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Take 2

A different spin on sports by The Seattle Times staff and readers.

July 1, 2014 at 6:59 AM

Gol! Gol! Gol! World Cup memories translate in any language

A Mexico soccer fan chants before a World Cup match with Brazil.  Eduardo Verdugo / The Associated Press photo

A Mexico soccer fan chants before a World Cup match with Brazil.
Eduardo Verdugo / The Associated Press photo

BY MICHAEL T. MIYOSHI

Gol! Gol! Gol!

It is time for crazy fans to strut their stuff. Time for flags to fly. Time for painted faces and noisemakers to crowd the stands. It is World Cup soccer time.

We do not have any broadcast TV at our house, so we do not get to watch the World Cup except on the computer. But that  does not really matter much. The World Cup still has special memories for me.

When we were kids, we watched the World Cup on Grandma and Grandpa’s black-and-white console television. All the adults were working on the farm, and my brother and I ostensibly took care of our younger brother and sister and our cousins. So we got to have some quality TV time. As we all got older, we still got out of some of the work to watch TV. And at least a couple times, we got to watch the World Cup.

Even though the USA was not so good at the time, we still watched and had fun cheering as the powerhouses of the day played their hearts out.

Four years ago, my family watched what games we could on cable TV (we had it then). But we had the most limited plan there was so we only got to see he few games the networks offered. Or at least that would have been the case had we not decided to watch the games on a channel broadcasting in Spanish.

The best thing about the Spanish channel is that the commentators were so passionate about the games. It did not matter who was playing, they were excited. We could not understand most of their words, but we knew they were excited. And we knew at least one word. Gol!

Whenever somebody scored, the announcers would shout, “Gol! Gol! Gol!” They were excited whether their team or anybody else’s team scored. “Gol! Gol! Gol!

It was great. It was exciting. It was one of the few phrases I understood with my limited Spanish. “Gol! Gol! Gol!

But a goal is a goal is a gol!

This World Cup, with no TV reception and no cable, I have not seen any of the World Cup matches yet. But we are going to my parents’ house and they have enough TV coverage that we ought to be able to see at least a couple of games. So maybe our kids will have some similar memories to mine. Maybe they will get out of a bit of work to watch the best soccer players in the world play for their homelands. Maybe they will remember being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house watching crazy fans with their flags and painted faces, hearing their noisemakers and cheers. Maybe they will remember the announcers and their excitement as the games unfold.

We won’t  watch the games in Spanish, but regardless of the language, I am sure they will know when somebody scores.

Gol! Gol! Gol!

Michael T. Miyoshi is a teacher and track and field coach at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall. He has been blogging more than seven years and has been published in several newspapers, including The Seattle Times. Read more of Michael T. Miyoshi’s Musings at http://www.mediocreman.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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