This is why I stopped following sports. I am awake and anxious when I need to be sleeping to prepare for the all-day toddler onslaught tomorrow holds for me. Here I sit having already web-browsed team stats for 45 minutes, discussed Germany's ongoing keeper saga, downloaded photos from the Sweden game... and now wondering what theological bargain I have to get into for Germany to get past Argentina tomorrow. Unluckily for me, my theology doesn't allow for a divine creator pulling strings for a soccer team. Maybe I could convert just for tomorrow? (Now I'm kidding.)
This is insanity. And this is me on sports. I dropped the sports habit in '93 or '94 after screaming raging obscenities at the television set when "my" Knicks lost the NBA title. I think I actually cried that night. It was absurd and would have been laughable had I not been so ridiculously sincere. I've tried to watch no more than two games of any team in any sport since then. Until this World Cup. And I am up to my ears in the Cup.
There's a story here. Not a good one, but a story. I was in Germany during the '90 Cup. I knew nothing about soccer and walked around my host family's neighborhood during the games because the screaming was too loud in their house. I remember hearing hollers of "Klinsi! Klinsi!" coming out of every home in the neighborhood. (Jurgen Klinsmann was a striker then. He's the coach now, and bless you if you didn't know that.) Upon my return to the states, my mother met me at the airport waving the German flag (it was upside down, but the thought was sweet) and took me straight home so my brother and I could watch the Final. I screamed at the television in jetlagged German echoing the mishmash of hoots I'd heard in Germany. "We" won.
After my Knicks incident I didn't allow any further sports mania, but I peeked in the sports section of the paper, "accidentally" turned on ESPN sometimes, and even took my infant daughter and toddler son to a live minor league baseball game. When I heard that Klinsi was coach this year... well, I thought I could handle it. Thought I could control it. I should have known better.
Now I will go to bed. I will mumble the serenity prayer. I will think about all the happy things that come from a sports-free life. I will wish a bad sushi event on the Argentinians. I will feel guilty and un-wish it. Eventually, I will call myself one of the few slang words of German I still remember and go to sleep.
After this, I mean it.
No more sports.