Tuesday, June 8, 2010

World Cup Post #4: The Middle Memories

A few days ago, I wrote about my earliest memories involving the World Cup. In this post, I'm going to discuss 1990, 1994, & 1998, but I'm not going to discuss them in order, so if you're married to the idea of a proper chronological post, you can start your own blog.

I was in high school. I was taking drivers' ed. & going to summer school for geometry (I also went for Algebra II the following year). I have a few vague memories of going to my Aunt & Uncle's house w/ my dad to watch games on their cable (we didn't have cable then), but I really didn't watch much. I was busy w/ my own team & w/ trying to meet girls so I just didn't follow it. My memories of teat one are so vague that I couldn't even remember who won it until I looked it up (W. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 thanks to an 85th minute penalty by Brehme)

I had just finished college & gotten married so soccer wasn't very high on my priority list. My dad taped a bunch of the games, & I watched the France v Brazil final over & over (France won!!!), but I really have no other memories of the tournament. It's ironic how little I watched the 1 time France actually won it.

I'm doing this one out of order because I have a lot to say about it. As you may recall, it was in the USA so many people got to see high levels of soccer for the 1st time. I got a gig ushering @ the Silverdome so I got to go to all 4 games that took place there.
Game 1: USA v Switzerland: It was the opening day of the tournament. The final score was 1-1 thanks to Eric Wynalda's equalizer @ the stroke of half-time. That's all I really remember of the match, but I certainly remember having a blast.
Game 2: Romania v Switzerland: I have no recollection of this match what-so-ever, but apparently it ended 4-1 for the Swiss.
Game 3: Sweden v Russia: Again, I really don't remember it very well. I know I was there, but that's all I know. Sweden won 3-1.
Game 4: Brazil v Sweden: I have vivid memories of this one. The Brazilian fans were amazing. It was like being @ a Dead show. People marching around w/ drums w/o any desire to actually see the match. they were there for the awesome party. Romario knocked in a goal @ the beginning of the 2nd half to tie it up. It finished 1-1 & it was the single best game I've ever attended. At one point, some suburban dad told me to make the people in front of him sit down. I told him to stand. I couldn't believe he expected me to ask some Brazilian dudes who had traveled 5000 miles and possibly waited their entire lives to do exactly what they were doing to stop doing it. Maybe now, 16 years later, he understands.

Ushering was fun & we got in for free, but I'll never forget the stupid red, white, & blue uniforms we had to wear, or the ridiculous gung-ho attitude of the rent-a-cops who were in charge.

The other main memory I have of the tournament is of Baggio's hair (& to a lesser extent, Alexi Lalas's hair too... but @ least Lalas just sort of looked like us, & why not, he was from Metro-Detroit). Baggio was the striker for Italy, they lost in the finals to Brazil after the match went to Penalties. He missed, but Romario & Dunga scored their attempts. It served him right w/ his stupid corn-rowed mullet pony-tail. & you thought Sagna made a strange hair style choice.

Be sure to check back soon for France & USA updates & for the recent (2002 & 2006) memories. I n the mean time, you can go here & join our fantasy league. The league is called DB WC2010. The password is 12345.

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