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Friday, June 16, 2006

World Cup Fever!

Posted by on June 16 at 17:03 PM

People! I’ve got World Cup fever! Handsome men of all ethnicities in shorts running endlessly back and forth + an excuse to drink beer at odd hours: What’s not to love? Also: I was lucky enough to be in a small town in France that time that France won the Cup (1998, maybe?), and I watched it in the town square (feverish excitement!), and upon winning it all the frogs went ape-shit, turning over cars and singing “We Are the Champions” (with a French accent it sounds like “We Are the Champignons” or “We Are the Mushrooms”), sealing my amour of this most excellent tournament 4-ever.

I went to two bars broadcasting Cup games before realizing it behooved me to attend the England v. Trinidad/Tobago game at the George & Dragon (which is GOING OFF, Cupwise) and write about that for Bar Exam next week. So, for the fellow-fevered, the column I started to write after the jump. (The woman that fell out of her chair was a blonde; do I need to say it?) (And: Tomorrow at noon, you can watch our Team U.S.A. get their asses handed to them by the Italians!)

The special 2006 World Cup menu at St. Andrews Bar & Grill promises free breakfast for every goal scored by Scotland in the tournament. Can this be? For everyone in the place? Indeed, it can, and yes, certainly, because Scotland is not competing in the 2006 World Cup. The server, having relieved me of my ignorance of this fact, appears to be laughing with me, not at me, though who knows: It's noon on Saturday and I'm midway through an impressively potent bloody Mary on an empty stomach, judgment already officially impaired.

Argentina's playing the Ivory Coast in one of the first few games of the Cup, and the St. Andrews crowd generously roots for the underdog, with the obvious exception of a woman wearing the blue-and-white Argentine flag as a cape. (Guy to girl ratio here: approximately five to one. In the second half, one of the ladies present will fall out of her chair to general amusement.) Concern about racism in Germany, where the Cup's being played, goes unwarranted, or at least the fans there refrain from throwing bananas at black players as they've been known to in pre-tournament play. The 2006 World Cup motto: "A Time to Make Friends." The Argentine players flop madly, feigning injury at the slightest contact with their opponents just long enough to earn them yellow cards before springing up and racing around again.

St. Andrews—sleek and high-ceilinged, with 80 single-malt scotches and four preternaturally crisp plasma TVs—seems out of place across from the gun shop on Aurora. Post-game reconnaissance at the Kangaroo & Kiwi one block down finds it clubbier and pubbier, with paraphernalia from its inspirational landmasses plastered all over the place ("Parking for Kiwis Only, All Others Will Be Towed") and a stripey orange cat for a mascot. The TV situation, just two in opposite corners of a split-level room, is less than optimal, but there's a frisson of excitement that's lacking at St. Andrews, maybe because Australia's actually in the World Cup. For the moment, anyhow.


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Forza Azzurri!

OMGWTFTHEUSSCOREDAGOAL?!

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