Instead of working on my proposal for NASA’s Mars Fundamental Research Program, I just sat on my hotel-room bed and watched half an hour of soccer on ESPN 2. I have no idea why I turned on the TV, but I needed to take out my contacts, so I flicked it on as I walked past. When I saw the soccer field, I left it there. When I saw who was playing, I sat down. You see, it wasn’t just any soccer, but the US playing Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederation’s Cup. When I turned it on, the US was up 1-0. What made me stop everything and glue my eyes to the screen was that the announcer informed us that Spain is the #1 ranked team in the world. The final score: US 2, Spain 0. Yeah, our national team just broke Spain’s 15-game winning streak (and 35-game unbeaten streak). Spain hadn’t lost since 2006. The announcer said that the US has come in 3rd in this tournament a couple of times, but never made it to the finals. Way cool. We were clearly outplayed most of the game, with Spain constantly stealing passes and pressuring our goalie. He had some incredible saves and our defenders made innumerable headers to clear the barrage of crossing volleys. The US team was solid, though, and attacked just enough to get a second goal with 15 minutes left and help seal the victory. Spain kept pressuring in a rabid fury of shots on goal, but we held them off. Oh yeah, and one of our players got a red card with under 10 minutes left, so we were down a man at the end. Spain couldn’t break through, though. I was on the edge of my seat. Soccer is a great sport.
The contacts are out now, and I guess I should get back to my MFRP proposal, but it’s 11 pm and I’m not up for thinking that hard.
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