I often find myself in situations where someone will start talking to me about sports, as if I know anything about them or have any vague interest whatsoever. At these times, my brain's self-defense mechanism usually kicks in and my face dons a suitable blank stare whilst my mind tries desperately to comprehend words that bear strong resemblance to a foreign language. It's similar to when someone starts talking to me about finance or mathematics. I wholeheartedly admit that much of this difficulty is a direct result of my not having the desire to focus or comprehend. I'm a pretty smart lady and know I probably could if I felt so inclined. But my brain hurts and I want to frolic in a field of unicorns instead. This is also partly because while I am rather fluent in fantasy-speak, using words and making references to pirates or hobbits or sprites, sports-speak is just not my forte.
That being said, duh... The World Cup is currently taking place and I am in a European city that cares. This in and of itself can be infectious, not to mention the fact that I enjoy socializing and getting into the spirit of festivity almost no matter what the reason. Most of my friends played sports when I was growing up and I went to games that I could even find enjoyable! Usually of course when chatting with friends and paying very little attention to things like score or skill or rules or players. When watching things like baseball or football I really can't be held responsible. However, things like real football, basketball, and hockey allow my ADD-fantasy-brain to focus just long enough to be inspired by the enthusiasm! Look, he kicked something or threw something and now they have more points, huzzah! As I got older and learned the ways of the liquor, the idea of live games because even more thrilling. People in costumes running around, drinking some alcohol, team spirit and all that. Frankly, if I could watch a live Quidditch match and see sports played on broomsticks I think I would really be a fan! And it's thanks to Quidditch and J.K. Rowling that I understand why teams that didn't win games were progressing in the World Cup at the beginning.
All ranting aside, I have now watched more than one World Cup game in the past couple of weeks. I saw two team France games, one with a Scottish friend and one with a French friend. And last night I went to an American bar with some French guys to watch the U.S. festivities. The bar was in fact called "The Frog and Princess" so clearly the metaphor was rather appropriate (sports=frog, I=princess, just to be abundantly clear...) I had a beer and cheered my kinfolk and rolled my eyes at the American wandering the bar with a U.S. flag draped as if a cape down his back. I also rolled my eyes at the young American girls who were way too enthusiastic about sports while blatantly wearing slutty outfits in the wrong environment. Learn your costumes, ladies, learn your damn costumes. Regardless, I will say without too much chagrin that it was a jolly good time! I had to hop on the metro before I saw the U.S. team lose to Belgium in the end, but they fought hard, they fought proud, and I bequeath to them my good will. I may not ever be fluent in sports, but when in Rome... I will happily wear a toga and call myself Venus.