A tale of four matches (and very little else)

I still want to write a paper on the ethnography of football-watching in pubs in the Washington, DC area during World Cup 2006 (watch football and call it research, that is) but since I have been banned from writing anything that is not my dissertation, I'm subjecting PTSD readers to my random musings of events over the weekend.

Saturday, Match 1: Germany vs Sweden
Expectations: fairly high; thought this would be a good, competitive match; wanted Sweden to do well but Germany to win
People: two, to start off with; joined by one another person (boyfriend of my friend--I've been noticing all my non-academic friends are couples who enjoy watching footy) and then by about 7 others by the end of the match.
Place: Harp and Fiddle, Bethesda. Excellent place to watch football and lounge around. Big screen. Good place to watch because of a lack of presence of FYF (Also known as "Four year fans"--those people who only get "into" football once every four years but insist on telling whoever's around about what is going wrong. Exemplified by a guy who kept on telling his mates why Freddie Adu would have made a difference to the US team during the USA-Ghana match).
New people: Some German bloke who works at NIH ended up joining us (when it was just the two girls) and trying to explain various facets of the game. When Germany scored their first goal, he jumped up and broke a lamp fitting. Then apologised. I don't think the lamp fitting has forgiven him yet.
Also, a randomGermanGuy who was dressed in German kit and had a (rather large) German flag which he kept on waving at moments when other people wanted to watch the match, thus blocking their views.
The match itself: rather dull. The Germans scored twice, Sweden gave up, the end.

Match 2: Argentina versus Mexico
Place: Same (I walked around for about an hour and came back to watch the second match).
Cast of characters: Same group, on my part but with the addition of NIH German Guy, who decided to join us.
The match: Mexico put up a great fight. There were loads of neutral folks during this match while there were hardly any neutrals (based on people wearing team kits) during the Germany-Sweden one. Addition of Spanish-speaking folks who yelled things in Spanish (which I kept on asking my friends to translate, to their increasing annoyance).

Sunday: Match 1 England versus Ecuador
Place: Lucky Bar
Cast of characters: five of us (including one English person)
Other people: Loads. We got there at 955am and the place was already packed. As with the USA-Ghana match, we had to stand up for the entire match. Realised that I'm getting on in age and can't be expected to stay on my feet for so long, especially to watch the Bloody English.
Atmosphere: Apart from about 3 Ecuador supporters, the place was packed with English fans, singing along to the cheesy football songs that was being blasted over the tannoy and yelling "Engurland...Engurland" at frequent intervals. If it had been just me, I'd probably not have entered the place since singing English people can never be a good sign (remember Take That? Or even Elton John?).
The match: Pretty dreadful. England would not put the ball on the ground, Wayne Rooney was isolated up front and half the midfield (Joe Cole and Frank Lampard and, except for his free kick, David Beckham) were oddly missing in action. Typical England play, in other words.

Match 2: Portugal vs the Netherlands
People: Just me since friends were "doing the Mother-in-Law thing). But, at Harp and Fiddle (since I needed to sit).
Other people: a lot of the same people from Saturday, including the German Guy with Flag who was now dressed in a singlet and shorts. I sat with a Man Utd supporter who, when Ronaldo went down, yelled out "Get up you p...fter!". I didn't mention I supported Liverpool and we got along famously.
The atmosphere: The place was packed but not as much as the Lucky Bar. There were a lot of neutrals (including most of the Germans and the Argentinian supporters from Saturday), a group of about 20 Netherlands supporters sitting right in front of the big screen and about a dozen Portugal supporters sitting to their left.
The match: Utter chaos with the ref going a bit nuts and handing out cards left, right and centre. Oh, and Portugal won so they'll play England.

Tomorrow, it's Italy versus Australia in the morning and then off to Uni for me. I suppose I should really do some work on this joint paper (which is not really a joint paper so I've lost much of my enthusiasm for it. But, it's a paper and it'll get published so it's all for the best, I reckon).


At 6/26/2006 1:42 PM, Anonymous serena said...

I only have this to say! PORTUGAL RULES!

At 6/26/2006 6:06 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Not sure about that--Figo should have been sent off (headbutting) and he twisted the nipple of one of the Dutch kids. Seriously! If you can get away with such, you deserve to win the tournament! I'll be supporting them versus England anyway.

At 6/27/2006 1:00 PM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL...ronaldo could be back for the england game...80 percent chance of his return but deco is not...LOL no appeal there...

But I've decked out the 360 blog in Port gear! :D and my yahoo home page is portugal team news in the great flag colors! hee hee

At 6/27/2006 7:33 PM, Blogger Priya said...

You're nuts! Portugal indeed (though I must admit a lingering admiration for Figo). I think they'll easily beat England though so Brazil or France/Portugal semis! That should be fun :)

At 6/28/2006 10:30 AM, Anonymous serena said...

that should be fun...and i am anxious for it!


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