I fell in love with the World Cup while living in Argentina during the 1990 Italia games. The national jubilation when Argentina won the semi-final against Italy was incredible to experience first-hand. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the joy of sports (the Angels and the Lakers!); the World Cup, however, was completely foreign to me.
Now I am older, but my love for the World Cup has not faded. Every four years, I hope for a repeat of the magical experience I had in Argentina. And I would love for my children, especially my daughter who plays competitive soccer, to have a similar memory. On Saturday, June 11, 2010, FC Dallas hosted a viewing party at Pizza Hut Park in Dallas, Texas, for the FIFA World Cup opener in South Africa–Mexico vs. South Africa.
I wore my Mexico green, and arrived at PHP barely able to contain my excitement. For Mexico, sure. For the game, definitely. However, what I wanted most was for my daughter to feel the culture of the moment. I knew the equation of World Cup + Latin Team = Passion. We walked through the doors and were immediately immersed in Mexico—a mariachi band playing “Yo no soy marinero” and several young teenagers dancing unabashedly and singing voz alta. I glanced over at my daughter and the huge smile on her face warmed my heart. In just a few second’s time—what it took to pass from outside to inside—I could see she got it. It was culture and passion from a bunch of strangers united by the World Cup bond. It was a group of Latin compatriots whose love of futbol is not just a regional, geographical, or national pastime, but is devotion to a game that goes far beyond mere sport.
by Julie Broadbent