The pictures and video above are from a 2010 World Cup game which took place at 3:30AM on a TUESDAY night (Korea vs. Nigeria). Yes, there were thousands upon thousands of people gathered together at 3:30 AM to watch a soccer game outside. Not only that, but there were concerts (very famous Korean bands), dancers, cheerleaders, fireworks, everyone wearing the same colors, etc. Every time there was a game, kids at school were wearing jerseys to show support, and a lot had temporary tattoos painted on as well. I was getting shout outs from random Koreans on the street when they saw me wearing my colors. It was an amazing experience but believe it or not, it wasn’t the best one I had here. Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of experiencing one of the best sports atmospheres I’ll ever be a part of in my life.
The World Cup fever over here was out of control and I was all aboard the Korean bandwagon. Despite the rain, stadiums, Seoul Plaza, parks, and other venues throughout the country were filled to the brim with people to watch a game that would bring them to the quarterfinals. Although they lost, the atmosphere was amazing and the game was VERY exciting itself. All lead to a memorable night.
Somewhere over the past 6 years, I started becoming very apathetic towards caring about whether a team I like/liked won or lost. I recently realized that since August 2004, I have spent as many days outside of the United States as I have inside of it, so my ability to watch sports has been limited. Thus, my fandom has declined and I could really care less. Plus, I never cared about soccer.
But living in and loving life in Korea, I was really gunning for them to do well. A South Korea win, and a US win over Ghana, would have pitted those two teams against each other in what would have no doubt been an even more epic night. I guess I’ll never know what that night would’ve been like, but I am happy I got to experience the 4 other games which are well fun, whether they won or lost. I guess I’ll go back to my usual apathetic self, but I hope someday comes where I get a similar experience to the one I had the other night, only this time I hope my team wins. FIGHTING!
(minus points for drinking a little too much in front of my coworkers. Whoops. Oh well, it's happened before!)
World Cup Madness Part 1