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Football Central June 27, 2006

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Odds and Ends, Ramblings.
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On an errand to pick up some football gear for my brother, I ended up catching the Italy-Australia World Cup match at the Adidas store near Chinatown. And boy, it did not disappoint.

Apparently, the store actually opens earlier these days to encourage people to watch the games there. Adidas is, after all, the official sponsor of the World Cup this time around. So just for that purpose, they have three or four flatscreen TVs right smack in the middle of the store showing the games in high-definition. Even without seats (I suppose they don’t want people loafing around forever), it’s a great place to congregate for the games, which lots of people did this morning. The ambience is perfect, what with all the soccer paraphernalia lying around (balls, jerseys and the Tunit line of assemble-your-own football shoes on display everywhere). Plus, they have this really neat board with the brackets for the final 16, listing the scores at each stage beside the flags of the countries playing.

I’m glad I was able to catch what I did of the game. I left my apartment 15 minutes into the first half, thinking the game wasn’t too exciting. By the time I was about to leave the Adidas store, the second half had just started and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to hang around for another 45 minutes to see how it would end. Soon enough a sizeable crowd had gathered, mostly Italy supporters. So you can imagine the reaction to that last second penalty win they eked out.

Personally, I was rooting for the Australians; call it an underdog mentality. It was definitely an awesome turn of events. I think the Australians’ inexperience showed and thus they got robbed. I feel for Socceroos everywhere. It just goes to show that, indeed, the ball is round.

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