Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chorizo y huevos y fútbol - UPDATE

The Oakland Tribune published a list of places to watch World Cup games, and it looked like my best bet for watching the matches that will start at 7 a.m. Pacific time was going to be the Englander pub in San Leandro. I went to the Englander to see matches during the last World Cup, when they opened at any hour to air matches, a practice they will continue for this World Cup. They will show the games that start at 4:30 a.m. local time. Unfortunately for me, BART doesn't run at that time, so it would be a very long bicycle ride in the dark to get there. My best option is to watch the 4:30 games on my computer, but the video quality online through ESPN 3 has been really awful so far.

On Thursday night, I went to La Estrellita, a bar and Mexican restaurant three blocks from my house, to watch the NBA Finals. I found out then that the restaurant would be open for breakfast and of course they would have all their TVs tuned to the game for the 7 a.m. matches, so this is much more convenient. During the South Africa-Mexico tilt, I met a nice Frenchman who teaches chemistry at a local high school and we had a great chat, mostly about football, science education and the awful French Canadian accent.

So early this morning, I'll be enjoying a breakfast of chorizo y huevos y fútbol, watching the amazingly talented Argentinian squad play the Nigerians, known historically as a tough defensive squad, though they have fallen on hard times this go-round. Argentina has three major goal scoring threats with their new star Lionel Messi joining Tevez and Higuain on the front line.

UPDATE - La Estrellita isn't open for breakfasts on the weekends, so I'm watching at home on the computer. A little scratchy, but somewhat watchable.

In the preliminary rounds of the World Cup, the thirty two squads are split into eight separate four team groups that will play a round robin tournament with two teams advancing. If there are three really strong squads out of the four, this is known as a Group of Death. If only one team is strong and the other three will fight for the second position, I took to calling this a Group of Cake, a riff on Eddie Izzard's immortal question "Cake or Death?" Argentina looks like they will be getting cake. If you have ever seen their coach Diego Maradona, you know he should be very happy getting cake.

My prediction: big win for Argentina, with more goals in this game than in the first three games combined. (Not that hard, since the first three games were 1-1, 0-0 and 0-0.)

UPDATE: The Koreans beat the Greeks 2-0. I took my friend Art's prediction for the actual score. Argentina leads 1-0 at half. They might get more goals, but the Nigerian goalkeeper is doing a bang-up job so far.

If you are in the neighborhood on a weekday monring, stop by La Estrellita and watch a game with other fans. They make a nice breakfast. Who knows, you might even get to meet a blogger! (I know. You are quivering with excitement, aren't you?)


Abu Scooter said...

I always enjoyed going to the Englander, and they've done a great job hosting World Cup parties in the past. I imagine that'll be an interesting venue for the remaining Group C matches.

How crowded was Estrellita for the opener?

Padre Mickey said...

Dude! Every restaurant in San Salvador had Karaoake, and every restaurant in Guatemala was featuring World Cup Fútbol. It was crazy, man.

Matty Boy said...

Abu: Not crowded. Maybe about ten people or so.

Padre: It's one month every four years, and there's nothing else like it.