A month ago 32 teams, from around the world, traveled to Brazil with one purpose: to win the Soccer World Cup and take selfies with the golden trophy. Last night, it all came to an end when Germany's Mario Götze scored the winning goal, in extra time, against Argentina.
I wouldn't call myself a hard-core soccer fan. I don't know all the players first names or what kind of gum Joachim Loew (the German coach), chews but I do appreciate the game.
Last night's final was filled with all that heart-stopping good stuff: drama, goals missed, goals saved, free kicks and lots of blood, sweat and tears. It was truly anyone's game. I'm just happy it didn't go to penalty shootouts because no team deserves to lose on penalties, especially not in a WORLD CUP FINAL!
I know you're probably thinking, 'man, this girl really knows a lot about soccer'. But before you quote me, or follow me on Twitter, I really don't know much at all.
After all, I never choose my teams on previous matches played or team loyalty. Oh no, I choose my teams based on names I enjoy saying like: Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana), Arjen Robben (Neatherlands) and, my personal favorite, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany). Then there are the hot players, I know it's superficial, but it's what got me watching the game in the first place.
Now that it's all over I have to find something else to do between 7 p.m. and midnight. You know I got so into this World Cup that I missed the Wimbledon Men's Final where Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer.
Anyway, I fell in love with the game of kick-ball-goal and there's no going back. Here are things I'm going to miss about the World Cup.
From crying to crazy happy dances, I've seen it all. But there's nothing like watching the interaction between a fan and their TV. For some strange reason people think the players can hear them yelling through the TV screen. And even if they could (which they can't) I'm sure they would still ignore them. It's a comedy sketch waiting to be written.
The top player wins a Golden Ball, the top goalie gets the Golden Glove and the top commentator should get a Golden Mic because, WOW, they can talk for days. And the thing is they sound so excited. I can't imagine a game without commentators telling us who's passing to who or what the players are thinking. And I would certainly miss the way their voices get louder (and higher) as players get closer to scoring a goal. #LoveThat
Real Supporters Cry
There are different kinds of spectators: Hard Core -- they will follow their team to the ends of the earth and will cry if their team loses or wins. Fans -- enjoy the game but can come across as arrogant know-it-alls. Clueless -- have no idea what's happening but feel the need to give their opinion about everything. FOMO -- these people don't like soccer but don't want to feel left out when everyone else is talking about the game. The Scouts -- they watch the game to perv over the muscular men (That's where I started out, but I've definitely graduated to Clueless.)
Replays, Replays, Replays
If you miss a foul because, I don't know, you ran to the kitchen to refill your snacks, don't worry they will replay the scene at least four times. They'll do it in slow motion, fast motion, a close up and from a distance just to make 100% sure you saw what happened.
Red & Yellow Cards
One thing I will never understand is why players argue with the referees when they're given a red or yellow card. Don't they know that there are no take backs in soccer?
Anything for a Free Kick
There are times when players are wrongly tackled, pulled back, pushed or get seriously injured and have to be carried off the field on a stretcher. But there are also times when they fall to the floor and resume fetal position after being gently touched by another player, hoping to get a free kick. It's that kind of acting that deserves an Academy Award.
At halftime I always wonder what motivational speech the coaches are giving their players. I imagine them reciting an epic speech like the one Al Pacino gives his players in Any Given Sunday. I tear up just thinking about that line where he says:
You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or too early you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in every break of the game, every minute, every second.
Above all, the one thing I will miss the most is the remarkable sportsmanship displayed on the field. My heart smiles when I see the opposing sides help each other up after they've collided or seeing the love they give each other after the game. That kind of respect should be imitated around the world.