We didn’t watch the Opening Ceremonies last night.

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I did Tivo it though!

I have a good excuse… I had a chance to *watch* international sorts personally… Jamie called and had been offered a couple of tickets to see the US Menb's Soccer team take on Japan in their last “friendly” match before th World Cup!
Knowing that Tivo would be waiting for me when I got home, we headed out.


I've never been to a soccer match… I played for 2 seasons when I was a kid (scored one goal in my “carrer”… for the other team… nuff said) but otherwise haven't paid too much attention. I'm aware of its immense popularity around the world, but had no idea of what to expect.

We headed to Pac Bell (SBC… AT&T… whatever!) and thought we knew what to expect… we've been to the ballpark a million times before, right?
We were *so* wrong! Soccer fans are crazy! (and I mean that in the absolute best sense of the word!) I immediately wished I had thought to wear red white and blue, and brought an American flag to wave… I've never actually seen face painted fans IRL… I was in awe!

I love going to live sports… not so much for the game itself (but Go Giants!) but for the whole experience… I love the crowds and the smells and the slightly uncomfortable seats… there's just something so real, so right (is it too cheesy to say “so American”?) about spending a day (or an afternoon or evening) at the ballpark cheering on “your” team with 36 or 37,000 of your closest friends!

As bad as it sounds, I just love the humanity of it all! Seeing people en masse expressing emotions, good and bad, together, like we all have a real, vested interest in the outcome of the game.

I got to chant “U. S. A!” for the first time ever in my life wihtout meaning it as a joke (cheering on a friend who is flipping pancakes on a camping trip doesn't count! LOL) I teared up a little bit when I saw the hundred or so fans wave a HUGE American flag over their heads every time our guys scored (all THREE goals, thankyouverymuch!)

It was an amazing evening, and I'm thrilled to have been there./

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