I must say this whole soccer thing is quite exciting. I have never been a soccer fan. I find it somewhat boring. I do, however, enjoy rooting for the USA and against other countries (see: France). So knowing that the USA would be playing England (Home of BP) I got excited. I planned out my day: Gym in the morning, watch the USA dominate England at 2:30, and then jump on a train and visit friends in Westchester.
So I woke up at 10:30 after drinking a bit much on Friday night and did not go to the gym. Instead I watched some old episodes of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and read “The New Yorker” while drinking an enormous iced coffee.
I walked up 1st Ave on my way to the bar and on my was there ran into the annual 1st ave. fair. I always get a kick out of walking down the middle of the street in New York City. It would appear that street fairs sell a few things:
1. Food that can kill you. Delicious food that can kill you. Food that should come with a free shock from the defibrillator.
2. Crap. Examples might be: $5 sunglasses. T-shirts that say things like, “I’m with stupid” or the worst shirt ever “I root for the Yankees and whoever is playing the Red Sox”. Sham-wows (You know, the rag that mops up 4 pounds of water. There was a guy there with a microphone yelling at people to try it. I avoided the entire situation). Baby t-shirts. CD’s from the 80’s and 90’s (Do they even make CD players anymore?) Socks…..(ummm, yeah I’ll buy my socks at Marshall’s if I want to go cheap on that.) And my favorite: Sheets….(do they come pre-bed bugged?)
3. Beer. I’m cool with that.
4. Massages. You know, not too sure if I want someone who has been touching sweaty, smelly people at $10 for 10 minutes rubbing my neck.
After navigating through the strollers, the old people, and morons walking their dogs in the middle of a crowded street fair I got to the bar.
The bar was packed. People wasted drunk at 2 pm. Chanting USA, USA, USA!!!!!! There were also several English people there. To them chants of “Brush your teeth” and “Fuck the Queen” rang through the bar. I found both amusing.
Before the game the national anthems for England and the USA were sung. The English people were singing God Save the Queen at the top of their lungs. It was impressive. The US National Anthem was played and barely anyone in the bar was singing to it. I found that interesting.
The game began and I do not need to recap, but when England scored 5 minutes into the game the bar fell silent. It was like a collective, “Fuck this, none of us like soccer anyways. This sport is for pussys”
When the US finally did score (er, when the English goaltender let the ball go in) I have never heard a louder roar. It was insane. Because just about everyone there was rooting for the USA there was a sense of community that I rarely feel in New York sports bars as a Boston sports fan.
I did get into the game. Maybe because I felt invested because it was my country, maybe because everyone there was cheering together, or maybe I have bought into the hype. Whatever it was, I enjoyed myself (perhaps a bit too much as I certainly did not make a train to go up to Westchester)
It was a fun day.