I have put our time in on the soccer field, both kids played for four long years, from Kindergarten through the 3rd grade. I seem to be completely unable to fully understand the game. Despite untold hours of trying to figure out ‘offsides,’ it still baffles me. Nevertheless, I love the World Cup. Four years ago, we were in Greece during the World Cup and it opened up a whole new experience for us. Every taverna from one end to the other of every town we visited had a huge plasma TV playing the games. We would find a table and settle in with the crowd to watch the game, cheering for our latest favorite team while hearing cheers from tavernas next door and down the street. One hotel we stayed at projected the game on the back wall of a three story building and the guests sat around on the lounge chairs enjoying the game. We were so wrapped up in it, we would watch late at night on our hotel room TV. We never understood a word of the commentary, it truly was all Greek to us, but the emotion carried through whatever the announcer was saying. Our hope was that we would be out of the country, anywhere but here, during this year’s World Cup, but that isn’t possible.
Due to the time delay from South Africa, most the games will be during breakfast in California. Our goal is to try to visit a few different ethnic restaurants for breakfast over the next few weeks and experience a little World Cup excitement. If you haven’t tried the World Cup in a non-US venue, where the game is more than a game, it’s national life and death, find somewhere in your city that will be broadcasting the game and join in.
Another way to add to your World Cup experience, read up on it. Usually when we recommend reading for an event, we have a specific book in mind. I haven’t actually read a great soccer book, in fact the only thing I recall reading about soccer is a Nick Hornby’s Believer essay that began with an apology that he hadn’t read much that month because he was so obsessed with ‘football.’ I’m doing a little research to find a good book, so this time that’s what I’m sharing with you.
Here are the lists I’m perusing:
Prep for the World Cup with these Books about Soccer from the Vancouver Sun
Three Books to Ignite your World Cup Fever from NPR
9 Great Soccer Reads for the World Cup from ILBNH
Five Top Soccer Books from About.com
If you have a favorite soccer book, let me know, I’m taking suggestions.