Continental's non-stop from Newark to Cologne landed and a quartet of special World Cup revelers arrived in Germany ready to take it all in. Two were new to the competition, Dylan (who will be 2 in August) and Nicholas, who is enjoying his first football classic since joining the family. Marci, my eldest has been coming since 1986. Stuart, Marci's husband made it to Korea/Japan and now had a better idea on how to get around.
Their first game was the very exciting match between the Czech Republic and an insired Ghana team. It was end to end action.
My deputy Jason Hughes was there seated with Roger Milla. Like those two, the game had plenty to applaude. Other kids were there too. Accompanying Dr. and Mrs. Havelange was their granddaughter Joanna and her husband. My grandson, at the final whistle yelled out his dissatisfaction in these words... "More Soccer, More Soccer".
So, after a small break, we shifted from the Stadium in Cologne to a Fan Fest located at the base of Dom. The hotel had offered us their terrace that had a great view of the stage and screen specially constructed for the event. My group of mostly Americans wanted to see their home team in action against Italy.
The big screen at halftime was pushed back to make room for Carnival style costumes and dancers. I did a short interview as part of a promotion for the local government's wrap up of the World Cup and the City of Cologne. Most importantly, the game finished with the USA in a tie with Italy. One more day and the second flight of games would be finished and then it would be 2 pairs of games a day, with each group finishing simultaneously.
As we left, the only words came from my grandson... "More Soccer, More Soccer".