what are you watching?

The French are in blue. The miracles start at -3:15.

This is Dave. This blog can't always be about cherry pie.

On Saturday June 7th in Basel, Switzerland is the first match of the 2008 European football (soccer) championships. This tournament isn't well-known in the United States, but in Europe it evokes passion the likes of which Americans can only understand when they watch this.

In 2004 we had just returned from living in England when the French played the English in the Euro 2004 tournament. In one of the most improbable matches in years, the French were losing 1-0 at full time when in injury time they scored a goal to tie it, and less than a minute later scored to win the match. Incredible.

Having just returned from England I was terribly disappointed to see Beckham & Co lose to the French. Our English friends felt much worse than even I did. But now, four years later, as I watched the above clip tonight, being able to understand the announcers (for the most part anyway) and knowing many of the players, I felt great pride as I watched the French win. I realize that I've changed: I root for the French now because I love them. I love them because now - at least in my own way - I understand who they are.

One of life's great secrets is that the joy you get from it often just depends on how you feel about what happens while you're watching.


Anonymous a said...

We are watching the GIRO on Verses TV.....

Blogger French for a While said...

I love the Cherry Pie, but sports? Now we're talking!! Can't wait for Euro 2008. Actually it's a good time for sports in France right now: Monaco Grand Prix, French Open, Euro 2008, Tour de France, Olympics. Nothing but sports for the next few months. Keeps my mind off baseball.

Blogger French for a While said...

I should have read the last two paragraphs. I couldn't agree more. Used to root for England (went to college there) but now root for the French -- and for the reasons you mentioned.


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