Oh yes. The tradition is back.
First of, in this blog, soccer will be called by its proper name of football.Â Thank you.
You know, I’m not an all-the-time football fan.Â But every time the Olympics and the World Cup come around, I’m all into it all over again.
It’s a family tradition that I just can’t shake.
Having grown up with 2 older brothers, it’s not difficult to get roped into the spirit of all of the teams.Â Frankly, I remember watching enough games but I still don’t know who’s who.Â All I know is that since Sunday’s color is red in Thai tradition, my oldest brother claimed it Liverpool Day and we, including our cousins, were thereby demanded to wear red.
My dad, mom, and oldest brother were all educated in England. Naturally, as a household–except for mom who didn’t do sports–we always root for the English.Â My oldest brother’s team of choice after that is Germany for its well known precision.Â My older brother was all about Brazil. And then it’s everyone’s next favorite team, Italy.Â And these are the four teams I root for consistently every 4 years.
With all of that football love in my household, however I personally never own a football jersey.Â My mom wouldn’t let me have one because “girls don’t wear football jerseys”.Â I couldn’t even get the hand-me-down from my brothers!Â My brothers would wear matching jerseys when we went out for Sunday supper.Â Say, if it was French food we’re going for that evening, the boys would put on France jerseys and Italy for Italian food.Â This, obviously, illicit a lot of smiles.Â Not to be left out, I would try to dress myself to match the jerseys as well.Â I distinctly remember one outfit of white with accents of blue and red for the French jersey.Â Hey, I tried!
So, recently, I just bought myself an Italian jersey, albeit cheap and cheesy from Target and my Italian coworker’s snickering at it.Â One childhood depravity fulfilled. Woohoo!
This year, I have 2 coworkers who are even more into the World Cup as I am, the Italian and the Armenian.Â I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere of “An Italian, an Armenian, and a Thai walk into a bar…” And that’s what we’ve been doing 4 out of 5 days last week, running into Casey’s in Downtown LA at lunch to watch the game with a VERY enthusiastic crowd.
They’re my surrogate football brothers. And I love them for it.
Back in 2006, there was just me in the office with the occasional glances from other coworkers.Â But it wasn’t like this year.
Looking back further into my June/July 2006 posts to see what all I’ve said about the World Cup then, instead, I found my posts about my mom’s stroke.Â It was hard to read.Â There I was, mixing the tragedy of mom’s stroke with the World Cup and other daily life nonsense.Â I didn’t know then the horrible effect the stroke would have on my mom. She was in such great spirit.Â I also didn’t know then that the stroke would be what would eventually take her from us. Otherwise I wouldn’t have made such light of everything.
Funny how in hindsight you find all these odds and ends.
So, today, in celebration of my family and a little piece of memory of my mother, I’m going to go out there and enjoy my World Cup fever as I have been doing all week.Â With the distance between myself and my family nowadays, there are a few things that keep us together.Â World Cup watching being one of them.