One of the best nights of my life was spent in a pub in Paris, watching France take on rivals England in the 2004 UEFA European Football Championships.
Zinedine Zidane scored two goals in the final two minutes to give France the 2-1 victory, making the drunkest group of French people I’d ever encountered one of the happiest group of people I’d ever seen on earth.
Until that moment, either because of my discomfort in being in that foreign place, or because of my limited French-speaking skills, I’d avoided trying to converse with the locals. That night, though, I was hugging, high fiving, cheering, screaming, and singing with every person in the bar.
To be honest, I had no idea what the hell I was watching, and to be even more honest, I still don’t have the best grasp on what will get you a yellow card, or a penalty kick, or why or how the officials determine how much penalty time ends up on the clock after regulation expires. I do know this, though; the excitement in the bar that night equalled, if not exceeded even the most intense gathering of SEC football fans I’ve ever seen in a public place.
The 2010 World Cup kicks off officially on Thursday, and I know that World Cup soccer isn’t in any danger of overtaking Razorback football as the most popular game in town, but I also know that there are pockets of folks who really get into the World Cup locally.
My question is, do you watch the World Cup, and if so, where’s a good place to drain a pint and watch a bit of football in Fayetteville?