Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A period of mourning.

I walk with no skip in my step, my head hangs a low, my eyes are dull and lifeless, I can barely muster a half-smile... The FIFA World Cup 2014 has ended.  *sigh************* And stupid Germany won.  Whatever, they kicked butt and were a very strong, well organized, and disciplined team.  Part of me feels like Germany shouldn't be allowed to win anything for at least a few more centuries.  I guess they have to prove they can win World Cups since they can't win World Wars.  BOOM!  

I'm in mourning.  

For the better part of four years I waited for World Cup 2014 Brazil.  I talked about it with every foreigner I encountered(lets face it, Americans don't know shit), I dreamed of going to Brazil for the event, and a few months prior I began counting down the days.  I was pre-obsessed in preparation for the true obsession that I knew would take over once the matches began.

Out of the 64 matches, I think I missed two or three.  Sure a lot of them I wasn't able to fully watch, but you better believe they were on the televisions at work.  I spent two weeks of absolutely gorgeous summer days indoors, watching three games in a row during group stage.  In fact when group stage was over and there was a day off, it was strange, I felt lost.  

From the beginning I found myself very emotionally connected to the Colombian team; to this day and for the rest of my life, I will feel emotionally connected to Colombia.  In a country so conflicted as Colombia, soccer is the one thing they all agree on.  The Colombian team went further in the tournament than ever before and one of their young players received the honor of the Golden Boot, having scored the most goals of any individual player in the tournament.  Not bad for a team that went out in quarter-finals.  I cried when Colombia scored their first goal and I cried when they exited the tournament, heads held high.

Another team I ached to see do well was, of course, the formidable and famous footballers of Brazil.  Who wouldn't want to see the home team win a World Cup?!?  But destiny had other plans and Brazil exited the tournament with their worst loss ever.  The 7-1 lashing by the Germans was the only game I deliberately turned off.  Some things are too painful to watch, and being able to literally watch dreams of players and fans alike be crushed in such a ruthless manner was rough.  It was one of those moments that made me very glad I had chosen to not go to Brazil for the tournament. 

As the knockout rounds left fewer and fewer teams, my obsession with each team, each game grew that much stronger.  With fewer teams and games to enjoy, I found myself practically talking to strangers about the tournament.  In the final I was able to watch Argentina, another team I was pulling for, but they couldn't hang on long enough and lost to Germany to accept second place.  And then the mourning began.

I'm not sad that Germany won(sort of not sad), I'm not sad about any one thing in particular.  I'm just sad that it's over.  The anticipation, the excitement, the anxiety of extra time and penalty kicks, the needless obsessing, the Uruguayan biting, the players' goal celebrations, the face painting, the Spanish speaking announcers screaming "Gooooooooooooool!", the emotion, the love, the beautiful game.  *sigh, again*  

I feel like a part of me is gone.  I find myself scouring YouTube and fifa.com for videos, interviews, articles.  I even was on Wikipedia looking up historical facts about the tournament and current player statistics.  It's not the same, but hopefully it can ease the pain of withdrawal.  Even while writing this, I went back and forth to YouTube at least six times to watch goal scoring videos and player interviews...

I will get through this hard time in my life.  It hopefully won't take too long to recover from Post-World-Cup Depression, or as I call it PWCD.  The countdown to Russia 2018 begins today.