The World Cup!!
by Nicholas P, published on June 16, 2018
Soccer/Football/Futbal is so much more than a game. It is a force and source of Global Unity. Every four years the World has a monthlong party where political views, false surface based fear programming, and many other things that keep us separate tend to melt away in a spirit of Love, passion, openness and unity. Sounds in tune with some other things going on in these times. All connected.
Some of my earliest memories are watching games w my Pops on the Spanish channel. It’s often an ice breaker when meeting with a family for the first time, and I am super excited that Russia 2018’s here!
Queens is one of the most diverse places in the Country, any and every culture is represented somewhere, and interacts everywhere. It will be on full display in the coming weeks. Following the sport since the travel league days as a kid, and feeling the spirit of the World Cup (which is the spirit of Love and Unity when you really look at it) early on, I know it’s a lot more than a game.
Every country has a different style of play, from the Samba infused style of the Selecao (Brazil), the precision and technical prowess of Die Mannschaft (Germany), the elegant and superstar led La Albiceleste (Argentina), the speed of The Super Eagles (Nigeria), the tick-tock, mesmerizing passing of La Furia Roja (Spain), the passion and ever present talent of the Three Lions (England)…the list goes on and on.
It was such a Blessing that through a series of surreal but perfectly aligned events, my family had the opportunity to be able to go to Italy and see the World Cup Final of Italia 90. The experience changed our lives, for me not only in terms of being even more of a soccer head, but in realizing how that Spirit of Love transcends countries, borders, ideologies, everything.
In Rome, we met so many people, from so many places, with so many different faces, all brought together by this great event. What a party!
I remember hanging out with “West” Germans, Cameroonians, Italians, Fellow Americans, some hilarious Brits, people from pretty much everywhere that week. Italy ended up finishing in 3rd place, and the country was electrified by their run. I can still smell the Nighttime Italian air, and see the lines of cars blowing their horns, flags flying from every window, folks (ok, me too )dancing and singing in the fountain as they celebrated the Azzuri’s run. Timeless.
The final game itself is not among the highest rated games for soccer/futbol aficionados, but to me it was the best game I’ve ever been to, and it was more about what went on above the game itself, so to speak. A Puerto Rican family from NY(rooting for Argentina), sitting and bantering amongst the German fans, (who were chanting in Spanish, lol) as their team won the title. Amazing. The joy reverberating through that stadium is still with me today.
Every World Cup since then has been such a special time. In ‘94 Catching the Saudi Arabia-Morocco game in NJ, the first time I really hung with my Muslim brothers and sisters (drummed, sang and danced my ass off!). The magic of Zidane and the French in ‘98, ‘Dos a Cero’ in ‘02 (Rooting for Mexico this year, but when we play them, it’s on!), ‘06, where the game was a backdrop/supplement to the amazingness of all I was experiencing and learning on the Big Island, topping the Group over England in ‘10, ‘I believe that we will win!’ in ‘14.
The countless experiences, cool people, amazing conversations, dancing, great memories, across all of them….and catching ‘the Wave’ that this tournament brings, is so uplifting. I hear 3 Billion people are tuning in, now that’s a party if there ever was one!
While it’s a little bit of a bummer that we didn’t qualify this year (no worries, our next generation of players are young, fearless, and play all over the world, haha), it does generate some cool memories of a time when you had to search for games and news here, usually on a Spanish or Italian language station….except during a World Cup Year. Thanks Pops. You rock!
I missed the opener this year, but in a gift of fate (unbeknownst to me until this past Monday), I have a welcome day off in honor of Eid al-Fitr. Nice! Wonder what I’ll be doing this morning/afternoon, lol. ️
The air just seemed different this morning, the sun just a bit brighter, the birdsongs somewhat louder, the clouds a bit more majestic. It is a beautiful NYC morning, today is a Great Day!
Watching Egypt vs. Uruguay in my chill chair in between two windows, (one facing south, the other west) there’s this gentle breeze washing over me. The WC Wave, right on time! Loving the crowd shots, seeing/feeling the excitement and Love, I feel like I’m in the stadium. I AM in that stadium. Loving the Wave, it’s fantastic! Catch it!
Mexico, England, Colombia, Brazil, Belgium, Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Iceland, Japan, Peru, Costa Rica
Italia 1990 Final