Long ago (1988) I moved to Berkeley and started sending a monthly "newsletter" to my Boston friends. When I returned to Boston (1993), I continued the tradition for about five more years (or until I had kids). Looking back, I realize that I was actually blogging. Each newsletter contained anywhere from a few to several blog posts. Having been silent for the past decade or so, I've decided to resume these activities. Don't expect anything profound -- I tend to focus on what I find entertaining or amusing and perhaps sometimes informative. We shall see!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why I Love the World Cup

I am a geek; I admit it. As a result, I spend a lot of time talking to geeks. In fact, my typical discussion circle consists of geeks and parents with kids like mine. In normal times, my conversations with non-geeks and non-parents is pretty limited. For example, "Could I have a small latte with skim?" and "Thank you!" Even with geeks, conversation covers a few standard topics.

But -- for the last few weeks, geek and non-geek conversation alike, I get to engage in conversations about my other passion: soccer! A trip to the coffee stand leads to a 5 minute conversation about the wondrous 91st minute goal of Landon Donovan or the amazingly baffling calls by the referees or the shocking performance of the Italians (really mixed emotions there -- I actually love the Azzurri, but you had to love what New Zealand accomplished -- fingers crossed today for their match against Paraguay). Even the geek conversations are as likely to be about the World Cup as they are about file systems. It's refreshing.

I've had other breaths of fresh air I suppose: NBA finals, the superbowl, and every four years presidential elections. But here is my real fantasy -- if only the world conversation could turn back to soccer one year from now when it's the women, not the men, battling for the title of best-in-the-world. In this country, we aren't even the underdogs -- we're currently ranked number one in the world. We regularly boast the best players in the world across multiple dimensions. Even so, tonight, when I cheer the Boston Breakers on (who desperately need a win), I'll do it amidst a crowd of only 5000 loyal fans, yet the quality of play will be world class -- we'll have national team players from the US, England, Australia, Sweden, and Brazil -- all playing on two teams. (Apologies but no guarantee that the officiating will be any better than that we've seen in the world cup.)

Go USA! Go Breakers! Go Soccer.

- M

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