Originally Published: Jul 12, 2010 9:47 AM CDT
I spent the last week or so vacationing in Mexico. We struck up a friendship with a waiter named Roberto. He loved soccer. He always wanted to talk World Cup with me. In fact, everywhere I went it was futbol, futbol, futbol. All TVs tuned to futbol. Soccer jerseys everywhere.
I had no idea about LeBron James’ big “Decision.” Nobody said a word about it in Mexico. It wasn’t on ESPN Deportes. Nothing was, except for soccer.
In fact, coming home Sunday we were in an airport in Mexico watching the World Cup final waiting for our flight home. We were sitting in the middle of a very international crowd. People from all over the world getting ready to take off. All living and dying with each pass, each shot, each yellow card. People yelling at the television. Yelling at each other. Most for Spain, but not all. But seemingly everybody glued to this ultimate battle for futbol supremecy.
Before it was over we boarded our plane full of Americans headed home to American. Then the funniest thing happened. Somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico our captain came over the intercom to announce with great drama, “there is a final in the World Cup...Spain-1, The Netherlands-0!”...silence...nothing. No cheering. No clapping. Nothing! He would’ve gotten a bigger reaction if he had announced they’d changed the in-flight snack from pretzels to peanuts.
I just grinned and thought, “that sums it up perfectly.” To the rest of the world Sunday was the Super Bowl on steroids. To America...it was just another Sunday.