When you purchase your World Cup tickets as early as we did, you know nothing about the matches other than the date, time and city where they are taking place.
At the time of our purchase, teams hadn’t even qualified for the World Cup final.
But we had tickets and, frankly, that was enough of a thrill.
FIFA held the World Cup draw in Cape Town on December 4, 2009. At the draw, it is revealed how the 32 participating nations have been assigned to eight groups of four teams for the first round of play. Without getting into the seeding and the rules and the “pots” that teams are placed into and the conspiracy theories – the draw determined which teams we would see play in five of our seven games.
So, it was pretty much like winning (the right to purchase) tickets all over again.
I was at work, Lauren was in class. We were each armed with a spreadsheet of the match schedule: plugging in the teams in each group populated the schedule. Simultaneously watching via the technological wonder that is the internet, we furiously and excitedly exchanged emails and text messages. (I’m sure Lauren learned boatloads in class that day.)
Here is a simulation of our conversation:
“OMG. ARGENTINA. OMG.”
“We have lucked out so far! THIS IS SO EXCITING.”
“No Netherlands. Booooooooooooo. But a good chance of seeing either England or USA in round of 16!”
“26-06-10 1C (England or USA) v 2D (Australia? Serbia? Ghana?)
27-06-10 1B (Nigeria? Greece? Korea?) v 2A (France? Mexico?)”
“We could try to pick up tickets to USA/Slovenia on the 18th at Ellis Park. I bet that wouldn’t be impossible.”
“We see a lot of badass teams.
17-06-10 Argentina v Korea (Gooooooooo Argentina)
20-06-10 Brazil v Ivory Coast (Goooooooooooo Brazil)
22-06-10 Mexico v Uruguay (Gooooooooooooo Mexico)
23-06-10 Ghana v Germany (Goooooooooooo Germany)
24-06-10 Slovakia v Italy (Goooooooooooooo Italy)”
Annnnnnnd, there might have been a bit of squealing and hand clapping, too. (What? I was excited! I’m sure that my coworkers didn’t even notice. I’m prone to breaking out in fits of giddy stupidity on a regular basis.)
Disappointments: no Portugal, USA, Netherlands or Spain.
But really? Draw Day was nothing but rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. I’m not sure we could’ve been any luckier.