Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Yanks went marching in...

Is there a word that can be used to describe the feeling that I, along with the hundreds of people in my immediate vicinity, felt last night when Timmy, Landon, Jozi, and Clint teamed up to score a goal that could very well go down as one of the most important goals in US Soccer history? I would like to say "speechless" but that wouldn't be quite accurate, we screamed until the vessels in our heads felt as though they would burst. We may not have said anything that would be considered a coherent "word" but there was a joyous, defiant, victorious sound coming from everyone I could see. I might try to use the word "awe" but although this was an extraordinary moment, I never once thought it to be impossible. Every fiber of my being was confident that we would make it out of the 1st round but I swear to all things greater than I am, I didn't think it was going to be such a crazy road to the second round! A word like "redemption" comes to mind. We have had 2 of our 6 goals taken away- both of those were game breakers and both of them have been proven to be taken away without proper justification. Try as I might, I can't come up with the words that would do the feeling justice. Spectacular, marvelous, tremendous, wondrous- they are all, I suppose, close to the combination of emotions that coursed through me at that moment and the following few hours. I was utterly exhausted when the high of all that energy came down. I woke up this morning feeling calm.

We started the day like we have for most of the days we've been here with a quiet breakfast discussing the plans and time lines for the day. We broke off into different groups and ran some errands or lazed around the house writing. A few hours before kick-off we met back at the house and began getting ready. Some of us put the face-paint on and got our gear together. I have found that agreeing to take pictures with more than 1 scarf, needing to carry extra paint for touch-ups ( feel a little girly just saying that), my camera, house key, money, I.D., and an extra coat because of how cold it gets here at night, I feel like the little kid from the movie "A Christmas Story". I am carrying around way to much stuff to these games, but as promised I have a couple pics with the Fire scarf and the Byki scarf.

So upon departure we took what would end up being the first of countless pictures with strangers. Something about the face paint makes people want to put your image into their collection of moments not to be forgotten. Since Korea I would imagine that I am in such collections of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people from around the world. Okay maybe "thousands" is a stretch but being stopped for photos on game days has become something to be expected. But that's part of the fun of it. The number of people that have begun wearing more and more extravagant costumes is growing and it makes the experience and atmosphere all the more festive. I am thinking I may have to step things up in Cups to come because my "get-up" is getting dated! I am still wearing the same shirt that Shane bought for us in France in '98. I wear the same design on my face, more or less- I carry the same flag I bought prior to Korea in '02, flag boxers and a cowboy hat because I have met so many people in my travels that relate Americans to cowboys. But, since Korea and the "original" Elvis Trio, the costume has become a novelty. Our friend Skate April who we met in Korea also, made the Evel Knievel World Cup costume famous, as is evident now that we have seen Evel make a reappearance, albeit not the original as he is not Skate and he is not accompanied by the beautiful Mrs. Kenievel- Skates wife Siouxie. There was little drink poured out last night for the "homies that couldn't be here"- you were one of em.

Speaking of people no longer here, our man Ryan was forced to leave after the second game and our group has been forced to carry on minus one. Plus, it is just as unfortunate that we lose another tomorrow as Clint is forced to return home. It is a shame that we can't all just stop the clock and spend the entire tournament here having fun, supporting our team, and pickling our livers, together. Ahhh togetherness!

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