Saturday, July 3, 2010

Working the World Cup

Jennifer The World Cup is going on right now, as some of you are doubtless aware. The exit of the United States from the tournament at the hands of Ghana is upsetting, but really, they didn't look so good anyway. Fortunately, plenty of soccer that does look good is still going on. The Dutch post-doc E. is a sporty fellow—he started the office betting pool, and knowing that he couldn't possibly concentrate on anything else while Holland was playing its quarterfinal match against Brazil, he decided that we'd just have to watch it at work. He brought in snacks and his family as well, with his two the young boys both wearing as much orange as possible (they spent most of the time playing with the orange balloons). And so at 4pm we gathered in the conference room and set up the streaming video, and had a very good time indeed as it turned out, as Holland beat Brazil 2-1, in a very entertaining match, to advance to the semifinals next week.

E. and I share some superstitions about sports; for instance, he will now absolutely not wash his orange shirt while the tournament is going on, and he is a little too disturbed to hear about Paul the Psychic Octopus who has correctly predicted every German win so far. Neither myself nor E. had chosen Holland to advance this far, and we are both pretty well out of contention for the small office pot. "It's worth it," he said, "if I have to lose the betting in order to win the Cup that's just fine."

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