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A lot to be said for watching World Cups at home

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"Hup Holland!" ... watching from the right place adds a lot to the experience
"Hup Holland!" ... watching from the right place adds a lot to the experience

It’s a long, long way to South Africa and I am quite well aware that it’s not a trip everybody could make – especially with the boss man trying to figure out where to cut costs. You can’t have people around the office figuring out that the building will not, actually, fall down if you’re not there to hold things together.

So, maybe you couldn’t go to South Africa and support your team in person. I get that.

And I will have to say, being at a World Cup in person is a very special thing. I’ve been lucky enough to cover four of them on site.

Having said all that ….

Let me promise this to you: there is a lot to be said for watching a World Cup from the comforts of your home and / or your local soccer-friendly establishment. You know, enjoying the home field advantage, so to speak.

I’m not just trying to help people feel better here. Read on for the "why ..."

Being at a World Cup on site means getting to just a few matches in almost every case. South Africa is a big country, and the venues are quite formidably spread out. So, you don’t actually get to a lot of matches.

You also miss a lot of matches. Your day is pretty much consumed by the one contest you have circled. Getting to games in South Africa could be a challenge, depending on the venue and how you planned to get there. Suffice to say, it wasn’t exactly "drive to stadium, park, go in."

As you made your way to a match, you might get lucky and find a place where you can watch one of the other contests – but chances are you really aren’t watching the match so much as you’re monitoring it. You know when someone scores, and you can hoot and holler and all when someone scores. But it’s a passive level of viewing, at best.

You miss the commentary that way, too. So, you may see something that you don’t understand. You’ll just have to wait until later to figure out what’s going on.

There are other little issues, too. Security was a big, big issue over there, personal and organizational. I wrote about this in other posts. Bottom line here is that you were somewhat limited in your movement.

Bottom line, being there is a special thing. But I tell people all the time, there really is a lot to be said for soaking up the entire thing in an environment conducive to really focusing on the games.

You can get a lot of the same passion just by watching matches in places of proper support. I was lucky enough to watch the Netherlands first game in person. It was cool, and I’m really happy to have done so. On the other hand, that’s the only Dutch game I could get to, and I really enjoy watching that team play. I had to miss the third group play contest entirely because I was moving around.

I did see the second-round win over Slovakia. In fact, I’m back now and I watched from a local restaurant owned by a Dutch family. So, there was a lot of orange around. And some singing – with a lot of vowels put in strange places to form words that I don’t understand. Good times.

I’m not shining anybody on here.

Go to World Cups if you can. And hit those qualifiers, too. They’re pretty cool in themselves.

But don’t feel too badly if you’re watching from here. A lot of you have seen more matches than I have, I’d bet.