Saturday, June 5, 2010

World Cup

Dear Mark

Here in Seattle I'm getting ready for some World Cup Soccer. I've been talking to Jack about it and he's eager to see some games too. Although he makes me smile more when he says "but maybe we watch bike race instead Dadna?!" Yes, I've been raising him well. I'm always excited to watch the World Cup. It amazes me what good players can do. Plus, playing for your country is just about the coolest thing I can think of shy of Sarah Michelle Gellar showing up at my doorstep (don't worry she brings Pierce Brosnan in that fairy tale and that makes Lavi happy).

The last World Cup was playing during our trip to Rome and Paris in 2006, that trip we took after I graduated from my MBA program (now there is a therapy letter to write about some day). It was a blast to be in both cities as their teams reached the finals. It was very surreal to me. When the national team one the entire city knew it and celebrated together. People took to their cars and waved flags, drove around honking, people danced in the streets and yelled at the top of their lungs.

We watched the games in bar often. I made sure to wear my Italy jersey a lot while in Rome and thus we were seated with the locals and not in the back like the poor Australian crowd around a small TV.

There is only one time I can recall that ever happening to me in Seattle. It was 1995 and Lavi and I were living in the little red house in north Seattle. The Mariners were playing the Yankees in the American League Division series. It was I think our real first playoff appearance. 12 innings the game went. Finally my baseball hero Edgar Martinez (who to me is now Mr. Seattle since Nate MacMillan was treated so poorly and moved to Portland and Steve Largent is more aligned with Oklahoma) drove in Ken Griffey Jr for the winning run. Lavi and I screamed with excitement and we heard shouts from our neighbors as well. It was as if everyone was watching that game. Now we didn't take to the streets or anything, but it was one of those moments that sports captivated a city.

I suppose Seattle groaned at the same time during the Seahawks super bowl game too, but I don't watch football any longer so I wouldn't know.

I found a web site that has the TV schedule in time zones for us that I wanted to share. You know how I find time zone math, calendar math and anything taught in my graduate level statistics class very difficult. You should check this out. Many of them will be going on during the day. I suggest proactive scheduling of meetings at work either around these events or at local pubs to watch. You have an international product and many customers overseas. I believe this is something your company should do.

I have some reading to do to catch up on the US Roster of talent. I'm not familiar with all of them. I really only hope to see the team give each game their best. I want a great effort. Usually that means a win, but if not it's about pride and playing for your country. I think the event should be awesome.

I heard the announcement that Nelson Mandela will be at the first game. I tell you I almost tear up even as I type this when I think about this iconic individual. The lessons learned from history in South Africa and his role in that is overwhelming at times. I hope my son never has to grow up in a world that witnesses such hard times. I know though that he will in some way. If he does the story of Nelson Mandela will inspire others. To have him be there will be truly amazing to watch.

I hope you have plans to watch the games. I look forward to many texts during and after to celebrate. If I could find my red Ballard Steelers coat I'd wear it just to be lucky. I'll be wearing an assortment of US, Panama (not in the cup of course) and Italy & Brazil jerseys. I have to pull for the US. I'll be rooting for the underdogs of course too.

Get in the game!
Jeff

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