World Cup #2

Kick off for the World Cup is in four days. Take off for my flight is in four hours. On Wednesday I arrive in Johannesburg, Joburg, Jozy. They all work, though the latter is apparently the one cool kids use these days.

As these things sometimes do, this trip has crept up on me. It seems not very long ago, when hearing about a friend’s plan to take in the World’s largest sporting event, that I thought to myself,”Huh? That might be something to think about.”

That being said, the World Cup isn’t a passing curiosity to me. It’s much more than that. Since, at the age of 7, witnessing Maradona’s “hand of god” and “goal of the century” against England in Mexico in 1986 I have been an obsessed loyal viewer and at times a very cynical English fan. In Italia 90 I had most of the morning matches recorded so I could sprint home from school and watch a match during my lunch when I was 11. For 1994, I was thrilled when the USA would play hosts as this would probably be a chance to actually get to a game or two, but was gutted when neither England or Scotland qualified for the final tournament.

There are memories of France 98, Japan/Korea 02, and Germany 06. And now it’s South Africa’s turn. Bafana Bafana’s turn.

There’s a sense of anxiety and a possible hint of mild panic, but there’s also, finally, a feeling of excitement.

Ready to get going.

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