Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coynadoni | Euro 2008

Why the hell is Wayne Coyne coaching Italy at Euro 2008?

Seriously, Euro 2008 is halfway through the group stage and the attention it is getting around here is amazing for any longtime soccer fan. Not only are all of the matches broadcast live on ESPN2 (along with rebroadcasts at night) but, not one but two, bars in Montpelier are showing the games. McGillicudy's and Positive Pie II are both showing the games. I think Positive Pie is even showing the pre-recorded games during the early evening hours.

Any longtime soccer fan in the US will see that as stunning progress. 20 years ago, there was barely any soccer on TV. Then they started broadcasting the World Cup games but it would be a limited coverage at odd times and without any supporting coverage. Ratings were tiny and fans were left to feel like a leper in society.

Then ESPN fully embraced the World Cup and ratings picked up. However, then they would forget about international competitions until the next World Cup.

The next step was the World Cup in 2006 when I noticed significant crowds showing up in local bars to watch the games. In fact, Positive Pie II was packed for the World Cup final. Now, it appears that enthusiasm is starting to carry over to Euro 2008 which is the championship of Europe. No need to feel like a leper any longer.

Now, if they start showing the Copa Liberatores in local VT bars, I'll feel like I'm truly living in a soccer nation.

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