I’ve never been very into televised sports (Olympics obviously exempted), but in the summer of 2014, the stars aligned and I became intensely invested in the World Cup. That was the summer that Liz and Mallory and I were having a Senegal reunion, and I was annoyed by how often our text planning devolved into the two of them talking about soccer. In a desperate attempt to fit in, I agreed to watch the USA vs. Portugal match. I knew a girl I follow on tumblr was fanatical about “her son” Christiano Ronaldo, so I rooted for Portugal. Although they lost, I was hooked on the game.
It was a perfect setup. Liz was the soccer aficionado who could explain offside rules and eloquently describe the beauty of the long choreography that led to a goal. Mallory was the man appreciator who responded “YESSS” to my texts of “take off your shirt!!” I was particularly in love with Ronaldo (albeit briefly because of Portugal’s loss) and Mesut Ozil, who someone described as a big-eyed orphan boy, and my heart was gone. Continue reading