The Final: A Running Diary
It’s game number 64 of 64 in the 2018 World Cup!
I’ve made it to the end and have some seen some great soccer over the last four weeks. I’m so excited for the next two hours that I’m breaking out the running diary again! Here we go…
10:54am – The teams come out to The White Stripes’ “7 Nation Army” and all I can think about is Jack White swimming in a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck. Does he make royalties because this is being broadcast all over the world?
10:57am – Before kicking it to the announcers, studio host Rob Stone says, “it will go down as the greatest World Cup ever,” and it’s not the first time I’ve heard him emphatically say this. Are we sure about this? Is everyone in agreement? I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it has been pretty great.
11:00am – The countdown goes to zero, and Croatia plays it backwards to start the game. Here we go!
11:05am – I’m not sure who I’m pulling for, to be honest.
11:10am – In case you’re wondering, yes, I did skip church this morning to watch this final. My wife Erica is upstairs watching services online right now, and I can hear Pastor Sam giving a spirited message.
11:19am – GOOOOAAALLLLL! The set piece leads to an own goal as the free kick glances off […]
Where Do We Go from Here?
“So, you’re going to follow soccer now?”
I’ve received that question in some form or fashion almost every day for the last week.
The short answer to that question is, “I think so.”
The long answer is, “I think so, but I’m not really sure what that even means.”
I think I summed it up best in a conversation with my buddy Tyler the other day when he asked me that very question. “If this was The Bachelor,” I responded, “I would not be getting on one knee with a Neil Lane diamond ring to propose to soccer, but I would be giving it the final rose to keep the relationship going.”
That’s where I stand with soccer heading into the final two days of the tournament. It’s too early to put a ring on it, but I absolutely want to see where this goes.
So what are my potential next steps, and how likely am I to take them?
Here are five possibilities.
1 – Attend a live soccer game.
The MLS Season runs through October, so there’s still plenty of time to attend a game if I want to experience soccer in person. The Philadelphia Union play about an hour away, and for less than $50 a pop I can get a decent seat.
I’m definitely not ready to fly somewhere to take in a marquee soccer matchup, but a night […]
The World Cup Doesn’t Take a Vacation
Two things happened this week that I never thought would have thought could have occurred.
1) I never thought I’d be distracted from a round of golf by a soccer game, and 2) I never thought I’d be sitting on a beach trying to figure out where I was going to find a television to watch the World Cup.
What has happened to me?
We’d had this 3-day vacation booked for a few months now, long before I ever had the idea to immerse myself in the 2018 World Cup. I’m not a huge beach fan, but this quick trip to Avalon, N.J., with some good friends of ours was something our family had been looking forward to for a while. The plan was to arrive on Monday morning and do a whole lot of nothing until we left early Wednesday evening. And then the World Cup happened.
The two semi-final games were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, which posed a little bit of a problem for me. In addition to booking our stay a couple of months ago, my buddy had also booked a tee time for late Tuesday morning at a local golf course. I had scheduled the DVR at home to record both games in case I wanted to watch them later, but I knew that for the France vs. Belgium game on Tuesday, I was going to be relying on real-time updates on […]
What Soccer Can Give and Take from Other Sports
I’ve never been a soccer fan, as you know, but I do love consuming massive quantities of televised sports every year. From the NFL to the NBA to following the Red Sox and the PGA Tour all summer, I’m a sports junkie.
As I’ve consumed World Cup soccer this past month, I’ve picked up on a few things that soccer could be better at, and also a few things other sports could learn from the beautiful game. That’s why I’d like to propose the first ever set of trades between sports. And no, I’m not talking about trading players, I’m talking about trading ideas and concepts.
Sounds crazy? More like crazy awesome. Without further ado, here are five hypothetical trades that would make the sports world a better place.
TRADE #1 – Soccer trades yellow and red cards to basketball in exchange for proper inbounding.
I’ve never understood the “fouling out” rule in basketball. Whether it’s the five you get in college or the six in the NBA, it’s one of the worst rules in all of sports. No one watches games to see referees keep star players off the court! Basketball needs to take a page from soccer and have no limit to the amount of fouls a player can receive. Implement yellow and red cards for egregious fouls, but let players keep playing for the minor infractions. The free throws awarded the other team are […]