Like a kid in a candy store, once every four years I turn into the reclusive eccentric soccer aficionado that scours the internet looking for TV schedules of games, loads every World Cup app to his iPod, memorizes all 23 players from each of the 32 teams, and dreams in exuberant fan celebrations and amazing goals.
Today is June 11, the start of the best month in sports. I've picked my favorite teams to win it all and to start off the month of celebration Amber and I are having an authentic South African barbecue.
This World Cup is particularly meaningful as in 2006, Amber and I lived in East London, South Africa (a small city of 100,000) while I worked with the Eastern Cape Province Department of Health. It was a great experience and we both shed a lot of tears when we said goodbye to friends. Four years later the World Cup is in South Africa and I am excited yet deeply saddened that I will not be there. You see, two years ago I purchased group stage tickets to the World Cup with the expectation that I would travel back to South Africa. Unfortunately, when I received my dental school schedule last fall I noticed that classes went to July 3rd. Booooo!!!!!! Two weeks after I sold my tickets UK changed the class schedule and I would finish on Monday, June 14th...Aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! I am still quite mad that I won't be there to see any of the games, but I am grateful for Amber who puts up with my enthusiasm for soccer.
I hope that for all my fellow soccer nuts that all your soccer wishes come true and when everything is all said and done that you have at least partied once or twice like these Xhosa women below.