Thursday, June 17

Getting Whipped with a Smile

South Korea 1-4 Argentina

I bike up to Clinton's at Bloor and Clinton but it's literally packed to capacity: I am refused entry 15 minutes into the first half by the bouncer/bartender who claims city inspectors will shut him down if he lets more people in. KILLJOY. LAME. So I watch from the outside looking in with a dozen others. At the back of the bar I see and wave hi to a writer I know, Joel, who lived several years on the island of Jeju-do teaching English. A couple years ago I actually helped hook Joel up with his hilarious all-things-Korean blog for The Walrus–a definite must-read.

Perhaps Joel would disagree when I say South Korea has the best-natured, most adorable fans. Is that a glib, patronizing assessment? Probably. When home-team goals are scored there is no obnoxious shouting nor aggressive chest-thumping among the Koreatown faithful– just joyous high-pitched cheers. Compared to the hated vuvuzela even Korean thundersticks are cute.

Too bad Argentina, machismo incarnate, took these well-behaved peninsularians and gave them a brutal 4-1 lesson in Footballish. But I still had a good time. If you're going to lose big, do it with a really nice crowd like this.

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