European and American Sports

SportsEuropeans are often fascinated by Americans who do not understand or want to understand football. For them it is a smaller game called soccer and played by their daughters in school. For them, football is like something odd that entails no excitement. The thing is Americans love it when, in their spectacular sports, the score reaches a hundred, or when college girls cheer with pompoms during halftime or when commentators are heard through the loudspeakers of the stadiums. Their games show a great contrast to “Czechoslovakian football”, as Americans still today think of the sport and they see a lazy game played by sweaty Latinos and Europeans that suffer from inferiority complex.

Americans do not understand why midfielders do not wear pads; they do not like that goals from outside the penalty area are not worth three points; they can not understand a sport that, after one hundred and twenty minutes, its score might end 0-0.

One day, in a Czech farm where Veronika spent the holidays, they got a couple of neighbors from Texas. His name was Mike and hers Honey, from what Veronika could gather, which, she thought, was either her nickname, name or simply the way the husband referred to her, in a supposedly “endearing” way. In any case, Veronika never found out the real name of the girl. One night, Mike and Honey were watching an NBA game in the common room. Veronika and her friend Julia looked at them from time to time, while cooking dinner.

Mike was (unintentionally) a sort of example of the usual image that Europeans have of the American people; he was an extroverted big man, with a “red neck”, drinking beers in six packs, watching TV at a close range distance in a really high volume. Honey had set a small barbecue that looked like a UFO.