Friday, June 17, 2016


Boy, is it nice when sports are fun to watch again. I took in the United States Men’s National Team’s victory over Ecuador at Brit’s Pub last night. The U.S. won 2-1 in a game that gave me acid reflux for about the last 20 minutes. At the same time, the Golden State Warriors lost Game 6 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. People were not happy about Golden State losing that game (or judging by what I saw on social media.)

While I usually watch sports by myself, I’ve grown to appreciate watching games with a group of people, or at least when there are large groups of people there for one purpose. I would say at least 90 percent of Brit’s Pub was there for the soccer match. That made for a fun, but crowded experience. Luckily, I was able to find a couple seats in their upstairs bar. As much as I enjoy being around other people when I’m watching the game, I don’t enjoy feeling claustrophobic.

Even though my friend and I were at the game about 45 minutes early, it was packed. Lots of USMNT jerseys and other USA gear. Going out for a game to see one common team doesn’t happen too often (unless it’s a Minnesota team in the playoffs, but that still doesn’t happen too often either.)

The game started off favorably for the U.S. They were creating chances and the defense looked pretty solid. And then Clint Dempsy’s goal happened. Boy was that pretty. Great passes, especially by Jermaine Jones at the end. I appreciate players who can make that extra pass quickly and find something that I didn’t initially see. (I mean, my powers of observation on the field aren’t great, but still.) I always enjoy high-fiving random people after the home team scores a goal. It’s one of my favorite parts of watching soccer games in public. It’s what you do.

Later, Gyasi Zardes’ goal happened. It was nowhere near as pretty as Dempsey’s header. GZ found himself right in front of the goal with the ball in front of him. So he kicked it in. I scored the only goal of my high school career like that. It’s a crap goal, but hey, it’s a goal.

The last 30 minutes of the game were a bit rough. Two red cards were issued, so both teams were down to 10 men. There were also lots of yellows and chippy shots. Ecuador scored on a very good shot. The US couldn’t seem to generate an attack for the last 10 minutes, so they just held on. Goalie Bradley Guzan got a few nice saves, and a few shots by Ecuador went just wide. The US held on to win.

After I got back home, I checked Twitter (as one does) to see the funny things Men in Blazers was posting. However, a lot of my timeline was filled up with stuff about the NBA Finals game. I love basketball, but Twitter talk about the NBA, excluding cool NBA writers, can be awful. (It’s the refs! The NBA is fixed! Their all babies!) That was in full force after Golden States loss. It just wasn’t fun. I’ll stay celebrating, thank you very much.

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