I realize that Spain has won and most Americans either never cared or moved on once the US was eliminated, but I’d like to share the experience of living in Singapore during World Cup.
Since I first went to a movie almost two months ago, I haven’t been able to avoid seeing the following commercial in the previews. I imagine it’s been playing here even longer…no idea how long. (Jim-this is the commercial I was telling you about…turns out the US is in there, but I feel like they’re saying something about us if you look at the exact words/video when they show the US flag).
According to Wikipedia, although Singapore is the #3 ranked Soccer team in Southeast Asia (behind Thailand and Vietnam, if you care), we have not qualified for entry into World Cup even once. So none of the hometown enthusiasm here in Singapore is because they were cheering on the local team.
It doesn’t matter. Every. Single. Bar. showed world cup. Boards outside announced the upcoming matches instead of the nightly drink specials. Time Out Singapore, in the June Issue, talked about which bars were for serious viewers and which ones had casual viewers.
Stores sold t-shirts with the World Cup logo and “support your team” tables (it was hard to not notice a certain lack of USA shirts on these table….Brazil did very well, though). Malls had soccer-related games set up in court yards, as did Clarke Quay. There were also several vendors in the Clarke Quay area selling country themed vuvuzelas (finally, an American flag slapped on something useless–it’s been so long since I’ve seen that).
When Ravi and I decided to go to Sentosa for a date, there in the giant hallway outside the first of the Resort World Casinos…was this
During dinner we would hear the occasional roar, and assume something happened in the game.
It really was crazy, in that other than visits to Europe I have never people get so worked up over a sport that we just don’t care about at home. (Wait until Rugby season, I’ve been told…then go to an Aussie bar and I’ll really get to see people get worked up over a sport Americans don’t care about). From what I’ve heard, the tone in the US was different this time around, but if the CNN polls are any indication, people stopped caring about soccer again the second we were eliminated.
Personally I’m just looking forward to being able to go out without hearing those damn vuvuzelas anymore.
Congrats to Christina, who won the contest! I’ll email you privately.