>Hoy día la marrequeta es más crujente…

>As F. explained to me in an e-mail today, the above expression means that when Chile wins, even their bread (la marrequeta) changes for the better. It echos Sara’s feeling that Chile’s win was apocalyptic.

Yes, last night Chile beat Argentina 1-0 in qualifying rounds for the World Cup 2010. It’s never happened before. Ever. Yay! I mean, I’m excited. But also a little jealous.

I wish I had statistics, but I would gander that the majority of the Chilean population was watching the game last night. When they won, I just know that people starting honking their horns in the streets, driving around yelling “Viva Chile Mierda!” and waving the Chilean flag. I remember when I was on my way to the airport after 6 1/2 months of studying abroad, La Rojita beat someone (Argentina, maybe?!?!) in the sub-20 World Cup quarterfinals (I think). Driving to the airport we passed cars in Plaza Italia celebrating the win, and this was just for the sub-20. I’m sure the celebrations after this game were A LOT rowdier.

In the US, something like this could never happen. Sure, we have a national soccer team but the majority of the population here couldn’t care less about it, even if it did win a big game. The professional sports teams that are most popular are organized by state or even city. So when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series last year (or in 2004), yes a TON of people were happy and ran around rioting, but it was mainly limited to New England. We don’t have a sports team that unites us all as a country.

The Olympics give the US a chance to compete as a whole country, but I’m not sure there were many riots or large celebrations when Michael Phelps won his 8 gold medals this year. Nothing comes close to the pride that Chileans (and many other countries) feel when their soccer teams win.

I wonder why soccer never really caught on in the US. It kind of makes me sad that we don’t have something so positive uniting us to give us a break from depressing topics such as the dismal state of the economy, the war in Iraq, etc. (I’m in no ways saying we should ignore these subjects, they absolutely need to be addressed and taken care of). Wouldn’t that be nice?

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