Appalling lack of futbol culture

By Kris Kotarski

It took a late Wednesday evening complete with beer and futbol to realize that "I am Canadian!" doesn’t fully apply to me. Dual citizenship and all, sometimes I just can’t pull it off.

I was at the Den, it was about
9 p.m. and the semifinals of the Gold Cup were on TV. Canada against the United States-a soccer match where my adopted boys actually had an outside shot.

I didn’t have time to grab my team colours, but I was damn rowdy. I ran into the Den halfway through the first half (more on that later) and the score was still 0–0. A few friends were sitting in a booth, but their beer cups were not full with beer anymore.

A futbol match without a permanently full pint is a travesty.

Being a community minded individual I grabbed a couple of pitchers and placed them on the table. Instead of naked gratitude I got comments like "wow buddy, I don’t know." I was perplexed. Granted, their resistance was all show but it was resistance nevertheless.

I noticed I didn’t get ribbed for being late at all. I came almost 30 minutes into the game but no one even brought it up. I got a "good too see ya" vibe instead of the "why the hell are you late" vibe. That’s not the vibe I expected or the vibe I deserved.

By late in second half I was confused. I had been yelling at the television for an hour now, but seldom did anyone yell with me. Even with that, our booth was by far the rowdiest at the Den and I was the rowdiest at our booth. This is the first time this has ever happened and hopefully the last. There is no way I should be the rowdiest person in a bar. Trust me.

I verbally abused the referee all night-a staple of a good fan. However, most of those around me called the game (and the ref) down the middle. This is a blatant assault on all that I held sacred. The referee, no matter how fair he is, still gets treated like the 12th member of the opposing squad. Yelling at the ref and calling him a moron is a must-there’s no room for respect of authority here.

Canada lost the game on penalty kicks, 4–2 if you’re counting. The next day, only one of those from my booth was visibly deflated by the game. I had a terrible day and there is no doubt in my mind that if Lars saved a couple penalty kicks my day would have been much better.

A couple of friends were talking about the Olympic hockey tournament, arguing over who should start in goal for Canada. I realized I don’t care, they’re gonna lose to the Czechs anyway. Dual citizenship and all, I’m hardly Canadian at all.

Kris Kotarski can be reached

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