5 July 2006 (#38), (and before ...)

I'm not really one to spend my time sitting in front of the boob tube clenching a campari and grapefruit and screaming and weeping over a sports event. But darlings, the World Cup has won me over.

How, you ask? And indeed, you should ask. Just like my late blooming love for baseball was fertilized by a certain Yankee shortstop's posterior which I managed to latch onto (visually) whilst sitting on the third baseline one sultry evening oh so many summer ago (well, not that many), so my love for soccer has grown as I frantically click through the muss of statistics and goals and get to the photos. Mooning over them as it were.

Personally at this point I'm rooting for Italia, and I suspect I have chosen well given the photo off to the right. Quality and quantity. Delicioso and abbondanza!

As for drama, what else could you want as you watch the players writhe around on the ground after colliding into one another, clutching body parts as if there were no further hope of mobility. Only to watch on the replay that they missed each other and the hysteria meant to rival the second act of Gypsy is merely a ruse to try to get the other team in trouble with the referee.

Naughty ragazzi - or - muchachos - or - mecs - or - jungen.

But they're just so cuuuuuute. Helping each other up after slamming each other to the ground (also, I suspect, a ruse to make the referee think the violence was merely accidental), friendly jostling after a little rough play, swapping jerseys at the end of the game.

And possibly my favorite -- the tears. After usually more than an hour and a half non stop running about and kicking and bouncing balls off your head, these men are simply at their limit, putty in the centrifuge of emotion. You just can't turn away from a sport where you see the German player David Odonkor sobbing into his jersey after their defeat in the final minutes of overtime. It brings out the mother in me... well, at least initially.

Oh. Right. I forgot. GREAT thighs too.