Football Fever Returns

For three years, the opportunities to follow live soccer matches week-in, week-out were few and very, very far between. Soccer can be considered child’s play to Americans, what with their own ‘big 4’ — American football, baseball, ice hockey and basketball — dominating the sport channels. But in this awesome spring in Michigan, I’m savoring live matches of Euro 2008. Even better, they’re not in the dead of night in Singapore time, but on breezy afternoons where heavy eyelids don’t threaten to get you ‘sent off’ to your bed.

The quarter finals have been particularly scintillating. Mouth-watering five (!) goals for the Portugal/Germany match, and big favorites the Dutch getting their orange butts kicked by the Russians, whom were appearing in the quarterfinals for the first time since the fall of the USSR. Sadly I missed both the Turkey/Croatia thriller and the Red Army’s demolition of the Dutch. Then when I find the time to watch a match proper, Spain and Italy disappoint with a boring 0-0 display.

That said, the setup for the semi-finals is beyond most people’s wildest imagination. An underdog could go all the way (like Greece did four years ago), or it could be an old-timer stamping his foot on the grass. I’m already looking forward to the next match.

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