June 10, 2010

this obsession i have had since i was 3 & you can blame my father

on the eve of the opening of the 2010 world cup i feel compelled to talk about my obsession with futbol. it goes back a very very long time and to say it has been an ever constant part of my life is an understatement. there are several classifications of fans from casual to the aficionado and then there is me, the devotee! the girls who have been in my life can all blame my father for this obsession with the beautiful game. the first memories i have are of the 1978 World Cup when i was three years old. with a little Nerf futbol at my foot, i became a man who futbol would define as much as my creativity. i remember the days of my early childhood where the only futbol i could watch on TV was the half hour German league highlights on NPR on Sunday evenings and the Mexican league in Spanish - HA! Not anymore!!!

this obsession is so bad at times, and so typical of those who love the beautiful game that i am prone to fits of drinking when my beloved national team plays like shit. the obsession comes all the way down to the club level where i was one of the first 20 supporters of the Portland Timbers and will gladly suffer through pouring rain or ice to cheer on the lads. the ups and downs, and fits of singing and cursing usually when drunk. sadly i have given up trying to cure myself and rather just incorporated the drunken hooliganism into my personality. this obsession is so ingrained that in true growing fashion as my father passed it on to me, i have passed it on to my daughter. when she was in her mother's belly, i would watch some of my favorite matches just to listen to the crowd and the cheers that soothe my soul. Emily would hear the lads singing loud and start kicking. to this day, this will be her first world cup, she gets excited when i start whistling some shanties.

my favorite world cup moment as a kid was 86 in Mexico and The Hand of God. my favorite as an adult was definitely 2006 in South Korea. i was in the loft then and remember being drunk and stoned out of my mind at 2am yelling and running around the loft like a crazed man when the US spanked Portugal and Mexico on the way to outplaying Germany in the quarterfinals but cruelly getting bounced. i think it is mostly cause we crushed Mexico and this gives me more pleasure than most things in this world...

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