Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Soccer Fever!

LA is a famously multi-cultural city (although it is possible to ignore if one keeps to certain parts of the Westside), but the "melting pot-ness" becomes even more noticeable during the World Cup.

It seems everyone is soccer-crazed in the City of Angels.

The Korean lady at the laundromat roots for whichever team has the best legs - unless, of course, they play against Korea, and then they become 'dirty bums'.

The Persian guys in the coffeehouse have brought a portable TV from home so they don't miss any action (I have to squeeze in my coffee order during breaks), and in my favorite Indian restaurant service stops whenever someone makes a good play, and a bar on Hollywood Blvd proudly sports a banner announcing "Watch all World Cup games here!!"

The games are almost impossible to ignore - they blare from every apartment window, bar or eatery that's got a television, passing cars are tuned into the radio broadcast; pedestrians who don't have portable radios lean into the car windows to find out the score - in my neighborhood, it's possible to walk down the street and follow a game just by the sound from the open windows.

Yesterday, at the Farmer's Market, I saw three England supporters sitting outside in team jerseys and scarves (it was almost 90 degrees yesterday) while animatedly discussing that afternoon's game. I really wanted to root for England, but I felt I should follow my Korean mentor's lead. The Swedish team did have better legs.

These days the international language around here is the announcer's hysterical scream of "GOOOOOAAAAL!" (surprisingly, it's the same in every language).

I know the majority of Americans don't seem to care about soccer, but it sure doesn't seem that way around here.

Couch of the day (okay, so this one's a chair):

Couch

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

You always hear that "soccer will never catch on in America," and while that might be true with respect to native-born Americans there are enough immigrants to keep soccer's overall popularity in America surprisingly high. It's still an open question whether the American-born children of immigrants will retain their parents' interest in soccer or whether they'll switch to other sports like football and NASCAR.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Anonymous said...

So why do you think that recent GOAL ! movie did such rotten box office ?

Anonymous said...

Aussies are used to being pretty darn good at whatever international sport we play - and sadly we ain't so good at Soccer - but that doesn't diminish it's popularity here. I believe that one day, Soccer will take over the world, and people won't ask "Where are you from?", they'll ask "What team do you support?".

Love the couch of the day. Random.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

ummm, do you think you could score me an end table and a dinette set?

FrancesDanger said...

Actually, I drove from Oklahoma to Missouri recently with the specific intent of watching a Pro Soccer game. Its a shame that it isn't more popular here because its actually very exciting.

And I have to agree-those Swedes do have some legs :-)

Anonymous said...

In Swedish it's MÅL not GOAL :) And I know this 'cause Swedish is the second official language of Finland...

I've been following your blog for a few months, read the entire archive and got hooked. Your writing is incredibly funny and interesting so I hope you keep on bloggin'!

- A fan from Finland

plantain said...

I've always been struck by how 'segregated' LA is. Sure it's multicultural but it's so seperated: Thai Town, China Town, Little Armenia, Little Tokyo, Korea Town, Boys Town!, Fairfax district and on and on... and obviously this isn't unique to LA. Most immigrant groups will move to an area that is going to be friendly and somewhat familiar (understandably). I used to marvel at certain Blvd's like Santa Monica or Wilshire.. where you could drive from one end to the other and go through so many different economic/racial/immigrant groups in one hour long drive.
I grew up in Brisbane, Australia... which was definitely more of a melting pot... I went to school with Lebanese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, Persian, Greek, Italian, Irish, African kids....
Not saying that one's better than the other... just an observation.

Go USA!
Go Aussies!
GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!
Remember at the last world cup when the american commentators would say SSSCCCOOOORREEEE.....tee hee

moneyca said...

I was driving the other day and saw a great couch. Of course I immediately thought of you!

I bring a portable XM Radio in to work every day and my team and I listening to a wide array of music genres from day to day. It makes the day nicer. The other day I realized that XM has a World Cup channel. Now I'm hoping no one finds out or I can kiss the music goodbye!

steven b at the rental house said...

I love the World Cup. Can't take my eyes off the exciting games. I am American born of Italian descent, so I go for ITALIA! This is the best sporting even on the planet!

Spike said...

Carn the Roos! (Come on the Socceroos!)

Anonymous said...

You think it's crazy there, you should try living right outside Frankfurt. I have houseguests for a month who get to party with all the crunk fans (and scored tix to some games) while I get to hear the highlights at work. But, it is pretty exciting to be part of it, even though we US fans don't know who to root for now...