Saturday, June 12

Get him to the Greektown

Greece 0-2 South Korea

A trip to the Danforth requires I wear the sandals of a Spartan and eat the breakfast that made those warriors strong: goat's milk yogurt. Don't believe me? We... are... PROBIOTIC!

Between Logan and Pape are umpteen pubs, open-air cafes and patios: Fox and Fiddle has the most screens, but there's also Bar 521, Caffe Frappe (arguably the nerve centre) the Iliadic Kaffeteria and even a Mr. Greek--which is ironically the only patio with empty seats. It's already 1-0 for South Korea when I arrive at Cafe Frappe, which means the indigenous tribe is despondent. Overcast morning skies and spitting rain don't help.

Korean confederates are widely interspersed throughout Greek Nation, with the nucleus of Asian teenage hipsters chattering at the Euro Crepe Cafe, oblivious to the icy sentiments along this stretch of Danforth. A pair of Korean women jogging by Cafe Frappe stop to check the score, laugh cockily and quickly run away. There's another run-by Korean gloating after the half at Mr Greek, where, still 1-0, I park to enjoy spanakopita and shore up flagging Hellas. But Greece keeps being cut off at each attacking angle. Don't these guys know about trigonometry? They invented it! Disappointing, considering the Samian obsession with triangles.

S.K. makes it 2-0 on a beautiful charge by Park Ji-Sung after an Argive giveaway and that's my cue to exit. I hear rumours of a Nigerian picnic in the North York wilderness of Jane and Sheppard.

Nigeria 0-1 Argentina
The rumours are true! Unfortunately, the weather is foul. By the time I find Northwood park--off a driveway north of Sheppard between Jane and Keele--things are even soggier than Greektown. The Nigerian-Canadian Association has gone to admirable lengths for this party, including open-air tents, a roasted corn station, and mock trophies for the kids. CBC  quizzes the crowd and spirits are high. I'm certainly the sole spectator with an Italy cap, yet I manage to avoid a heckling, as it's the Argentinians who are the target of wrath after a diving header goal by Gabriel Heinze in the sixth minute.

I leave at the half, as non-Cup errands put the blog out of commission for the rest of the day (including England-USA), so don't get a chance to try the corn. I hope the next Nigerian festa is a bit closer to downtown.

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