Wednesday, June 23, 2010
South Africa Adventure. Part 7.
Holy cow. After one of the most riveting soccer games I've ever seen (albeit a short list) the U.S. of A. put one in the net at the very last minute to a. beat Algeria, b. qualify for the second round of the 2010 Wolrd cup, and c. win the top seed in the group, setting us up for an easier road to the semi-final round. Oh, it was amazing. The euphoria that seized the entire U.S. cheering section when that ball hit the netting was unlike anything I've ever been around. We were all hysterical. I got hit with three different (full) beer bottles. Some random old guy gave me a hug. We were all falling over with excitement for what had just happened. We laughed and screamed at the top of our lungs and cried and cussed and sang and danced for what seemed like an hour. It was amazing. As we walked out of the stadium, a huge group of American supporters had gathered, all singing and dancing and chanting in unison. The American flags were waving, bold and proud. Small groups of South Africans and Algerians were standing around watching, enjoying our patriotic euphoria. People were taking pictures together and exchanging scarves, flags, jerseys with fans of the opposing side. It was a beautiful thing, a wonderful display of humanity. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. The Algerian fans were extremely friendly, getting pictures and wishing us luck in the coming rounds. As we finally made our way out to the car, I left knowing that I had just been a part of something big. Whether or not the reaction back home is as euphoric as it was here, it was a huge moment for those of us that were able to be a part of it. It was as much of a climax as we ever could have hoped for; perfect sending off as we make our way back home over the next couple of days. Geez. Go USA.