Last Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, I broke two of my rules. 1) Never drink before noon. 2) Never cry over sports. I broke these rules, but it was for a noble cause. See June 23rd was the USA vs Algeria game. This game determined whether we continued in the World Cup or went home.
The hub and I were celebrating our 3rd year wedding anniversary. It has almost become tradition that we celebrate watching soccer. Last year we went to a Cleveland City Stars game… unfortunately that team is no more. This year we decided that we would go to breakfast and then go to Parnell’s Pub. Parnell’s is the place to go to watch soccer. The hub and I are big fans of Parnell’s pub. It’s an authentic Irish pub in the heart of Cleveland Heights’ Pub Row aka Lee Rd. There motto is ” Irish 365 days of the year.” Every time we come through the door our drinks are half way to being poured and during the World Cup, even though the place was PACKED, we never had to wait for a second for our drinks.
So after a yummy breakfast at the Inn on Coventry we went to Parnell’s. We arrived at 9:40am for the 10:00am game. We promptly purchased our first drinks. I had a pint of Strongbow and the hub had a jack and ginger. (Rule #1, broken.) Amazingly we found a place to sit. The table was already occupied by two other complete strangers, but no one cared. We were there to cheer USA on to victory.
I have never been so engaged in a sport before in my life. I followed the ball with my eyes as if it was my job… as if the USA team actually needed me to do this in order to win. The game went on for nearly 90 minutes, without a score. Well that’s not completely true. My USA soccer boyfriend, Clint Dempsey actually scored a goal in the first half, but the officials claimed it was “off sides”… it totally wasn’t off sides, but whatev…The whole match was completely tense. So many “close but no cigar” moments. Then with only a couple of minutes left of the game, Landon Donovan scored the winning goal. The entire pub exploded with cheering. Strangers were hugging, slapping high-five and jumping up and down like kids! I don’t know if it was the two Strongbows, the fact I was pmsing, the release of tension, or what, but I cried a few literal tears of joy….and I was hardly the only one. (Rule #2, broken).
This win allowed USA to go on to the next round. Not only that, but our win shot us to the top of Group C. In this sense, we beat England. 🙂 The USA team has not accomplished this since 1930.
Two days later I still didn’t have much of a voice from all the cheering and yelling. But it was well worth it. The experience is one I will never forget.
This past saturday, unfortunately USA lost to Ghana and they wont be continuing in the World Cup… but neither will England so :p