I’m not a very good sports fan. I can’t take the drama. Just being in a diner with fans on the edge of their seats can deliver anxiety to me as swiftly as someone refills my coffee.

The whole place groans at near misses, screaming (really screaming) in spots.

Holland is in orange. Nearly everyone here is in Mexico green, the green of a lawn on a sunny afternoon.

I don’t know how they can eat.

The roar of the crowd on the television and in the restaurant intensifies, drowning out the clattering of dishes by busboys, hiding the rattle of utensils tossed into their designated bins.

The crowd laughs together as someone misses the ball and cringes in unison as another near miss flashes before them.

I need to go, but I want to see them get a goal; they are so hungry, their eyes fixed on the possibility.

Only twenty-eight minutes in, as the goalie for Holland thwarts another attempt. As the crowd moans, I want more of the game.

I arrive at the zocalo at 12:05. Gol at 12:08. The fists are pumping. The flags are flying.

The crowd grows steadily. The excitement vibrates in the air.

The announcer seems to try to hurry the last thirty minutes.

People are clapping at the note of twenty-five minutes.

Then, the show begins to spiral; some of us hold our heads. We have a few cheers left in us, but not many.

We have nearly tasted the thrill of victory. Viva Mexico.





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