The Final Whistle
It’s been a week since the 2018 World Cup ended and honestly, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to write this final piece of my immersion project.
There are three reasons why this has been difficult, and because everything worth sharing can be shared in list format, here you go:
1 – It’s hard to end things.
Ending things is hard, just ask your ex, England’s soccer team, or the writers of LOST. (For the record, LOST is my favorite television show of all time, and I loved the finale.)
2 – I’ve said almost everything I wanted to say about soccer.
I wrote 17 pieces in 30 days while watching the World Cup, and those posts captured how I was feeling in the moment better than any recap I could try to write now. I watched four games in one day, handed out awards, answered your questions, tried to fix multiple sports, learned some lessons, and even skipped church to watch soccer.
(As a reminder, you can read all the pieces here.)
I didn’t know I had that much to say about anything, nevermind soccer.
And finally (and most importantly)…
3 – This is not the end of my soccer journey.
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 […]