Friday, June 23, 2006
Cheering for.... Who?
When the World Cup rolls around, I begin to feel the confusion of my life. Who is it, in the end, that I'd really like to see win?
In the 2002 World Cup, I expected nothing out of the U.S. team. Then they promptly came out and beat Portugal! I was stunned and depressed at "my country's" defeat. It took me a couple of days to realize that it was nice for the fledgling U.S. team to have beaten an international power-house.
On the other hand, when England play, I find myself strongly supportive of their side. Unless they are playing Portugal, of course. I spent four years in the England as a child and I have fond feelings toward the place. Of course, I lived four years in Sweden before that so I feel fondly for them when they play as well. But if Sweden play England or Portugal, my fond feelings towards the Swedes weaken.
My passport says USA and while I thought they played badly against Czech Republic, I was very proud of the way those nine boys held off the ten Italians. They deserved to be pleased with themselves for that draw. Shame they didn't get to go on. I have no real fondness for the Italian team. (Sorry Nelly!)
So yea, I thought it was a shame the U.S. team didn't get to go on, but I was SO PUMPED for Ghana! An African nation going on! Our whole household rejoiced! Sheer delight to see Africa succeed! Go Motherland! (Wait, does 15 years in Africa make it my Motherland??)
Watching Brazil play last night was pleasurable because they do dance across the field gorgeously. And all of Portugal would be pleased if after, (God forbid,) Portugal gets knocked out, Brazil went on to another glory. That would definitely be this country's second choice. I could hear all our neighbors yelling happily with each of those four goals last night. So there is a certain happiness for them, though I do think it would be polite to spread the joy around and see someone else win!
So I feel a little confused at who I care most about... But I've finally decided it must be Portugal. It's come to the place that I have to leave the room when they play. I'm so afraid my blood pressure will bust a whole through the top of my head!
The good thing is, if they don't advance any farther, I've got several other countries to legitimately root for. Maybe being a confused international is not such a bad thing after all.