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First game of the World Cup Series and it's world champs France vs. Senegal.
Senegal? Who the hell is Senegal? They're an omen of things to come, that's who, underdogs who beat the world champs in the opening game. No cheerleaders, no mascots, not commercial interruptions, no endless statistics brought on screen with 3D graphics and industrial sound effects, just non-stop sport.
And what a fuckin' sport! South Korea playing at home, their first time hosting World Cup, massive crowds of Korean fans, every single person in red shirts, a SEA of red fans, chanting and banging drums as if in a ceremony to summon some ancient soccer god, who apparently manifested itself in their team, underdogs by everyone's standards, beats Poland 2-0 in their first ever World Cup victory. The red sea churns, flags the size of entire sections are passed around the stadium like the wave, incredible.
Then this morning it's the U.S. vs. Portugal, Portugal one of the top 10 teams on the earth, the U.S. the Rodney Dangerfields of world soccer, but by the half the U.S. is up 3-0. Portugal battles back to 3-2, but it's too late and the U.S. fans, nicknamed Sam's Army, painted red, white and blue, are going crazy in the stands, chanting "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye."
Nike had an ad a few years back that said something like "In my version of football I don't have to beat just the teams from the other states. I have to beat every team from every country in the entire world."
So now the U.S. has to beat South Korea at home in that sea of blood red, chanting fans, and massive Korean flags, Monday, June 10, at 2:30 a.m. EST. You can catch the game on ESPN2 or Univision. The full schedule is online, including TV times, at
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