Sunday, June 25, 2006

An admitted bandwagoner

I don't care about most sports—save for maybe PSU college football—to follow them with any diligence throughout a season, but I do hop on the bandwagon once in a while. So this morning, doing odds and ends around the apartment, I dusted off my old England football jersey from 2002 and watched the side's World Cup game against Ecuador. England won, 1-0, off David Beckham's free kick that curled above the defenders and down into the net during the 60th minute. Out around the neighborhood, walking in Fort Tryon, and shopping at Frank's Market, I got a few greetings because of my England jersey. One group of people asked for the result. Another guy nodded and said, "Good game!" And as a couple driving in a car with St. George's flags flying out the windows drove by, the guy caught my eye and raised his fist in a salute of solidarity. It's this communal aspect of sports that appeals to me, and why I got behind the football and basketball teams in high school and college. Why it made me smile whenever one of the Philly pro sports teams would knock at the door of greatness—and usually get turned away at said door. Why it's fun to be an Anglophile and have lived there and feel some tangential allegiance when they're doing well. I think back to how my flatmates used to watch and re-watch a videotape of the famous 5-1 trouncing of Germany by England during the late summer of 2001, and can only imagine how excited they must be to see their national squad doing well on the Germans' own turf. And taking a quick look at the bracket, it appears the first possible meeting of Germany and England would be in the final, which would certainly make for an amazing game, but that would require England to beat Brazil, which would be an even bigger coup.

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