Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup Day


For me, this has to be a most unexpected entry. What I know about soccer would not fill a thimble. I'm not even sure if the word soccer is used by the rest of the world the way it is used here. Anyway, I found myself unexpected thrown into a room full of soccer enthused men and nary a female (except ME) in sight. How in the world did this happen?

It all started Friday night when Dave, a man in Don's Bible study group called to say that Motamba (from Kenya) was hosting a BBQ at his place Sunday and the families were invited to join in on the fun of watching the Italians and the French knock each other out to score goals with a little white and black ball but not touch it with their hands. OK. I can do that. It's something social and the ladies will either join in or adjourn to poolside.

So off we go Sunday driving north about 40 minutes to our destination. We aren't the first to arrive but I AM the first wife to arrive. Okay, I can deal and darn isn't that French captain just the yummiest thing. I'm cheering for Italy, mind you; after all I'm half Italian (thank you, mom). Several door knocks later more men have arrived. I'm beginning to feel wildly outnumbered, feeling critical of the cameraman and lack of close-ups of the game, and can't concentrate on the J.D. Robb book I brought with me (just in case). Don doesn't know the first thing about soccer either but he is enjoying the comraderie of the group. Quanah could care less so thirty minutes later he is taking me home. He returned later to pick up Don and the final report?

Italy 5/France 3/no women.

12 comments:

Janet said...

Well, I guess 0 women would make me a bit uncomfortable, too. I endured that fate once at a company party where my hubby assured me there would be other wives....none appeared!! I felt like a fifth wheel.

Ally Bean said...

Funny I've never worried one bit about being the only woman in a group. Probably comes from having a stay at home dad who looked after me while my mother worked. I've always been around the boys!! Never really thought about it before this.

Autrice DelDrago said...

Good post Annie! Way to go, Italia! Football is a fun sport to watch, and I have missed most of the matches this year... but being stuck with a bunch of menfolk, who wouldn't appreciate a woman's opinion of so-and-so's goalie's legs or arms... no fun at all. LOL

trailbee said...

Hal and I were eating Mexican food and watched Italy beat France. All in Spanish! What a sight. My take on it is this: the end of the world will occur when the USA becomes the world's soccer champs! Yes?

Jennifer said...

hmmm sounds like fun to me!!!

john/miamista said...

That Materazzi is an jerk. Thiery Henry (a player who was going by) relates that Materazzi called Zidane a "stinking Arab" and asked him "why don't you play for his own country". (Zidane is an Arab immigrant who grew up in the rough housing projects of largely poor, Black and Arab Marseilles.) Materazzi has a history of thuggish play and racism. He tried to end Aloisi's career and said Zoro (a black African player) was just getting publicity when Zoro walked off with the ball in Sicily amidst thrown bananas and monkey chants.There is much more but why think of it.

Zidane should have learned already. When playing against Saudi Arabia there were bunches of chants with people calling him a sellout and accusing his father of being a collaborator in Algeria. A player called him a "kharki" (Arabic epithet for collaborator with very negative undertones) and Zidane stomped him. Zidane was suspended for six games I think. Later he announced that his parents or family had never been collaborators and had never fought against their country, whether when they were in Algeria or in France or both. He also denounced race baiting from all sides, assisting a French racist candidate for president to be defeated. Perhaps he should use his mouth instead of violence.

I hope he makes an announcement so that poor immigrant/minority kids know that there is more than one way to defend yourself and that you cannot help racists in their attempts to hold people back. I still love him because of his game and his sense of pride.

AnnieElf said...

I want to thank John/miamista for his input above. I had read an article on Tara's blog (Paris Parfait) and that coupled with the reference in the paper regarding a racial slur got me curious so I posted the question at Tara's site. The USA sure does not have a corner on racism. There is a whole hate thing going on in Euro/MidEast/Africa that I am not familiar with. Truth be told, there is quite a lot, politically, that I didn't know and reading these blogs has opened my world view considerably.

So John, thank you for your post. I hope Zidane does take the high road and say something to the kids who admire him so much and remind the adult fans that what kids see and hear, there they will follow.

paris parfait said...

Well I've been in that situation too, although not lately (only female in crowd of men). A Palestinian friend in New York says that for people to expect Europe to be without racism is like a rose without thorns. Sadly, it's everywhere. I hope Zidane will make a public statement this week, so that children won't have the tarnished image of their hero. As for the Italian player's hateful words, perhaps he needs some sanctions imposed too.

susanlavonne said...

fun to read your point of view and as far as being the only women...it's sometimes like it's own spectator sport just watching the men watch a game ;-)

ms*robyn said...

shhh - I am not a soccer fan either! just popping in to say hi! hope all is well in your part of the world xoxo

vicci said...

The only thing I know about soccer is that the Italian soccer team are way cute!!!!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

lol! No women1 You said it well in a thimble! Though I wish the French had won!