Last night I experienced a new first. Nothing life shattering, but to a sports fanatic it could be. I watched my first ever World Cup Soccer game. I met up with some good people at Maclaren’s on Elgin in Ottawa. Japan was playing against the Ivory Coast in Group C of World Cup soccer. My friend Kana was full-on nation pride by rocking a Japanese team jersey and brought a flag. I can now understand why people get into the game. The energy and passion is pretty hard to replicate and is something hard to describe in words.
I got to the bar at about the 50 minute mark. I learned that soccer games are a 90 minute sport. By the time I had gotten there, Japan was up 1-0. Honda has scored the first goal (no not the company that makes the Civic. Honda just happens to be a fairly common last name in Japanese culture). My group of friends were riding on a great high. Sadly about 10 minutes later, Ivory Coast scored. We were all heartbroken, but not completely discouraged. There was still about 30 minutes left int he game. About 5 later, Ivory Coast scored again and now the game was 2-1 for them. And that was how the game would end.
I was surprised to learn that Canada was not in the tournament. Respectfully so, we had not qualified. Soccer clearly isn’t our nation’s sport, rather hockey is ;). If you notice, the Japanese jersey’s are blue. I asked my Japanese friends why red or white were not prominently displayed. I was told that they wore a “samurai blue” for superstition reasons. Japan still has a leg to stand on, as they have 2 more games to play in their Group C. From there the best 2 teams in the Group advance to the next round. Japan and Greece play on Thursday, June 19 at approximately 11am EST. I wonder how many die hard soccer fans are going to call in sick to see their team play?