Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VM fotball (World Cup)

VM or verdensmesterskap (which means a competition with participants from around the world) is in full swing. If you aren't following it, that's okay, you're probably American! :)

Just a side note on Norway, they love to use abbreviations for big sporting events, like the World Cup. In fact, I had to look up with the "M" meant, and that was no easy feat. Another well known abbreviation is OL, or olympiske leker, which is the Olympics. Not to be confused, they usually put what sort of World Cup (skiing, soccer, etc) and Olympics it is after the abbreviation. For example, OL-vinter is the winter Olympics, since "vinter" means "winter". Okay, that's my Norwegian lesson for the day!

Anyways, back to VM fotball. I had the pleasure of watching the US-England match last Saturday in a sport bar downtown. I was surrounded by English people/English fans and their constant swearing when things go wrong, or actually, when anything happens! At first, it was funny and I didn't want it to be known that I was cheering for the US (because I knew I would get lots of crap!). However, the US scored a goal on a mistake by the England's goalkeeper, and I just couldn't contain myself! It was really funny to see all the England fans go crazy, I heard a lot of "f--- you"s in their funny English accents! Anyways, if you were wondering, the match ended up 1-1, which is a good result for the US.

Here is one thing I find interesting about the US and Europe when it comes to the World Cup; Europeans are more than happy to watch a game, even if they don't like soccer, if it's a big event like the World Cup. Americans could care less. It's not a bad thing, it's just how it is. For example...

I have a friend from England who hates soccer, can't stand to watch it. In fact, we ran into a soccer match when visiting a neighboring city here in Norway, and she was so bored in the 2 minutes we were standing there. However, last Saturday, she was in an English Pub watching the game like everyone else. If Americans don't like soccer, the World Cup is not going to change anything.

One more thing I find interesting is that Europeans are so angry and drunk when they watch, and Americans are just happy to be there. Referring back to my bar story with the Englishman, I'm pretty sure they were all wasted and while screaming out profanities. My Dutch friend told me that's how it is in the Netherlands as well. Maybe it's because they expect a lot from their teams; high expectations plus high hopes equals a lot to lose (math anyone?). I find that Americans are just happy to be in the game. Sure, the players get angry, I got angry when I played, but in general our fans are smiley, and if we don't win, we tried hard (for the most part). That's why it's so fun to mess around with Europeans fans, they're so serious about it...you can really piss them off!!

That reminds me of 4 years ago when Sarah, Lisa and I were in an Italian pub watching the US play Italy, and we were definitely the only ones cheering for the US. Everyone else in the bar was giving us the evil eye; they were not happy that we were there! We didn't care though, we were just having fun! (Total Americans!)

One more thing, here is a article about what Glenn Beck (and the far right?) thinks about soccer and the World Cup...I've decided he's definitely not intelligent enough to understand this great and beautiful game (as opposed to just not interested).

Glenn Beck's (worthless?) opinion


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