Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Looking Back: 2010 FIFA World Cup

Some would say Mr. Harrington is a huge bum for not writing about the World Cup sooner. Others would say he just doesn't have the words to express how awesome the World Cup in South Africa was. Still others would say, "C'mon, dude, stop yapping and get on with it!". All of the above statements have truth to them. Well, Mr. Harrington is finally succombing to the promptings of his lovely bride, overcoming his own laziness, and actually writing about the World Cup now. Soon, it will all be a fond, slightly distant memory.

Even though the Harrington's only attended one game, they were in South Africa for over a week of the World Cup festivities... and the atmosphere was sizzling. Especially after having witnessed the original campions (Uruguay) defeat the last remaining African team (Ghana) in a shoot out. Mr. Harrington could rant and rave about this match, and how Uruguays forward Louis Suarez's purposeful goal tending prevented Ghana from winning the match at the end of overtime, but he will try to restrain himself. Let it be known, however, that Louis Suarez is on Mr. Harrington's "Most Despised" list...and this less for the split second last ditch effort handball to save a goal (which any soccer fan would say was a necessary act), and more for the celebration that followed when Ghana missed the ensuing penalty kick, ensuring a penalty shoot out, which Ghana eventually lost. If Ghana had won that match, they Harrington's most likely would have been able to witness an African team playing on African soil, in the most advanced match ever for an African nation at the World Cup. However, Suarez spoiled that dream. Whew, that was a mouthful.

Anyways, a few days after this match. The Harrington's had the pleasure of attending the 3rd/4th place match (Germany vs. Uruguay) with their good friends, and recently married, Mallory and Abram Heller. After a day of festivities at the fan park, across the street from their couchsurfer's place, they all headed to the stadium a little early with the hopes of finding other friends, Ryan and Andrew. They went to the gate they had planned to meet at, waited a while looking for Ryan and Andrew, and eventually went back to their gate and walked into the stadium after pausing to buy a Germany jersey, and t-shirt. It turns out, Ryan and Andrew had seen us, but were inside the gates already.

The walk into the stadium got consistently louder as the thousands of vuvuzelas erupted all around them. The Harrington's ticket said Level 2, row 10, so they assumed they were in the upper deck. They were VERY pleasantly surprised when after showing the security guard their ticket, they were pointed down...towards the field. They ended up only 10 rows back from the field, right on the corner! Absolutely fabulous seats! With the great seats, came an excellent game...possibly one of the best of the entire cup. Germany beat Uruguay 3-2, but not before Uruguay's star player, Diego Forlan, narrowly missed a free kick at the very end of the game. Kudos to Germany for sticking it to Uruguay. Mr. Harrington, along with a large percentage of the game's attendants, booed everytime Suarez touched the ball. Just the name brings a snarl to his face now, and hearing it is like hearing a swear word. If Mr. Harrington ever accuses someone of being a Suarez...know that it is NOT a compliment.

The following day, the Harrington's again attended the fan fest near their couchsurfer's place to witness, on the big screen, Spain's first ever World Cup championships. The team the Harrington's had predicted to win from the beginning had done it. Thanks to a lovely volley by Iniesta, and some brilliant saves by Casillas. Viva la Espana!

The Harrington's experience at this World Cup, tho short, has rooted in them the desire to attend future World Cup's, for a longer period of time. Without a doubt, if anyone ever has the opportunity to attend one, do so! It's simply amazing.

2014 World Cup is in Brazil
2018 World Cup will be in Europe
2022 World Cup might be in the USA. Go to www. to learn more about the USA bid.

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