World Cup 2018 fever!! Catch it!! Okay...okay...let me take it down a notch or five.
I've tried to like soccer all my life. We played it at summer camp and it was fun, but really it was just a bunch of ten year olds running around a field. But that was playing the game, not watching it.
Chicago had a team, the Sting, that was owned by the father of some high school classmates. The Sting won a couple of outdoor championships with players like Karl-Heinz Granitza and Pato Margetic. Household names!! They played an attacking style and were fun to watch. I almost got there. The Sting also had an indoor team. It was an awesome game at first because no one figured out how to play defense. Goalies were bombarded like it was dodgeball. It was really exciting....and then the defenses caught up and blah!
We have another team now, the Fire, and although they won a championship in 1998 and have been to the finals two other times, they've been mediocre to bad since then. I just can't get into them.
To me, soccer is like the Winter Olympic events. Every four years or so, I get somewhat interested and after it's over, I can forget about it for almost a half decade. Soccer=Curling!
But now it's that four year thing and it's soccer time. It's World Cup time. I'm all-in. Okay...maybe not all-in but I've been interested. My problem is I have no idea who to cheer for. There's not a U.S. team because we suck at this sport, so who can I support?
Today starts the semi-finals. France versus Belgium in game one. England versus Croatia in game two tomorrow.
I can name two players in these games. I don't think that's enough of a reason to pull for their side (btw, the teams in soccer are called sides...this piece is educational as well as entertaining). I decided that I have to list the things I like about each country, compare them and the one with the things I like most gets my allegiance. Simple, right?
Let's start with game two. The only thing I know about Croatia is Toni Kukoc is from there. He played for the Chicago Bulls and was a big part of the team winning their last three championships. His son also played basketball in Highland Park, where I went to high school. As for England, hmmm....The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and so on.
The winner....GO ENGLAND!!!!!
The first game is tougher. It's the battle of food. France has crepes, French fries and French toast. I love crepes. There's a restaurant that makes these cherry kijafa crepes that are to die for....really. They're so good that I may go there for lunch. BUT...Belgian has waffles. Oh man, the only thing I like better for breakfast than those cherry crepes are waffles. And it's not just breakfast. Take a look at the photo at the top. It's the greatest combination of food known to man...CHICKEN & WAFFLES!! You take a piece of the chicken, then a piece of the waffle, dip it in the maple syrup and it's an explosion in your mouth. Just thinking about this makes me want to get on a plane to Los Angeles and head to Roscoe's. Please don't tell me you've never been to or heard of Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles! Phew..I feel better.
Waffles GO BELGIUM!!!!
So that's it. It's taken about a month but now I know who I'm cheering for this week. All this writing has made me hungry. I wonder where I can get some chicken and waffles?
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