If I haven't mentioned it before (and I'm almost sure that I have), I love sports and games of all kinds. From ice hockey to Risk, I'm always willing to go play most anything. Because of this inherent passion of mine, I'm also always on the lookout for the next major sporting event that I can sink my teeth into. Even if it's a game I’m not usually particularly passionate about - I'm eager to sit down, and start cheering for a side.
This summer is particularly exciting for me because the Euro Cup 2012 will be happening from June 8 through July 1, which is the second largest soccer event in the world, just behind the world cup. It’s an entire month of top-tier international competition - so naturally, I couldn't be happier. The tournament occurs every four years between the highest-ranked teams in Europe, which means that you're dealing with the majority of the greatest national teams in the world. This year, the Euro is being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
I've been looking forward to this championship since the World Cup ended in 2010, so when the opening day games kicked off, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, the time difference between the U.S. and Eastern Europe means that most of the matches occur during the middle of the work day, so I have to listen to, or follow, the games online at work. However, this is much better than the regular season when games are on Saturday mornings at 6 A.M. EST, only a good stiff cup of coffee will keep your interest from lagging. Now on the weekends you’ll find me in a bar or pub flailing my arms and cheering at the television with whomever else happens to be around in the early afternoons.
There are usually never many people with whom to share my enthusiasm for watching soccer in particular (this is the state of soccer fandom in America, after all), but since starting my job here at Green Mountain Coffee® a few months ago I’ve been astounded at the number of people, like me, who are into sports of all kinds. It gives me an outlet to vent my frustrations or joy at recent outcomes, so I don’t have to bottle them up, which means that eventually they get unleashed on some poor unsuspecting soul. Thankfully, the other day I also managed to find a couple of German tourists who were intently watching as their national team battled Portugal. I'm personally a big fan of Germany's youthful energy and powerful players, so I sat down next to them and we began talking about the match.
Within a half hour or so, we’d become fast friends and were sharing our predictions about which teams we thought would advance, which players we thought were overrated and our past memories of watching the Euro.
If there was ever proof of how mutual passions, like watching the Euro Cup, can bring people of vastly different backgrounds together, this was it. Germany won the match and we agreed to meet up the next day at the same bar to watch Spain vs. Italy.