Sunday, July 15, 2018

From Early Airport Run To World Cup To China

Our guests of two weeks had a 6am flight, so we left the house a little after 4am.  D's family is family and it was great to have the three here.  Despite having a full house including a four year old and five year old, we got along smoothly, eating well, talking serious and fun, and enjoying the kids and keeping them occupied.  I've got my daughter and granddaughter for a while longer still.

From the airport to home, unsuccessful attempt to get a couple hours more sleep before heading with my daughter to the Bear Tooth to watch Croatia play well in their final loss to France.  When I watched Croatia beat Russia, it was easy to root for the small country over Putin's team.  We say sports transcends politics, but not really.  In international events people get very nationalistic - US media seem more interested, say, in the medal count than in the events.

Then Croatia beat England.   They were now my team.  For a while.  The political backdrop then interfered as I realized Croatia was an all-white team and France had a mix of colors.  Should this matter?  If everyone were equal, and race and immigration weren't tearing countries apart (and I don't doubt Putin, once again, has had his hand in this in Europe as well as in the divisive social media campaign in the US), it wouldn't be a factor.  But if Croatia won, I knew that the white supremacists would be touting how racial purity (and I have no idea exactly what that is supposed to mean and which tests of such purity the Croatian player would pass or fail) had won.  And if France won, those championing the humanity of the those fleeing political and economic oppression would use their victory as proof that immigration made a country stronger.

My compromise was to root for the individual players of Croatia and the French team.

The Bear Tooth was packed this time and when Croatia scored it was clear they were the crowd favorites.  They played hard and seemed to possess the ball much more than France.  They just couldn't maneuver the ball into the net.  France's first goal was a free kick with a boost from a Croatian head that seemed to put it just out of the reach of the goalie.  Croatia came back with a penalty kick goal.   Then the French got another gift - the ball hit a Croatian hand in front of the French goal.  In the second half the French got two more solid shots into the goal.  Croatia managed another goal by charging the goal keeper in what should have been a routine ball retrieval on the goalie's part.  Sports Illustrated has the highlights.  All in all, I left the game satisfied.  Croatia played well and France won.

And when I checked Twitter when I got home, the first Tweet I saw was already claiming the victory by the multi-colored French team repudiated Trump's nasty London comment about immigration ruining European culture.

Home for some brief interaction with my granddaughter who then went with her mom to visit mom's old Anchorage friends.  I napped and then enjoyed the luxury of  just lying in bed reading.  I'd picked up The Road To Sleeping Dragon by Michael Meyer at the library when we took Little J there.  I'll do more on the book in another post.

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