My American husband and I went with a couple of friends to a local pub to watch the England v USA World Cup match on Saturday evening. Whilst the match itself was not especially impressive, we had a great time and the atmosphere was fun. Incidentally, when my husband and I first met in France, we spent many early mornings watching the 2002 World Cup games in South Korea and Japan with our friends at various bars in Nice. The World Cup has always been associated with good times in our relationship.
I'm not usually much of a sports fan at all, whether it's watching football or something else but when it comes to the World Cup, it seems different somehow and I love it! I think it plays a great part in uniting a country for the month it lasts. People get a sense of patriotism they never normally have and share a common desire with all kinds of people around them who they might not normally have anything in common with.
When we were watching the match in the pub last weekend, people standing around us were friendly, light-hearted and chatting to us. That would rarely happen on just a regular trip to the pub. I think the World Cup brings a real optimisim and happy atmosphere to communities large and small. It's helped by the fact that the World Cup happens during summer time when people generally tend to be cheerier than they are in the winter (at least in London that's the case). It brings together friends, happy crowds and gives people something to be excited about. It encourages camaraderie, warmth and unity amongst nations.
In my mind, the World Cup is not just about the football, it's not just about the winning but it's also about bringing people together and sharing the elation of great goals, the sadness when your team gets knocked out and all the rest along the way. It's about team spirit and sharing emotions.
Is it just me or do you also think the World Cup has a certain sense of wonder about it?!