Yep, I'm throwing my not-inconsiderable weight behind any Australian bid to host the World Cup. Apart from all the obvious benefits, it will mean being able to watch the games at a reasonable time! I can't even tell you how tired I am - and it's only just started. I'm not sure if my brain (and liver!) are up to this.
The Opening Ceremony was pretty low key. I think that's as it should be. We're there for the game, after all, not to watch school children dressed as native animals run around to the strains of some band who had a top ten hit in 1987. It was moving to see members of previous winning teams walk out; but apart from that, the whole thing was over in about half an hour. There's some photos here if you want them (though if you were keen, I guess you would have seen it already, wouldn't you?)
Well, that got us straight onto the football! I have to admit, I've been dozing off during half time during the first match (and generally waking up with twenty minutes left of the last match). Still, there's been some suprises, such as the highest-ever scoring opening match (I predicted Germany would win 3-0, Rex said Germany by 4, but 4-2 took us all by suprise). And Paraguay last night saved us from the humiliation I feared Australia would suffer: the first own-goal of the tournament. Best of all, the English fans seem to be behaving themselves so far.
Although it doesn't really offer the team much encouragement, I decided I simply had to have a team t-shirt. So I went to the local sports store to get one, and let me tell you, people were going crazy. Anything you can think of that had an Australia logo, it was for sale and people were buying it. I'm sure that if there had been sealed jars into which the players had burped, priced at $129.95, people would have purchased them by the truckload. People were crazy in other ways too. I overheard this:
"What's the name of that guy? The head of the football with the funny name?"
"Oh yeah. HahaHA!"
Despite my lack of sleep I managed to get out of there with the t-shirt you see in the picture, without buying anything else, and aware that the President of FIFA is not named after a piece of useful domestic equipment. We'll see if it lasts...