My First World Cup

I’m not a huge football / soccer fan, but I did watch some of this years World Cup. I enjoyed the final yesterday, even though I find the overtime shoot outs a strange way to settle a close contest.

I did have occasion to watch the 1970 World Cup final on TV. I was eight years old and visiting my great grandmother and the rest of the family in Sicily. One evening people slowly gathered in my great-grandmothers living room. There was a small black and white TV set in the corner, on a stand of some sort, facing the wall, unplugged. I hadn’t even noticed it until now. My cousin turned it around, plugged it in, and turned it on. Everyone was there to watch Italy vs Brazil in the finals.

It was a raucous time, but I couldn’t really see the TV well and probably wouldn’t have understood what was going on anyway. But everyone else seemed to enjoy the game.

After the game was over, everyone took to the streets in celebration. I remember a car with a sunroof, perhaps a VW or a Fiat going up and down the streets flying the Italian flag, horn honking. I had to ask my cousin: didn’t Italy lose? Well, yes, but they did so well! I couldn’t argue with that.

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