...the vuvuzela. Yes, gone are the days of chanting, and drumming and clapping and whistling, and arrived are the days of blowing, and blowing, and blowing....for the entire match. It's pretty funny to hear a constant buzz suddenly cease as a shot on goal occurs as the crowd gasps...gathers their wits, and then commences blowing their damn precious vuvuzela.
Here is a brief recap of the day's games.
South Africa vs Mexico
Group A ruled the day. After an opening ceremony filled with technical difficulties and vuvuzela-induced-drowned-out-commencement-speeches, the action got underway. You always gotta feel good for the host country, and South Africa played their hearts out to a 1-1 draw against Mexico, who pushed the pace for the entire match and held a 65%-35% edge on possession. Early in the second half we got to witness this...
A nice little coordinated jig that would have made Glee happy after an early second half runaway goal....and the vuvuzela's played...after the gasp! Mexico kept patient and methodical and found a way to tie the game around the 80th minute. If I understand the stat correctly, no host nation has ever lost it's first match...and that continued here.
Uraguay Vs France
France, how do you say this...is not exactly the Cinderella team of the tournament. Controversy surrounded their qualification for the tourney. Now, I must admit something here. When it comes to watching World Cup, especially in scoreless games, it can take a few games (I venture to say five), to get used to the slower, methodical pace of the sport...so that being the case I have a very foggy recollection of minutes 33-44 of the first half. A little cat nap :). So we have Uraguay who is a little shark in the big Group A bowl, and even as yellow and red cards flew around the field, they held their own for a 1-1 tie with Le France.
So day one is done. For those of you that drew a group a team, your three extra entries are going to have to wait at least until the next match, although a couple of you earned entries for a tie and a goal, which is better than a poke with a stick.
Today in summary:
The Good: The Espn stadium crews. Very blunt, honest, funny, and entertaining stuff. Top-notch. Quote of the day: "He struck the ball well, but his radar was a little wonky".
The Bad: Vuvezelas!