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Friday, May 27, 2005

Another Year Gone

I realized last night, somewhat belatedly, that almost exactly four years have passed since I flew to London, the kickoff to my intended journey around the planet ( Though my girlfriend might debate this, I really don't sit around counting days and minutes that have passed since one major event, or that remain until another big event. What prompted me to realize this was the Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. If you are anything of a sports fan, you will know that this was perhaps one of the greatest football (soccer) matches ever played (and more on that in just a few moments).

There has probably been a lot said about this game on blogs and sport sites and chat boards across the internet galaxy. I'm not going to say much of anything about it. What I will say is that as I watched it, I thought back to the three Champions League finals that preceeded it.

The first came the night I landed in London. It was a game that featured a stunning display by Zinedine Zidane, including his famous left footed volley that provided the game winner. I watched that game with Shawn (the same guy who has posted a few comments here and there) and a Canadian named Lee who in the ensuing years has done quite a bit of traveling himself.

The following year, the final came about two months after my arrival in Taipei, and I watched the final between Milan and Juventus (one of the most boring finals ever) with James Brown, a Brit with a party habit almost as legendary as his namesake's songs. We watched the game live (at 2:30 AM, and managed, almost despite ourselves, to make it all the way through to the penalty kicks, with Andrei Shevchenko providing the winner for Milan).

I don't remember what I did last year for the game, but I think I watched Porto win the trophy on replay the day after the game, much as I did last night.

And speaking of last night...I am a jackass. Liverpool fell behind 3-0 in the first half, a seemingly insurmountable lead. I had avoided all web pages and television channels that might have inadvertantly provided me with the final score throughout the day. By staying in to watch the game, I was risking Natalia's wrath, as I had originally planned to go to a bar with her and her friends (I told her this before remembering the final was on). Despite Liverpool's deficit, something told me that they came back. Call it intuition. Call it the unexpected commercial breaks, and the fact that after each break, ten extra minutes had disappeared from the clock. Whatever, I thought they might just do it. But I didn't listen to myself. I thought, hey, if this is going to be a blowout, I should just change and walk over to the bar to meet Natalia (thus getting myself into much better graces). I went to the computer and less than a minute later, the surprise of one of the greatest comebacks in football history was ruined.

And to make matters worse, I realized I could not in good conscious walk away from the game when so much was still to happen, and so the good intentions I had to go see my girlfriend were ruined as well.

If all is according to plan, I will be in Argentina next year for the final, living for the first time in a truly futbol mad nation. How exciting!

Although, what am I supposed to do when the World Cup starts? I bloody hate Argentina's side. I guess I better start changing my allegiances or learn to be very very quiet.


Anonymous seadragon said...

Stupid U.S. lottery and their limited tickets. I was unable to get tickets for the World Cup. :(

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Natalia said...

Don't worry dear, I never thought you were actually coming anyway.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous shawn said...

i'll be in germany next year! with no tickets. but there are still a couple of lotteries to go. Remember there is always hope!!

4:21 PM  
Blogger kachuaz said...

never liked argentina soccer team either. haha. with the likes of ortega and batistuta. shitz!


9:38 PM  
Blogger Alan Brinker said...

Batistuta is the worst of them, isn't he?
Shawn you are a bastard. An acquaintance met in Finland invited me to stay with her during the Cup (she was in Helsinki on exchange program and is back in Germany now.)...Such a temptation.
Wouldn't it be great if France lost first round again?

8:33 AM  
Blogger kachuaz said...

definately~ haha

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Natalia said...

Well, no matter how much you dislike Argentina football team, Batistuta or Ortega, they make a lot of money doing what they like, so... how many people can say the same thing about themselves?

Just what I thought.

10:44 AM  

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