World Cup

In 1990, I was in Europe doing campus ministry work. An American college group was in Austria for a two week mission trip, and I went with them. After the mission was over, they took an extra week and went into Italy to do some sight-seeing, and I went with them.
We arrived in Venice in the evening. It happened to be in the middle of the World Cut finals – Italy vs. Germany. As we strolled through the completely deserted streets of Venice we heard only the sounds of the World Cut wafting out of the open windows of house after house after house. It was so odd to have the city to ourselves, for all practical purposes, as the natives sat in their living rooms cheering on Team Italia.
Today, the first day of another World Cup, it is fun seeing people all dressed up in team regalia walking the streets of New York. For most Americans, this is a non-event. For most of the rest of the world, it’s the biggest thing ever. Of course, most of the people dressed in team colors and insignia are probably not American. Living in a truly international city gives me (us) the ability to at least vicariously and to a far more limited extent experience the international frenzy and excitement that is the World Cup.