I was a big soccer fan when I was 5 years old.
Our little soccer team were the Sharks. I can’t remember the actual full name it was the “crazy sharks” or something all I can remember is that I helped make up the name. That was the majority of my contribution to the team.
In China the World Cup or 世界杯(Shi Jie Bei), literally translated as Global Cup, is a bit bigger than it is in the U.S. even if China isn’t in it. The graphic on the TV screen reads 我爱世界杯(Wo Ai Shi Jie Bei), or I Love the World Cup.
This time around I’m using the World Cup as a learning experience. It is a learning experience, to learn all of the countries that are in the World Cup. Because in Chinese when someone says “XiBanYa” (西班牙), you have no idea they mean Spain unless you’ve done a little studying up.
So as 斯洛维尼亚 [Siluoweiniya] (Slovenia) played 英兰 [Yinglan] (England) and 美国 [Meiguo] (America) play 阿尔及利亚 [Aerjiliya] (Algeria) the internet bar packed up to see possibly the final game for the U.S. team. It was a nail-biter down to the end. They kept the internet café open late because there were so many people there and the game was so exciting.
As the U.S. scored the game winning goal within the final few minutes of the game, the crowd of people erupted and probably woke up a few people in the process. The relief of a good game and the excitement of the game kept us all in an excited state as we were forcibly removed from the internet café.
People in the U.S. don’t really like soccer that much, but we like winning. That’s the real reason. I’ll hold on to this win for now and hope for many more as I learn the names of the losers and the winners.
Stephen Colbert is quoted saying, “Soccer is a sport that 4th graders play and foreigners take seriously.”
That’s probably true, but for now we’ll hold on to the World Cup high. We only have a chance to get it every four years in the U.S.
Picture below is the group of people getting excited as we score.