So in case anyone’s missed it, Argentina just qualified for the World Cup final versus Germany. Our incredible experience in Argentina continues as the country has reached a fever pitch just before we leave for Brazil. In case there wasn’t enough intrigue already, the last time Argentina won the World Cup was in 1986 vs West Germany. Argentina was knocked out of the last World Cup four years ago by Germany. We’ve watched more futbol in the last month than in our entire lives as El Mundial has completely dominated life here. We have had pretty typical American interests in soccer (meaning null) until now, but one can’t help but catch the craze and begin to comprehend just how important the World Cup is until witnessing it in Argentina. Although soccer seems to be certainly gaining steam in the US, we really have no equivalent to the stature of the World Cup. The Olympics are perhaps the closest event that generates a fraction of the national, patriotic emotion in the US that we see here now. The Super Bowl pales in comparison. We’ve been lucky to watch a number of matches with Argentines and I promise there’s no sporting event like this. Imagine the Super Bowl and March Madness wrapped up into one, except that everyone roots as one. The country comes to a standstill when Argentina plays.
Having had a persistent issue with my chest after a bad cough, Erica convinced me to visit the ER during a game thinking I’d have a shorter wait time. The consensus from our friends later was that the giant shot I got in my ass that rendered me immobile was likely retribution from the nurse since he was missing the game on my account. On the occasions we’ve stepped outside during matches, the streets are absolutely deserted. Of course schools and businesses close down during the game. We made the mistake of sending the boys to school last week on a game day. Elliott had 5 kids in his class and they watched the game on TV. The boys have been wrapped up in El Mundial since the beginning as the geniuses at FIFA market a sticker album of players that kids buy, collect and trade. Conveniently the Album de Figuritas has been a great carrot and stick for Erica and I as we strive for well-behaved boys.
After the dramatic win last night over Holland, we jumped in the cars with our friends Gaby and Tom and headed to a nearby square to witness the celebrations. Fireworks, horns blaring, people hanging out of cars and trucks screaming, flags waving. We’ve never seen anything like it before. The video above hopefully provides a sense of the excitement, but imagine thousands of such parties across the country. Sunday is the final against Germany. We feel so fortunate to be invited to share this historic and hallowed day with our wonderful friends again. I can’t imagine what will follow should Argentina pull off the upset against mighty Germany. Vamos Argentina!!