World Cup Fever

Red Devil EXPLOSION!

 

WORLD CUP FEVER

   Shouting Korea

I’m ashamed to admit this.. but.. I’ve never really watched or followed a World Cup before. This is my first taste of World Cup Fever. I’ve watched over 10 games in 5 days (some willingly, some by the force of Farrow). I’ve arguably watched more soccer games in the last few days then I have in the last 10 years combined. I grew up playing soccer like it was all that mattered in life, but ironically enough never watched it on TV & never supported a team.. until now, Let’s Go Red Devils! & of course the mighty U.S.A.! Maybe it’s Koera’s insane patriotism that’s getting to me, or the fact that every morning I wake up and look at a World Cup Stadium from my window, or because quite frankly the World Cup is pretty awesome. 

Game #1. Korea vs. Greece. Last Saturday thousands of Koreans (with a nice handful of foreigners) took over Ulsan for a few hours. A stage was set up outside with giant screens displaying the game in a sea of rowdy fans all sporting their red devil horns. Fireworks were shot off when both goals were scored and the crowd went crazy. I stood back just soaking up the electrifying atmosphere & thinking… so this is what World Cup should be like!

Red, White & Blue!

Teaching here with so many others gives us the unique opportunity to watch all of the games with the crazed fans of the country. Which makes matches ten times more entertaining. You can imagine the chants & banter when South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, Brits & Americans all crowd into the same bar. We all powered through the 3:30 am kick off time for the England vs. America game and stumbled home drunk and red-eyed at a very bright hour of 6:00am. Crazy Night? Very. 

Game #2. Korea vs. Argentina. Ulsan World Cup Stadium opened its gates to thousands (20,000 give or take) of fans as we all took our seats and watched the game on the stadium’s mega screen. Koreans are crazy about World Cup. When their goalie makes an average save you’d think they just scored the game winning goal. Fists pumping, horns blowing, loud sirens, red flares, and the chant  “DAE HAN MIN GUK” echoing across the stadium, city, and country.

As Night Turns to Day..

Game #3 Korea vs. Nigeria. The big game that decided who would advance to the next round of play. It aired here at…. 3:30am, not that it made any difference to Koreans. I had no set plan to wake up at such a ridiculous hour (& on a school day!) But, when Rhys’s alarm went off I could hear our neighbors chanting “SHOTS,SHOTS, SHOTS…” & the stadium across the road was filling our apartment with sounds of horns, cheers, and drumming. No exaggeration, it sounded like the stands were in our room. After waking up to all of that, I’d really be a loser if I didn’t drag myself out of bed and throw on my Red Devil jersey. Plus, I didn’t really have a choice I’d only spend the next 3 hours laying in bed cursing at all the noise makers outside. If you can’t beat em’, might as well join em’! Walking over to the 2002 World Cup stadium with mugs of coffee and not mugs of beer didn’t really seem right. The stands were filled with drunk, fried chicken loving crazy ass University students. How I miss those days, when that was also my title. But, as expected the game kept us jumping up and down, up and down, high-fiving everyone around us, cheering, dancing, and chanting along with all the other crazy World Cup fans. Watching the stadium come alive and the game progress as it went from total darkness to daylight was definitely a first for me!  

I thought I was one of the only crazies who woke up to watch the big Korea game. Yea, right. At least half of all my classes snoozed & drooled through my lesson and even my OLD co-teacher told me she set her alarm at 3am to get up and cheer on her Red Devils. I’m convinced the entire country was awake & buzzing from 3-6am. 

 Let’s Go Red Devils!
대 한 민국

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