Yesterday, July 1st, marked the end of the World Cup ride for USA, but the beginning of something even better. It was just 24hrs prior to that when Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed posted via Twitter that the city would host a World Cup Watch Party at Piedmont Park in the Greystone facility. It was great to see so many people gather to support our boys while in Brazil. So many people wore flags in the form of capes, scarves (as shown above), head wraps, and displayed tons of accessories such as purses, earrings, and more. A great day for fans indeed!
We have to tip our hats off to the city because they really took care of us. Everyone was nice and had a great time. There were 2 viewing areas inside, the back viewing area had chairs, and there was a screen setup on the patio with chairs as well. That combined with free food for the next 3 hours made it a great time for all. If you couldn’t find something you liked inside, outside Greystone they had food trucks setup to assist with that 😉 and with a day like that (90+ degrees), King of Pops came through in the clutch along with Healthful Essence (Food Truck).
As I stated earlier, yesterday marked the end of the USA’s World Cup run but marks the beginning of something new: America finally cares about soccer. It’s not embarrassing, it’s not a bad thing, it’s actually a great thing. We as a country tend to not care about sports that aren’t “ours” (football, baseball, for example), but companies are finally starting to “get it.” It’s one thing if our country plus maybe Canada and England participate in watching a sport (NFL) but, it’s an entirely different animal when the entire planet is watching a sport (Football), what we call soccer. ATL Soccer Fest this year hosted thousands of people at Brookhaven Park to watch USA face Portugal, in what turned out to be the highest viewed men’s soccer match with over 25 million people watching. But I think the best thing about this year’s World Cup is to see the spirit of each person being brought out via football 😉
There’s a special feeling about walking through Midtown and seeing a group of people in Argentina shirts but 90% of them are American. A family hoists a Chilean flag in support of Chile but live in Gwinnett. We met a family of 7 all wearing Nigeria kits (jerseys) and t-shirts but said “we proudly live in America, so we cheer for both!” 🙂 One day you think you know someone and then the World Cup comes around and you discover they’re actually from Australia, Portugal, Mexico, England, etc. It’s part of why they call it “the beautiful game.”
We hope this huge surge in American support will hold-fast until this time next year too. The Women’s National Team will start they’re World Cup qualifying in the next few months. The Women’s World Cup is this time next year, 2015, in Canada. So if you ever needed an excuse to go exploring above the border, this is a good one eh? 🙂 It should also be noted that our women win…. a lot. So there’s ZERO excuse to not support our ladies!
Big thanks to the Mayor, City Officials, and Terminus Legion!
Photos: Jonathan Davis