Sunday, June 11, 2006

0 For 3

This is how the day went: didn't get to sleep 'til past 5 a.m. due to various ridiculousness, woke up at 9 a.m., found myself capable of some basic motor function close to 11, met a friend to watch the World Cup and begin drinking beer at noon. Ten hours, two bars, six pitchers of Pilsner Urquell, a few Bloody Marys, a plate of nachos, one barbecue, a few slabs of ribs, a few chunks of bratwurst and knockwurst, and two games later, here I am. Ready to pass the hell out.

A good portion of the day was dedicated to watching the World Cup. I don't have anything remotely insightful to say about the matches ("Mexico won because they kicked the ball into the net more times than Iran kicked the ball into the net"), so instead, a few observations:

* Mexico/Iran was, as my friend Fidel pointed out, the good American's worst nightmare: which is more alarming, illegal immigrants or Iran's nuke ambitions? Turns out, I guess, that Iran is less cuddly -- when the Iranian goal set off hollers of "Iran! Iran! Iran!" a few stolid all-American types turned around and left. Likewise, Mexico's two second-half goals sparked "USA!" chants and drunken frat guy impersonations of Islamic ululations.

* All of the emotions surrounding Iran's team must be a bit mixed, though; the fans cheering in Atlanta are, I'd guess, bigger fans of the prospect of Iranian regime change than Dick Cheney.

* After a pretty thrilling first half, the second half of Mexico-Iran was a tad slow -- Iran hanging back the whole time, two quick Mexico goals, more hanging back. It gave us lots of time to discuss the best lines to use to console gorgeous and disappointed Iranian girls.

* By the time Angola-Portugal came on, the endless pitchers of Pilsner Urquell had dented our consciousness, and I swear I remember very little past the near-immediate Portugal goal. I didn't have a big rooting interest but ended up going for Angola; the obvious underdogs, plus Portugal had this horrendously whiny little shit on their squad (forget his name -- he's on Man United normally), who'd shriek at the refs if anything untoward happened, like the Angolan goalkeeper making a save. This guy didn't get his ass kicked enough in junior high. I also rooted for Serbia-Montenegro and Iran today, so I struck out.

* Far less local rooting interest for Angola/Portugal-- after the big partisan crowds for the previous match, I only noticed one (Scandinavian-looking) guy brandishing a Portugal scarf.

* After about one beer, we started making joking references to the Alan Partridge "World Cup" segment on the legendary "The Day Today" -- to my surprise (and I dunno why I'm surprised), someone's uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy.

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