(There's baseball in here, too!)
Yeah, I dragged myself out of bed to watch England defeat Paraguay 1-0 this morning. Sure, it started at 9am, not terribly early, but I went to the 12 inning Nats game last night, the one that started 1 hour and 42 minutes late due to a very bizarre weather issue. Now, I've been to a lot of baseball games in my life, probably 80-90, and some of them have had rain delays, even postponements. But this one was bizarre.
My friend and I were trying to decide weather or not (yes, I put weather in there on purpose) to go to the game. It rained at 4pm then was sunny at 5pm. It stayed sunny until about 6:30, when dark clouds approached as we took our lower level upper deck seats down the leftfield line. Suddenly, a fierce wind seemed like it was ready to rip the flags from their posts on top of the stadium, and soon we found ushers telling us we had to leave our seats to take cover. Rather than go up to the upper level, we went out to the concourse. It still didn't look like this was going to be but a very light, very short rain shower, as it was still very bright. It wasn't. It was a fullblown thunder and lightening storm.
The grounds crew, a group who looked like college students, struggled to take the tarp off after an hour or so, when it seemed like everything had passed. It hadn't, and the tarp went back on. More waiting. Had a ten dollar pulled pork sandwich from Red, Hot, and Blue that could not compare to Burbanks and its tangy BBQ sauce. (Burbanks is near Cincinnati.) They finally let us back into our wet seats (which, by the way, never dried the entire night.) All was fine for awhile, with the Nats hitting and building quite a lead. Then, disaster struck.
No, I'm not talking about the bullpen blowing a five run lead. The tragedy happened much earlier than that. The last call came in the TOP OF THE FOURTH. I went out in the middle of the fourth thinking I hadn't heard the beer guy correctly, but I was too late. No more beer. In fact, all of the concessions shut down then. You couldn't buy a hot dog. As if trying to prove that yes, you CAN make the fan experience worse at RFK, they did it.
Anyway, after all of that, I got home late, hence the reason 9am was early for me. For the next month, I'm joining the world.
In the England - Paraguay game, David Beckham took a free kick that bounced off the head of a Paraguayan defender for the only goal of the game. England looked flat - I hope they lose to Trinidad and Tobago. I'd love to see Beckham and his ego deflate and go home.
The Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper, Shaka Hislop, was awesome today, leading his team to a 0-0 draw against Sweden. Hislop, a graduate of Howard University here in DC, only started due to an injury to the number 1 keeper, Kelvin Jack. This is T&T's first World Cup appearance.
[start rant resulting from comments in many parts of the blogosphere] In a time when America and particularly Americans seem antagonistic to the rest of the world, saying "who cares?" or "I hate soccer" just adds to that unwarranted sense of superiority that has ruined the idea of America across the globe. Being a pompous jerk makes you inferior, not superior. What makes you feel the need to make some negative comment every time someone expresses their enthusiasm for the world's biggest event? So you don't like/don't understand soccer. Don't try to dampen a soccer fan's spirits with your stupid comments. You wouldn't like it if I told you your kid was ugly, would you? Or if I said a meal you cooked tasted like dog food? Or if I told you the shirt you were wearing made you look like a dead clown? Didn't your mother ever teach you, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?" Do unto others, moron, that's what I say. What goes around, comes around, karmic retribution. You just may get hit by a bus.[/end rant]
If you are a real sports fan, you'll flip on the USA-Czech Republic game on Monday at noon on ESPN2. (Email me if you need to know how to watch it online at work.) Go USA!