Even though yesterday was a raw, rainy and gray day, there was excitement and fun on the horizon. The reason, of course, was the World Cup. The two big games of the day were Argentina vs. Nigeria at 11 am (Buenos Aires time) and the U.S.A. vs. England at 3:30 pm. It seems like most of the city took it easy on Friday night to wake up nice and fresh for the game in the morning. I was told that every channel would be playing the game so I made some breakfast and casually turned to channel 2. The news anchors were talking about the excitement of the game and showing fans watching in Plaza San Martin on the giant screens, so I just assumed they would cut to the game any moment.
But 10 minutes after 11 I grew worried and changed the channel, just in time to see that 5 minutes has already passed and Juan Veron was just lining up to take the shot that would be the first goal of the game. Suddenly the city exploded and noise was all around. The TV was blaring horns for the entirety of the match and during half time someone down the hall came outside to blow their horn for a few minutes. Normally that would be very inappropriate and cause complaint, but since it was World Cup time, it made total sense and no one cared.
Eventually Argentina won the game 1-0 and I prepared to head down to San Telmo. I was going to meet up with some British guys at a new bar owned by Americans called The Northside. The $25 peso cover charge came with $25 worth of drinks, so it wasn’t too bad of a deal, especially since pints cost $10. Though I was surrounded by British fans in the corner, it seemed like there were more Americans in the bar, and when the Star Spangled Banner was sung, we stood up proudly. In the meantime, the Brits and I joking trash talked back and forth, though I admittedly don’t know enough about the sport to say anything meaningful.
With the quick goal for England I took some abuse, but we all followed along on the giant screens happily. Even though most Americans don’t care about soccer, you can’t help but get excited for World Cup action and the representatives of your country. There was a really great vibe in the fully packed bar and the whole experience was fun. When the U.S. finally scored their lucky goal, the Britons moaned in anger, but things stayed tied up and the game ended 1-1. After early day drinking we all eventually filed out of the bar slowly and called it a night.
The soccer action continues today, though with much less excitement for me. Still, Germany plays today and since they always have a good team, it will be fun to watch for sure. And then of course comes the nonstop banter on the games tomorrow at work. And the next day. And the next.