Saturday, June 12, 2010

World Cup: US wins 1-1

The draw between the US and England was about as good a result as the Americans could hope for (a moral victory). It was a great match, too. Lots of excitement, plenty of opportunities for both sides. It was as good as any match as I've seen over here.
Singing the American national anthem before the match was quite fun, as well. It came on after the 100 or so Englishmen in the room had just finished "God Save the Queen". Ben Baker (a Norwegian) and I were the only ones in the room to sing "Star Spangled Banner". I got a polite applause, which was much more polite than what would have happened had I been watching the match at a hooligans' bar. Although I was among friends in our college's common room, walking in with an American flag draped over my shoulders drew some harsh looks. Here's "God Save the Queen":

It took a moment to believe what I was seeing when Green, the English goalkeeper, fumbled the ball into his own goal. During the second half, I kept hoping that the Americans could pull it out, but that was wishful thinking.

For a few days afterward, the first thing that popped into my friends' minds when they saw me was the loss. I got a lot of comments along the lines of 'wipe that smug grin off your face' (all in good fun, of course). Subsequent English losses would turn into a national crisis with commentators being absolutely ruthless in their criticism.

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