Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup Fever

I suppose that I am somewhat lonely in the US. Sitting on my couch and watching the climactic finish to the Germany-Poland match with my girlfriend, I had a strange tingling sensation at the nape of my neck - and no, it was not the touch of my girlfriend. It was the harrowing experience of watching two shots go off the cross-bar in the final minutes, punctuated by an offsides call against the Germans who were desperate for a goal to break the 0-0 tie. After 90+ minutes of action, finally a strike broke through from substitute Oliver Neuville, whose well-footed sliding kick made all the difference in the World Cup for Germany.

Captivated by the action in Germany's first round victory, I was engulfed a world so far away from where I was sitting, far away from my day-to-day life outside of Washington DC. Not so long ago, I was close to the action, living in the middle of Europe and engaged in the global discussions that surrounded what the rest of the world was talking about. Now, I am engaged in a quasi-insular American life, driving to work with NPR turned on and turned off by the machinations of senatorial proceedings in the Capitol building within the Beltway.

Still, I am connected, even if it is just through the television. And although I cannot share my excitement with many other people, by virtue of the fact that my workplace is about as American as it gets and far removed from the world's greatest sporting event, I can celebrate the joy with everyone else outside of the US of the world's best players vying for supremacy. I am caught up in the great art of this game called futbol, and I have World Cup fever.
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