Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup

The biggest sporting event in the world is currently taking place in South Africa. Boasting over one billion television viewers, The World Cup remains the most watched event on television. And Guatemala is no exception. Football (I prefer to use the international terminology) is on everyone's minds and lips here. It's most excited to see your team play but even when other countries are playing it's likely the outcome will affect the team you're rooting for. This makes almost every game a reason to park yourself in front of the TV with your friends for 90 minutes of uninterrupted action. As some of you may already know, the USA team qualified for the round of 8 today. They will play on Saturday against Ghana. I hope you all tune in for what will surely be a nail-biter.

Apart from all the football action on TV, communities all around the world coordinate local football tournaments to honor the spirit of the World Cup. I can't begin to tell you how many different matches are going on here in my look corner of the world on any given day. I get invited to play every now and again but football has never really been my sport despite the fact that I love watching it. In the United States it's really just taking off quite honestly. Maybe it's unfair to say it's taking off since we already have "Major League Soccer" and most every town big and small has some sort of soccer league or school team. But it most certainly is in it's infancy if we were to compare it to the football culture of England per say. And we've got a LOOONG way to go if we are ever to catch up to the football culture and prowess of the likes of Brazil, Argentina, or Italy.

All in all I want to say that it's wonderful to be in Latin America during World Cup. Sports do, and always should, bring people together in the spirit of competition. And there is no finer nor more exciting tournament (all sports included) than the World Cup. I encourage you all to watch a few games and help build our own strong football culture in the U.S. You might even recognize someone wearing a jersey from Brazil and it's a great way to start a conversation and make a new friend from some far off football crazy part of the world.