By Scotty C. the Intern
As the first of several Guinness went down, expectations went up for what would turn out to be a terrific World Cup final. The pub, Ryan’s Irish in Manhattan’s East Village, was one-sided in favor of Italy, so I figured, why not root for the French—an un-American thing to do these days. The atmosphere was crazy, especially if you were a waitress fighting through the crowd. We were perhaps a hundred out of a billion drunk people throughout the world–a huge party connected through the television screen.
Not only did the pub atmosphere provide the next best thing to being there, but the game and the broadcast lived up to expectations too. The oft-criticized Dave O’Brien turned in his best broadcast of the Cup, perhaps due to the fact that I couldn’t hear a word he was saying. The Ryan’s crowd cheered and jeered long and loud, from their questioning of Zinedine Zidane's penalty kick, to Italy’s first goal. People applauded out of respect when players came off the field, and laughed when Thierry Henry got a dose of smelling salts. One of the best moments came when President Clinton was shown on camera, the pub exploding in cheers.
After the second overtime, the tension mounted. It quickly transformed to joy, at least for most of us, when Italy won the shootout.
The whole World Cup experience was too much fun, and I hope this will be the tournament that gets America interested in the world’s sport. Wishful thinking, but one can dream. See you in 2010.