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Sunday, June 11, 2006

The highlight, without a doubt, of my World Cup opening weekend, was the two hours spent at Sugarcane on Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. Around 2 pm EST on Saturday, the scene spilling out onto Flatbush was unreal. The voices in and around the bar soared, the music thumped and a flashflood of joy spilled out onto the avenue, nearly stopping traffic. The Soca Warriors of Trindad & Tobago had conquered the Swedes.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Brooklyn's got your back.

The cause for all the celbration? A 0-0 tie. Such is the way in soccer. A scoreless tie can bring forth the grandest of emotions. For a team with odds of 750-1, making their first appearance ever in the World Cup, a sister-kisser with the Swedes is the equivalent of a championship. And this particular bombshell was formidably felt on Flatbush.

Before the match had begun, it was difficult to determine who to root for based solely on the limited research I had done:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Tough choice.

According to that, things seemed pretty even. But by the start of the 2nd half, the six foot blonde (and clear Swede) at the far end of the Sugarcane bar was singing right along with the Soca Warrior fans of T&T. It was clear what side to cheer for. This was the exact cultural passion punch I spoke of a couple of days ago, the one I had hoped to find. And oh did I find it, right there on Flatbush. At one point, someone behind the bar accidently kicked a cord and the audio went out, but the throng quickly filled the void, packing the air with the joyful song of the island nation's pride and joy. Clearly, we had a better time than those silly Swedes at Good World Bar, who inspired my favorite caption of the Cup thus far, "Swedish hipsters in dissary", courtesy of the NYT.

Needless to say, the T&T Soca Warriors are here, and they aren't just saying thank you and going home. Their former colonial lords, England, are next up, this coming Thursday. It should be interesting.

Speaking of England, WTF?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting 'That's using Paraguay's head!'

I didn't get out of bed soon enough to get out for the England/Paraguay match Saturday morning , but I apparently didn't miss much. My English friends even said it was a "shit match", which is why I believe Thursday's pairing against the Warriors may be interesting. I may have to sneak out of work and make my way back to Sugarcane for that one. Tomorrow, I'll try and creep out to catch some of the US/Czech match. And next weekend, I'll be at the Bohemien Beer Garden in Queens for a Group E doubleheader of Czech/Ghana and USA/Italy.

And for those of you who are looking for the good old DAYS, don't worry, I'll be sure to take some time to insult George W. Bush this week as well. But sometimes, diplomacy is best served on the pitch.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Minority (underdog) Rules.

Official: Soca Warriors
Bondy: Hooligans No More
Back Row: Why Am I Proud? and Group C Steals the Show
NYT: World Cup Tests Iranians' Ability to Have Fun in Public

thanks. vagosex
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