Monday, February 4, 2008

Where were you?

As we prepare for another U.S.-Mexico match, just wondering where you were in 2002 when the historic World Cup game was played.

I was in Kobe, Japan. It was quite a few hours before the start of Brazil-Belgium, which I was slated to cover. I didn't have enough funds to get over to South Korea and already had agreed to cover the knockout games in Japan. So I watched it on TV like millions of others. However, it was the afternoon for me and not the middle of the night so I didn't have the trouble of staying awake.

I remember the big story among the journalists who watched the game (mostly Europeans) was the cards handed out by Victor Melo, whom I quickly learned was nicknamed Melo Yellow. There were quite a few cards handed out that day.

Anyway, if you wanted to take a stroll down that lane feel free to share your thoughts.



I dragged myself out of bed, had the VCR programmed to record, and then I witnessed history: a typical, cocky Mexican squad get smacked by a team of overacheiving Americans on the world stage. Beautiful.
Cobi Jones still owes Rafa Marquez for that brutal head shot. Bastard.

El Güero said...

Guadalajara, Mexico!

Was on a Study Abroad that summer, lived in Zapopan and went to my professor's hotel for the 2:30 am kickoff.

Had to pass through the Glorieta Minerva on the way there, the masses were gathered to listen on the radio. They saw me in the taxi and started yelling and throwing stuff at us. Taxi driver just laughed.

derek said...

I was in Negril, Jamaica for my wedding. I watched the game in a rec room at the hotel with a handful of Jamaicans. When I asked them who they wanted to win, they told me "the U.S. - we root for anyone playing against Mexico."

mosler said...

Hyatt Regency, Kauai on my honeymoon. I had made very elaborate plans back home for folks to tape all the WC games I was missing and had agreed that I wouldn't be following the news for the week.

When I got out of the shower, I turned on the TV just to kill some time and it was just halftime of the US v. mexico match.

My wife allowed that I could watch the second half. What a woman :-D

That was indeed the only tv we watched. I didn't even tune in for the Germany game.

Toddzilla said...

I was in Indonesia for some humanitarian work, and since it was in a similar time zone as the tournament, I got to see the matches at a very convenient time.

Although I had gone to a World Cup '94 game (Germany v. South Korea, with thousands of Germans chanting "Klinsmann"), I hadn't followed the sport at all until seeing the US in 2002. I've been hooked ever since.

Toddzilla said...

I should add that I have no soccer-watching plans for my honeymoon this June...

Anonymous said...

Sitting on the couch in a sleepy suburb of LA. When the US scored the second goal you could hear cheers ring out from neighboring houses in the pre-dawn quiet. Awesome.

CACuzcatlan said...

I am ashamed to say that I have no idea where I was, but it was not watching the game. Actually, I do have an idea, I was probably sleeping.

I have no idea what happened to me during that World Cup. It started out so well, waking up before sunrise and driving my mom to my Godparents house where we all watched the games. I remember Senegal beating France in the opener. We continued like that probably till the end of the group stages. But I don't know why I didn't pay that much attention afterwards. I remember hearing that the U.S. beat Mexico, but that was the first I had heard of the game. I didn't even follow up with that much anticipation.

I don't recall any catastrophic event that distracted me. To this day I regret my lack of interest. Never Again! I am now a soccer junkie. I follow it more closely now than ever before. I was on top of everything during WC 2006 and so it will be until I die.

Gene said...

My wife, our two daughters and I were sitting (standing) thirty rows above Rafa's assault on Cobi in Jeonju.

I remember walking into my then 16 and 11 year old daughters' hotel room in Deojeon the next day to find them laying on the bed two feet from the television. The two of them were watching a Korean replay of the match and were still cheering the USA at the top of their lungs.

FC Uptown said...

Watched in a tiny studio apartment in the dark in Dallas in disbelief. The ex fiancee had banned sports from the tv in favor of "Crossing Over" with John Edwards and the like, and she had just hit the curb. With my new dog from Operation Kindness we stayed up and ate slim jims and watched a sports event unlike any other I had seen. I remember thinking "even if we lose, I love watching sports again...and hanging out with my dog.." Then we won, which was great.

Jaime Cárdenas said...

I was in Tijuana. Where else. I watched in alone in a room in my parents home. I was going to go out and watched it at a bar with some friends, but after further consideration (and a lot of pleading from my mother) I watched at home instead. Looking back on it that was a wise decision. I'm a supporter of the USMNT and would have easily gotten into some fights. My mother, father and brother watched the game in a different room. They didn't want to watch the game with me. :( I had the last laugh, though, as the U.S. won. I am convinced that id it hadn't been for Oliver Kahn that the U.S. would have made it to the finals that year.

JT (Chicago) said...

Every time, I dread watching the US play Mexico. I almost always say I hope it ends in a draw and nobody gets hurt. However, this was my worst nightmare, a match that couldn't end in a draw and a World Cup match, at that! Somebody had to win to advance.

I woke up early, watched the match at home, cringing all the way, just hoping it would end before a full scale brawl happened.

Then I went to work and guys who never cared about soccer one day in their lives came over to gloat that the US beat Mexico. When I stepped out of my cubicle, somebody put a noose around my mini-Chiva's neck & hung him from my desk lamp.

DanR said...

I was in Jeonju at the stadium. It happened in a round about way. I am a professor at the University of Tennessee and my first graduate student is Korean. After he got his job back in his home country (in Jeonju of all places) he invited me for a research visit that just happened to coincide with the World Cup. We had originally intended just to see the USA-Poland game (disappointing), but when the US made the second round, he was found someone who would sell their tickets to us.

My wife and I were sitting behind the goal when Donovan put alway his header. I remember the USA fans singing "Adios Amigos."

What a memory.