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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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The World Cup

Uploaded: Jun 21, 2014
When my husband and I first started dating, I told my parents a few key facts about him - one being that he loved soccer. Although I've known about his passion for watching soccer from day 1, I never enjoyed it...until now.

We've agreed that he can watch as many hours of soccer as he wants... as long as my son joins him. So far, the arrangement has worked out great. My husband and son get extra time to bond. And I get more time to relax. It's a win-win.

I hope my husband keeps this tradition going during the next World Cup when my son should have a much better grasp of the game. At the moment he understands that the teams want to kick the ball and score goals. I can only imagine the difference four years will make.

Do you have a sports-loving spouse? If so, does he/she watch the sport with your children? Do you watch the games as a family? How do you handle childcare during sporting events?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Sally, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I love the passion of the fans in soccer, but I don't like the game, itself. It is boring kickball. The fans are nationalistic, and full of chants and songs. But the game puts me to sleep. I will take baseball, because any given pitch is potential goal (uh... I mean run!)

My husband likes NFL football and soccer, but he and his friends are usually too drunk to appreciate the games. But they get up on Monday morning and kick butt at work. It works for me.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Sally - Thank you for reading and commenting! Do you get a break while your husband enjoys football and soccer? I don't enjoy watching most sports on TV, I find it more enjoyable to go to the games (occasionally) in person.

Posted by Sally, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

Cheryl, I usually take a break. He and his buddies mostly like to drink, bond in man ways, scream for a goal, cuss the weakness of weak attacks, etc. I married him because he is an old-fashion 'real man', and GIB, which is what I wanted. I got it, and I am not complaining. I even watch the game, if there is something dramatic about to happen, but soccer is just so boring most of the time.

In the meantime, GO USA!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Sally - Great to hear that you are able to take a break while he watches the games. And great that you get to enjoy the more dramatic moments of the games.

Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Alto High School,
on Jun 22, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Our family is totally captivated by the World Cup and as for boring, we have seen some excellent games even though the score may be low.

This afternoon's USA game was gripping and now we are all looking forward to USA Germany and hoping for a win, but a draw will do to get into the next round. How exciting that game will be!!!

As for the World Cup, how interesting to see how national teams are formed from players who may regularly be playing side by side with opponents in countries all over the world. We have looked at world maps to see where some of these obscure countries are and where all the players normally play. Quite a geography lesson. Then, looking at all the permutations to see whether a win or draw will take what teams through makes all the games in all the groups very interesting. Lots of reasons why each family member supports different teams, particularly as different members catch different games.

Unlike other international sporting events, the Olympics in particular, the USA team has the same number of people on the team as all the others which makes for a great equalizer. When comparing medals tables, USA will almost always come out near the top because of the size of the population and the number of sports they are able to participate in. As the two teams on the pitch in a soccer game have the same number of players, and all countries start off with the same possibility of scoring the most goals, winning the most games, stats tables have a much more global appearance, particularly in these opening round games.

As for watching the games, we know when they start and when they will end near enough. We have 45 minutes or so of uninterrupted action without commercials for beer or Viagra, definitely a plus in my book.

As for participation, as a soccer mom I have spent more games relaxing in the shade of hot fall days, rather than shivering in the cold spring evenings bundled up until dusk on a school night at Little League games. Exercise for practice sessions and games means lots of running around for all, rather than sitting on the sidelines waiting to bat or standing bored in outfield hoping a ball might be hit to a player who rarely gets a chance to move. Basketball is another good exercise while on the court, but there is still a lot of sitting around for many of the players. Even Dad and kids can get a lot of exercise kicking a ball around rather than playing catch at the park.

I hope you all start to enjoy the benefits of the World Cup and soccer in general, as it is the Worlds most popular sport. Watching today knowing people all over the world were sitting and watching the same game makes us all feel more connected universally rather than sitting in the usual American sports bubble where the rest of the world have little or no interest. We had a great afternoon and look forward to the next games whenever we can catch them.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Nice to hear from a soccer fan! It's great to read about how you and your family are enjoying the World Cup together. I agree, what a fun way for kids to learn more about lesser known countries.

I've enjoyed hearing my husband and son cheer for the teams from afar. And, yes, kicking a ball outside in between games has been a great way to let out some of that toddler energy.

I expect to watch my fair share of kid soccer games in the future. Nice to hear from a mom who enjoys it. Watching friends or family play a sport can be quite enjoyable...and it makes it easy to choose which team to cheer for.

Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Jun 26, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Anyone sitting watching the USA game today would find that soccer was far from boring and the excitement grew as the realization that even by losing a game, there was still a positive outcome.

Hope your family enjoyed it as much as all those who managed to get off work today.

Roll on Tuesday and Belgium.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - My husband had quite a challenge today. He didn't want to find out the outcome of the game until after work this evening. My son and I actually heard the outcome while out for lunch. It definitely sounds like a lot of people in the area are following and/or watching the World Cup. Glad that you enjoyed watching the game today.

Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Jul 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm

What a team, what a game, what a sport. And what a world class goalie team USA has in Tim Howard. He is now the record holder for the most saves in one game, 16 on target saves.

Our family just does not understand how anyone finds the World Cup boring. The only discussions we have now is who to root for to get to the final.

Hope everyone else continues to enjoy it as much as our family.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Great to hear that you and your family are enjoying The World Cup. It does sound like there have been some very exciting games. Our son is definitely enjoying it a lot this summer.

Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Team USA may be out of the World Cup, but after today's semi final match between Brazil and Germany, I have heard more people than ever discussing the World Cup. The excitement isn't over yet! Definitely not boring.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - We found out the score at halftime when we were out to lunch today. What a surprise! My son enjoyed watching all of the goals scored when he watched the game with his dad this evening.

Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 8:05 am

What an excellent end to the World Cup. As I watched most of my family (one was watching with a German friend) sitting around the tv yesterday I had to take a moment to acknowledge the fact that I have no idea when the next opportunity for us all to sit together watching something we were all completely focused on. Family togetherness was one of the highlights for our family.

Additionally, being able to have conversations with family friends and acquaintances, even complete strangers sometimes, shows that this sport has been a draw all over Silicon Valley and possibly the country.

I look forward to seeing how soccer, football, or futbol, develops in the coming years until the draw for the qualifying rounds of the 2018 Word Cup in a couple of years. Roll on the next international USA game.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jul 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Similar thoughts were going through our heads yesterday. I stayed close to the action yesterday so I could hear/see more of our son's excitement when a goal was scored. It was sad to realize that it's the last time we'll hear his toddler voice yell "GOAL!" at the TV while watching the 2014 World Cup. I am excited to see how different the experience will be when he is 4 years older. So happy for the memories created during this year's World Cup.

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