Fanatic (n.): One possessed with extreme zeal or enthusiasm.

23 May 2006


There are a few players I adore not only because they are fine players on the pitch, but have qualities that hold up well off the field, too. Steven Gerrard is first to mind, perhaps because I am still mentally playing back his amazing performance in the FA Cup Finals and his modest post-game interviews. Each of which reaffirms his status as a classy footballer in my eyes. I do hope Sven will use him wisely in the World Cup matches.

Landon Donovan, he is a character, isn’t he? On the field and off, he seems always to be having fun which is what it is all about, no?

Somewhere hidden underneath the youthful excitement of Michael Owen lies an old soul. That is all I care to mention at present, but no worries, I am sure he will be in a post soon enough.

It is rather ironic that someone has quiet and modest as Claudio Reyna should have the nickname “Captain America.” Yes, of course, he is the captain of the men’s team and he does well leading the team on the field, but it is done in such a calm manner that one could hardly suppose that he would ever prance around in a cape pompously exclaiming “I am a superhero and I am here to save you!”

I believe I fell in love with Zinedine Zidane during the 1998 World Cup games. Lest you take this statement lightly, see previous post entitled Lunch with Zidane. I cannot admit to any affection towards his national team, but, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Zizou’s amazing performance in the finals against Brasil. I will truly miss him when he retires after the games, but thankfully, I have video to be replayed.

And for the record, I believe I fell in love with many players in 1998. Michael Owen, Zizou, Brian McBride, David Beckham, and all for quite different reasons.

There are also many more footballers that I am mad about, more about them later.

Personality (n.): the complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual; especially : the totality of an individual's behavioral and emotional characteristics

22 May 2006


Eighteen days. I cannot believe that it is almost here, one glorious month of the world's finest teams on stage, their triumphs and defeats will be etched in the minds of millions for years to come. Four years later and I can still feel the hurt and anguish of seeing the US's defeat in the quarterfinals. I still relish telling the story of the 1934 games when an underdog (aren't they always?) US team defeated England 1-0. A match that occurred long before I was born, but one that gives rise to optimism, hope beating a rhythmic whimsical song within my breast that the truly remarkable can happen.

My daily thoughts and nightly dreams are filled with an unbearable anticipation as each day brings the World Cup closer to fruition. My coworkers, friends, and family must be tired of my daily (sometimes hourly) countdown reminders and nonsensical prattle, but I find it too difficult to suppress my excitement. I've already divised a TiVo schedule and when/where I will view each match; and everyone that may have the pleasure of speaking with me during June and July has been advised not to mention the outcome of any match with full knowledge of the wrath I will bear upon anyone who dares breach this understanding.

Anticipation (n): the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation

Lunch with Zidane

I had the opportunity to have lunch with Zidane
at a café near the zoo
but while walking past the bears I stopped
to chat with Beckham and no sooner had I said adieu,
(if I recall he said cheers)
I nearly bumped into Cafu.
Not being particular towards Brazilians
I begged not one apology but continued
on my way to have lunch with Zidane.

Nearing the lions and tigers I came across Savage,
he was soften-spoken and sweet
so I lingered among the wild beasts
with a man from Wales almost forgetting about my date
(with a quite handsome Frenchman).
The time was nearing for me to eat
So, with a sad heart and rather crooked smile
I begged my apologies as I continued
on my way to have lunch with Zidane.

The zebras’ stripes caught my eye and so I stopped to visit
with many questions in mind to ask
regarding questionable calls by
their pitch counterparts but I bit my tongue thinking of lunch
(a Frenchman first in my mind)
So, forgetting about bad calls
Not to mention flags raised early, still I marched
on my way to have lunch with Zidane.

Hidden among the tulips which covered the exit sign
was my favorite Dutchman
a striker with goals to spare, at least
Van Nistlerooy could steal my heart, eyes and nearly my time
(Manchester United aside)
But I had to find the exit
And could only hope for another encounter
And stated as much in the little time we had
I again begged apologies as I continued
on my way to have lunch with Zidane.

I passed by the penguins and polar bears and pandas
and was nearby the exit
when I was stopped by the sight of McBride
an American with animals at a zoo in Europe?
(bizarre yes, but it’s my story)
So, I left him gathering technique from the seals
As considered that he might be the teacher, I went
on my way to have lunch with Zidane.

As I walked through the gates and started to cross the street
thinking of what I would say
should I mention Korea and Japan or perhaps not?
practicing my French, a perfect football kind of day
(to meet a talented Frenchman)
My thoughts were ahead of me but nay
behind the oncoming bus of Liverpudlians
I fear I have no more apologies offered
I did not chance to have lunch with Zidane.