I know I've complained about the World Cup A LOT, (and trust me, most of it is super boring) but there are some good points to it. Germany has advanced through every round so far and plays tonight against Spain, a grudge match since Spain beat Germany in the Euro Cup two years ago. And soccer can be exciting when you're really into a certain team. Last weekend we went down to the "public viewing" area, and despite sweating off about 5 gallons, it was really fun to be in the crowd when Germany mopped up Argentina 4-0.
The best part of World Cup is definitely its mass appeal. I was trying to think of a comparison in the U.S. and decided its like having a month-long Super Bowl. But another difference is that most people watch World Cup in cafes, public viewing areas, etc, while most Americans watch the Super Bowl at home. Its more exciting to watch with a huge crowd, I think.
Last night I met my tandem partner for language practice at a cafe. Like every cafe and restaurant in this country, it was showing the Cup (Netherlands vs. Uruguay). I left around 9:00 to bike home. On the way I passed over a dozen cafes, and could check the score every few minutes. Not that I needed to. In these big games, when someone scores, you hear it.
By some bizarre twist of fate, I'm currently in 4th place on our office bracket. This is definitely dumb luck because I mostly chose teams based on how many people I know from that country. I think I'm the only one in the top positions who picked Germany to win the whole thing-- so as long as Paul the Psychic Octopus is wrong, that 25 Euro bookstore gift card is all mine!!