My breakfast reading this morning was this look-back article by NYTimes sportswriter George Vecsey about the 1982 World Cup in Barcelona. That got me to reminiscing about the World Cup matches I've watched (from afar) over the years.
So, I looked through my blog archives to compile notes on where I was during each of the World Cup tournaments since I started watching in my teens.
When I was in high school DeKalb, Illinois, I noticed a very large satellite dish in one of the back courtyards of the school. Curious as to how it was used, I chatted up the librarians who coordinated the dish. Not much, they answered.
Later, summer 1986 rolls around, and with it, the World Cup football tournament. I lived across the street from the high school, and so I asked the librarians if they would tune the dish into coverage of the cup. For the next month, I sat alone in the cool library watching the action in Mexico City, including a wonderful run up the side by Maradona and his Hand of God goal.
In summer 1990, I was at John Carroll University in Northern Ohio working the new student orientations. When I wasn’t giving tours of the campus, I was in front of the large television watching Rattle and Hum over and over, and taking in most of the games of the World Cup.
In summer 1994, I was living in Honolulu, and I spent my lunch breaks watching the World Cup on the small television in the corner of the shoe store at Ala Moana Mall, or down in Waikiki at the English pub.
In summer 1998, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the South Pacific, and I watched replays of the World Cup along with the other men on Paama on a television set up near the government building in Liro Village.
In summer 2002, while my wife was on a summer internship in Chicago, I woke early every morning to watch the World Cup, often with my brother-in-law Tom Michael.
In summer 2006, home was now Durham, North Carolina. I watched sixty-four games of world-class soccer football, including the final at a standing-room-only Talullas (a Turkish restaurant in Chapel Hill). That was a roller coaster of a game: some good football, a disgraceful violence by a world star, and an ending in penalty kicks. (One of the loudest cheers by the Talullas crowd was for Bill Clinton when he was briefly shown in the Olympiastadion crowd!).
In summer 2010, I was just starting a new job at Duke University, and the World Cup games were broadcast midday, but now I was able to stream the games on the laptop on my late lunch break.
And it's time again for a month of great football. This time, I'll watch most of the matches on the iPad using the Univision Deportes app.