half time just began in germany a few minutes ago, with germany one goal ahead of costa rica in a stadium swelling with sound. the world cup tournament is on the t.v., and even patricio's friend and co-worker, marcos, is taking the day off to watch the beginnings of a full month of fútbol. a fellow expat, working as an engineer for a toluca-branch cement company, received a corporate announcement on thursday stating that "all employees were entitled to either A) have a TV installed at work with the games playing or B) stay home and watch the game...with their bosses' approval."
mexico will take to the field for the first time on sunday, facing the team from iran. the super bowl was surprisingly big here, but the world cup games are, literally, in a league all of their own. the game is back on, germany just scored another point, and the televisa announcers are exponentially multiplying the letter 'o', yelling out into an expanse of seconds the once three-lettered word "¡gooooool!" the quick back and forth, the offense and defense, are admittedly hightly contagious. now i'm the one who's yelling out loud, as costa rica cleanly kicked in their second goal of the game.
but the world cup isn't the only tournament toward a definitive win that's rife with offensive and defensive risk. the presidential race, right here at home, is a parallel that's hard to ignore. the boundaries were blurred in the last commercial break, with kikín fonseca--a poster boy for the national team--endorsing the candidate for the national action party (PAN), felipe calderón.
germany just drove in their fourth home team goal, determined to come out winning. the party of the democratic revolution (PRD), with its candidate as the other campaign front-runner, would love the same kind of success. andrés manuel lópez obrador is now kicking out a hit in hopes of hindering calderón's possibilities. calderón, in turn, is calling him a liar.
the race has been nerve-racking; in the past few months, the spots on the air have been marked by negative spin. it's like a fútbol game gone desperate and mean.
the elections are approaching just under a month away, and we'll then get to see who finally made the cut. with six out of ten registered voters unlikely to go to the polls, it seems that watching the world cup on t.v. rings truer to a nation than does politics-speak. both are a game of offense and defense; the former, it seems, feeling a lot less offensive.
in either case, what most of us hope is that mexico is the real winner.