I started going to high school football games with my friend when we were in middle school. This town was seriously the epitome of Friday Night Lights. Her sister was on the drill team (if you don't know what a drill team is beyond a military context you're in for a world of bewilderment) and her parents went to every single home game - and some road games - and took us with them.
Then in high school I was required to go to football games as I was in marching band.
Going to one of the largest universities in the country with one of the best funded football programs certainly only fueled my obsession further.
I love football, y'all.
|I love this sort of pride.|
I like hockey too, but I'm not an extreme fan. I used to watch NHL pretty regularly back in the day (ah, the good ol' Dallas Stars) but these days it's more effort than it's worth. (Usually I'm supposed to be sleeping at that time. Note: I will get out of bed for football.)
So I was mildly aware that the championships were happening but wasn't paying too much attention. At least not until I realized all my Czech friends were completely and utterly incapable of carrying on a conversation if the hockey game was on nearby.
Enter my birthday.
My male Czech friends were watching the hockey game on their phone when we were hanging out at my favorite restaurant..
But honestly, they had everything to be proud of. The Czech team didn't lose any games until the next to last, something most of the other teams couldn't boast about.
So I took the opportunity to have a lesson which consisted entirely of watching hockey at a pub. I mean, he wasn't going to pay attention anyway because he would have been checking the score every twelve seconds. We may as well just have fun. As long as he's speaking English right? I just kept making him tell me what the commentators were saying since it was all in Czech.
Did I mention it was the Czech vs. USA game? All the more reason to be watching.
Then I went to Old Town Square where they had two huge screens set up a a bajillion people were standing and cheering during the game. Despite their first and only loss of the championship series, the Czechs kept their heads held high. They'd still be playing again for the bronze medal. And they'd be playing Russia.
And they'd kick their asses.
Having now lived in Asia and Europe, I would argue that Americans aren't as interested in world sports as fans in other parts of the world.
Sure we get interested in the Olympics, but I feel like that's even half-assed as far as the masses go. So anytime there's a world competition of sorts, it's interesting to see the fervor of other fans which accompanies it.
Last spring/summer I was constantly running into football fans (ahem... soccer?) who were rooting for their team no matter where they were. People get as crazy about World Cup Football as your typical East Texas (American) football fans get about their local high school teams.
As I've already said, the Czechs, not to mention all the other European teams and of course the Canadians, were going nuts during the hockey championship. As far as I can tell, this hardly registered with Americans. Pity, too, because the USA team made it to the final eight.
For country with extreme resources and a wealth of talent in all sports, I find it really interesting that we tend to ignore sports which we're playing on an international scale.