Today the USA soccer team played Germany in their third World Cup tournament pool game, which determined whether the Americans would go home or proceed to the next round.
In the United States soccer doesn't have as many fans as other professional sports, but Sunday night's game against Portugal broke a TV watching record. St. Louis, where I live, has a rich soccer history; according to Wikipedia every U.S. team in World Cup history has included at least one St. Louisan on its roster. Many area churches have CYC youth teams, there are dozens of select teams available, and the indoor fields are doing a booming business with youngsters, teens, and adults.
Today's game very conveniently started at 11:00, when many people were eating lunch--or could take a longer-than-usual break. Right at 10:00 I had someone asking where they'd be showing the game. I checked with the sit down restaurants, who all said they'd have it on in the bar area. (Later I heard that a couple of the stores were also streaming the game.)
At this time of year the mall isn't busy when the stores open, but usually foot traffic quickly picks up. Not today. The shoppers strolling by were few and far between. As one woman told me when she came up to ask about viewing opportunities, this game was "a matter of national pride". Although I didn't watch the game at the Customer Service desk, I had a browser tab open, and updated it on a regular basis so I could keep up with the score. All in the interest of customer service, of course!
There were all types of scenarios under which the USA team could move on, so even though they lost today there will be another game. They'll play Belgium next Tuesday at 3:00. I'll be at work again. Wonder how many people will be in the mall?
Five years ago today: Be Cool