Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Help Me Team Japan, You're My Only Hope!
I have never been a soccer fan. Sure, I've gone to my nephew's soccer game. I have even been to a San Jose Earthquakes game, but I mostly focused on my pretzel and nachos rather than the game. My guess is that I never got into the sport, because I never really played it. As a kid, most of my buddies played baseball, basketball, or football... not soccer.
Three weeks ago, things began to change. It was the last week of school and the students were excited about graduating and looking forward to summer. They were also looking forward to the June 11th game between South Africa and Mexico. It seemed like every period wanted to talk about the World Cup, so that's what spurred my interest. I even had a list of teams I was going to root for.
Obviously the main team I was going to support was Team USA, since as "The Boss" sings... "I was born in the U.S.A.". Next in line are my ancestor's team, The Blue Samurai of Team Japan. I knew they had the least chance of success, but they're my peeps from across the ocean. Finally, I'd support Mexico, because that's who most of my students were cheering for.
Fast forward to last Thursday... when Japan beat Denmark and secured their spot in the second round. It was the only World Cup game I've ever watched in it's entirety and it was awesome. Keisuke Honda put on a amazing show and officially turned me into a fan. I even went out and bought a Honda jersey. I couldn't believe it, all three of my teams made it into the second round. I was stoked!
Then on Saturday, I was dealt my first major "World Cup" blow. Ghana beat Team USA 2 to 1. My favorite team is out, but at least I had two teams left. Unfortunately, the next day Team Mexico lost to Argentina 3 to 1... and then there was one.
In less than 30 minutes, Team Japan will take the field against Paraguay. Everyone I've talked to says that they doesn't stand a chance against them, but most people didn't expect them to make it into the second round either.
Let's go Samurai Blue... I'm down to one team and that's you! Or as sexy princess dressed in white with two buns attached to her head would say... Help me Team Japan, you're my only hope!