Monday, June 16, 2014

US vs. Ghana in Civic Center Plaza



What a difference a home team makes for attendance at the World Cup telecasts in Civic Center Plaza.



The director of SF Rec & Park, Phil Ginsburg above, was giving speeches during half time at the United States vs. Ghana match where he was trying to lead the large crowd in dumb chants.



Nobody needed much encouragement because the crowd was already thoroughly absorbed and happy about the match with the underdog United States ahead 1-0.



Meanwhile, my friend Janos Gereben (not pictured) was insistently emailing his long list of friends, demanding, "Are You Watching This?"



When I told him to relax, that it was only a game, his response was swift. "Just a game? What an ignoramus. You're talking to somebody from the city where 18 people committed suicide when Hungary lost to Germany in the World Cup [in 1954]. When Hungary lost to Germany in the war, nobody cared. There is football and then everything else."



I needed to use the bathroom so didn't stay for the entire second half in Civic Center but watched the game at home instead on Univision in Spanish where the coverage and announcers are more fun and authoritative than their gringo TV counterparts. After Ghana made a late, tying goal, the United States somehow managed a miracle head-butting goal with only minutes to spare and pulled ahead to win the game in thrilling fashion.

5 comments:

Axel Feldheim said...

Great quote from Janos! Twice I've happened to be in Europe during the World Cup, & it really is a different order of magnitude from sports fever here. But being an American, I too think it's only a game... GOOOOAAAAAAL!

TK said...

There was also a large, enthusiastic, and jovial crowd today for Brazil-Mexico, which seemed about evenly split in support and were having a great time. That match, BTW, proved that a scoreless draw can be an exciting thing to watch.

Michael Strickland said...

Dear TK: What the hell do you look like anyway? I was also watching the match at the plaza this afternoon, eating a falafel and drinking beers brought from home. And you're right, it was a totally jovial, exciting crowd, and the gorgeous Brazilian woman behind me said with amused condescension at the end, "A tie against Brazil is a win for Mexico. Good for them, I suppose."

Mike Wallach said...

They didn't need Phil Ginsberg to lead the chants at McTeagues.

It was fun, but I think I might prefer the mellower Civic Center crowd in a losing effort.

TK said...

Michael - I'm your generic 6'4" white guy. We are everywhere. We are legion.