoppage time.) But I will share a few things that probably didn't make it into broadcast:

The Costa Rica fans are passionate, and were louder than the US fans, at most points in the game, despite being outnumbered by a lot. There was a family with three generations of Tico fans sitting in the row in front of us....ALL of them had red, white & blue clown wigs on--from grandpa to the little baby.

I've been to about a million basketball games, and am always very respectful during the National Anthem, but don't really think about it. There's something striking about being at an event where an instrumental version of the National Anthem is played and the entire stadium and team sings along--its really cool. I've never been to the Olympics, but I imagine it feels similar.

The Davies tribute in the ninth minute was really moving--not sure if that came across on TV. Tons of people holding up the #9 sign and the DCU fan clubs set off the smoke signal they do when a goal is scored. I'll admit I got a little teary--but I'm a girl, and that's what we do in emotional moments.

The US team really pumped up their intensity in the second half--you could feel it. And the US fans were getting testy by then too, so maybe the team was picking up on that vibe. An old guy in front of me kept giving the finger to the refs--and he was making some other weird hand gestures that none of us recognized. And, by the second half (9pm) there were PLENTY of drunk people who wanted to see a US goal--they were REALLY rowdy.

The final-minute US corner kick goal was incredible...really fun to experience live. But the more emotional scene in that moment was the Costa Rica bench, in front of us. Those guys were despondent, it was really heart-breaking. Guys on the ground, crying; guys with their heads in their hands, stunned; guys just screaming...lots of tears. I felt bad for them.

Now that I have a personal connection to this US team, I'm really looking forward to the World Cup.

And I hope that Costa Rica beats Uruguay next month to make it there too--at least for the sake of that family in those clown wigs!

48 comments:

rob said...

nice to see deadspin running the obama/love picture today. gtb blazing trails. again.

TR said...

A guestie used to mean something quite different back in college, Rob. Care to enlighten Shlara?

rob said...

no. no, i don't.

zoltan said...

Stinging commentary from former Redskin greats.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4561377

TJ said...

Riggo:

"you ... are not a head football coach in the NFL. High school? Definitely. You can coach in high school. You can coach my son in high school any time."
-- John Riggins on Jim Zorn

rob said...

tom boswell tried valiantly this morning to make the point that the skins are only mediocre, not the worst organization in football. and while win/loss totals over the past few seasons bolster his case, the off-field unmeasurables sure don't. you can plausibly argue that the raiders are run more poorly than the skins, but i'm not sure anyone else fits that description.

cgormley said...

I saw the title for the entry and was ready for some juvenile story. Butt alas nothing.

Great game last night. USA might have an outside shot at getting a seed for the World Cup. Could make for a very interesting draw.

TJ said...

"Who knew that Americans liked soccer this much?"

We don't.

Whitney said...

Riggo's still my favorite, but he might be a little over the top on Zorn's ineptitude. I'm not sure which coaches out there could do considerably more with this roster. And piling on Jim Zorn might even take the heat off Snyder. (Although Riggo has pllllenty to say about Snyder, none of it complimentary in the least.)

Mark said...

With his love of state fairs, unhealthy food and close minded approach to sports, I'm starting to think that TJ should be living in the Midwest. Wouldn't he look at home sitting in the stands at an Iowa State game?

TJ said...

I did find Larry Eustachy to be a fine coach and role model.

Whitney said...

Not to mention his ghostly complexion and Minnesota-blond hair. And oh, yeah, his alcoholism.

TJ said...

What part of "role model" did you not get Whit?

Geoff said...

I've been to where TJ grew up. It might as well be the midwest.

zoltan said...

Virginia is, of course, a beacon of forward-thinking, tolerance, and culture.

Mark said...

Its not Zoltan but that's not what I was talking about either.

Whitney said...

Southeastern Virginia is all of those things. You all should visit sometime.

Mark said...

The upcoming 30 for 30 documentary on Allen Iverson's trial might have some disagreements with your assessment of SE VA, Whit.

Also, the key matchup in tonight's Big East game between two nondescript football programs from mid-size shitty cities is the Bearcat passing game versus the Bull's defensive line. Pike, Gilyard and Hazleton are a formidable group on offense but they have to take a bit of a backseat (at least going in) to USF's front four. They are big, nasty and athletic.

Dan said...

usfqbprettygood...on..wifes..computer...i.think.its.time.to.get.a.new.one

Dan said...

for.a.newone

TJ said...

I really enjoy "fucked up keyboard" Dan.

Even more than Geoff posting as his wife.

mayhugh said...

What are the details of USF's kicker being out after having an off-field accident at a theme park?

I guess I could look it up, but I'd rather have Mark tell me.

Dan said...

wifenegotiatesitwithaplomb
thespacebarthatis
idontquitehavehangofit
yet

TJ said...

Dan, how 'bout you humor me and type that famous diddy from Mary Poppins?

Dan said...

iknow.its.still.early.but
i.smeell.a.route...

Dan said...

smell...rather

Mark said...

I don't remember all the details Mayhugh, but I do know it happened at Busch Gardens and that he fell off/out of a rollercoaster.

TJ said...

Mark's our amusement park guy? Sure, I guess I can see it, especially with his carnie knowledge of the Midway. I definitely know rob couldn't be our amusement park guy.

mayhugh said...

Mark called it - The USF d-line is fun to watch. 4 guys coming off the ball hard, sticking to their gaps, getting depth. That said Cinci's O-line has handled them pretty well, Pike just can't find a receiver.

mayhugh said...

Gruden looks like he's 8 years old.

TJ said...

Gruden's parents are paging him from the front gate right now.

mayhugh said...

Pike's dad looks like he knows where to find a used Harley on the cheap.

Mark said...

I think its b/c I'm the Florida guy, TJ. But now that you mention it, I did grow up an hour from Orlando.

Mark said...

Replace Harley with hooker and I agree.

TR said...

Did Dan sneak a haiku by us at 823?

mayhugh said...

Probably. Are we just ignoring Dave's double posts from a few minutes ago and posting here?

TJ said...

I just read that Dave memoir/movie post. I suggest you all do the same, but yeah, come back here and we'll continue...

rob said...

i'll go out on a limb and say we've never seen anything like dave's post about his memoir here before. or anywhere else.

TJ said...

I'm still floored by it. I would happily pay 10 dollars to see that on the big screen.

Dave, you need an agent?

mayhugh said...

Dr. Lou just said "Cincinatta" 3 times in 5 seconds.

TJ said...

Lou Holtz says "cincinatti" funny. Keep saying it Lispy Lou.

Mark said...

Dave is some kind of genius. I'm not exactly sure what kind, but yeah, genius. Needless to say, I'm REALLY high right now.

TJ said...

I'd like to know how high Dave was when he crafted that prose.

TJ said...

The South Florida kicking game sucks.

Mark said...

WOW! 75 yard QB draw for a TD...didn't see that coming.

Mark said...

Brian Kelly has a "legend"? That's what Craig James just told me.

Mark said...

At the risk of praising baseball, this Dodgers-Phillies game has been quite good. And, I had know fucking clue that Jim Thome was on the Dodgers.

TJ said...

I can't wait for that Dave post to make it's way back up...