I only remember a couple matches from the 1982 tournament in Spain. Only a few games were televised in the US, so we had to make do w/ what we had (or screw around on the roof for hours trying to get CBC to come it). I have more memories of my dad on the roof attempting to get the games than I have of actual games. I do recall one FA Final from back then, but what I remember most was the Subbuteo commercial @ half time. Anyway, I remember the final game, Italy beat Germany 3-1 & Paulo Rossi got another goal & then won the Golden Boot. of course, the kid next door, Paul Rossi, thought it was the coolest thing ever. In fact, I imagine he's still excited about it... you can friend request him and find out. This is when my hatred for Italian football began (it was only heightened by their ugly, defensive diving style later as I realized that's how they play).
My other memory from the 1982 tournament involved France & W. Germany in the Semi-finals. Everyone saw the France side, lead by Michel Platini, as the greatest team that year, but a shady call saw them leave after Extra Time & Penalties. I honestly don't know if I ever saw the game then or if I just know the story, but Battiston who was on a break away was taken out by the West German goalie, Schumacher. As Battiston lay unconscious on the ground, the ref missed everything. had Schumacher got the obvious Red Card, things would have been different.
Almost every game was televised, either on NBC or ESPN. I had a sweet poster in my room w/ the entire tv schedule sponsored by Budweiser. It was for this tournament that Budweiser started airing framing style advertisements rather than cutting into the matches for commercials. This became standard for soccer (& other sports) afterwards. This was also the Tournament that introduced the world to "The Wave." Since it occurred in Mexico, people outside of N. America still refer to it as the "Mexican Wave." The games I specifically remember are France v Italy in the round of 16 (France won 2-0), England v Argentina in the Quarter Finals (Maradona's "Hand of God" goal... he also scored one of the greatest goals ever in that game). I don't have a strong memory of the France v W. Germany semi-final or even of the Argentina v W. Germany final, but the France v Brazil quarter-final was fantastic. My dad taped most of the matches & this is the one I watched over & over & over. A couple years ago, Jean found it on DVD, so I've watched it a few times recently (maybe this afternoon will call for another viewing). All the pundits were hoping this would be the match-up for the finals but they met too early. A Brazilian team w/ Zico, Junior, & Socrates (read about this dude... he's pretty amazing... not only was he one of the best players ever, he had a degree in medicine & a PhD in Philosophy). France won the game on penalties w/ Platini putting the ball over the bar (Socrates & Julio Ceasar [not the Inter-Milan goalie] missed their shots too). What a game! What a game.