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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Friendly Spectating

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Of all the spectator sports I follow, the FIFA World Cup is very near the top. The only disadvantage keeping it from number one is that it only happens every four years. At the same time, that long wait between events helps to amp up the interest when the year of a Cup finally arrives.

Living as far from our friends in the Twin Cities as we do, I usually find myself sitting alone in front of our television taking in the grand spectacle of the games. Yesterday, we didn’t let that distance stop us from accepting an invitation from our friend, John Bramble, even though his team, England, was the opponent of the U.S. in this game.

We were entering the lion’s den.

It was Cyndie’s first outing on crutches where she encountered stairs. With little recent practice, she tentatively but successfully made her way inside where we found our gracious host had provided a seat reserved just for her.

With tea and biscuits, we enjoyed a jovial 90-minute (plus minor stoppage time) celebration of the beautiful game. Both sides were left short of a victory since the match ended in a scoreless draw, but since England was favored, the moral victory went to the U.S.

To show his dissatisfaction with the outcome, our host dramatically removed his “England” shirt and threw it to the floor and stomped on it. John said the elaborate exhibition was actually just a rehearsal for the eventual point when England gets knocked from the tournament.

I can relate to that thought process. I’m not anticipating the U.S. team will exceed anyone’s expectations and the moment they fail to advance, I will be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the tournament with no strong connection to any of the possible outcomes.

Yesterday’s taste of watching a match among a group of like-minded football [soccer] fans was a refreshing reminder of how much fun it is to share the joys of watching sports with friends.

Thank you for inviting us, John Bramble, despite the team I was rooting for. Cyndie voluntarily chose to cheer for England in solidarity with our gracious host, since he was significantly outnumbered.



Written by johnwhays

November 26, 2022 at 11:56 am

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