Tuesday, June 30, 2009

É toda minha falha

For about forty-seven minutes Sunday afternoon I was in restless rapture as the men's US Soccer team was thisclose to defeating the Brazil national team. I was still numb from the thrill of their having upended the Spanish national team earlier in the week (and actually may not have ever come down from the almost impossible, but ultimately only improbable victory over Egypt that propelled them into the semi-finals), and was out on errands and NOT watching the tube on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to watch but am aware of the historical impact my viewing has on sporting events and outcomes (all negative all the time). If only I could harness my power for good.

I know better than to try to listen to soccer on the car radio. First, I can hardly ever find it (I have Sirius radio which I got three summers ago for the music and not the news or the Howard Stern Channel(s; plural?!) or any of the other detritus across the band) and secondly I tend to squint at the receiver as if trying to see the action on the dial face. Not the kind of explanation you want to offer a police man, "but officer, he was off-sides!" to explain your cavalier disregard for the laws of traffic and/or gravity.

I returned to the house and tuned to the game, literally, as the second half began with the US up 2-0, or two to nil (I never count that way, ever. I call the guy in the net the 'goalie' and not 'keeper' and they play on a 'field', not the 'pitch') and it sure didn't stay that very long. Poor Team USA-not only playing a legendarily great soccer power, far from home, they now had me watching and rooting for them and that double whammy proved to be too much of a handicap, though they showed heart.

After Brazil scored to start the second half (I was still getting comfortable on the couch when they scored), I quickly changed channels. Panic mode, the remote landed first at the Eternal Word Television Network which (only) seemed like a safe haven. There was a discussion on the Life of Christ and since I've read enough of the New Testament to know the next part of the Greatest Story ever told, I went post haste back to the game, just as Fabiano scored to tie it.

I stopped at one of those infomercial stations (what a waste of bandwidth) and there was someone with a beard pitching Oxy-Clean. Turns out my talents aren't just confined to soccer matches so you know what happened next, right? Those dents in your car may just have to fix themselves from now on, and I'm sorry for my part in that.

Hoping the team had righted itself, I went back to the match just as the hugging and sliding on the knees for half the length of the field (or pitch, if you insist) was starting. The game was in the 85th minute and Brazil had gone ahead seconds earlier. Boy, I hate the samba and not just on Dancing with the Stars. I hit the remote again and ended up on The Weather Channel.

When their forecast called for a swarm of locusts followed by a rain of frogs for the holiday weekend, in Finland, I turned the TV off, threw the remote out the window and unplugged the set from the wall. My apologies to Clint, Landon and Tim. From now on, I'll watch only Red Sox games, I promise....(yeah, I am a Yankees fan. What's your point?). Go, team.
-bill kenny

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