Allez Les Bleus!
Football fever has taken over France. All through the streets, people walk taller, eager to poke their heads into cafes and brasseries to hear the latest gossip on the team, and cheers of "Allez Les Bleus!" (Go Blues!) resound through the tiny rues. People make small talk about the last game at the bus stop and on the metro, defying the tradition of never speaking to their fellow passengers except during la greve (a strike). Kids practice "le foot" in courtyards, against brick walls, and dribble around the bornes seperating the streets and the sidewalks.
Tonight was a big game: France versus Spain, who (from what I've heard) has a very strong team. And tonight, France, once again, rose to the occasion. Despite the predictions of early glory dissipating as the tournament goes on, France came through tonight, scoring two goals in the last third of the game, to beat Spain 3 to 1.
After each goal, the entire neighborhood came to life. Shouts, screams, and a general roar of clapping, laughing and cheering were heard. Lights flashed in windows, neighbors greeted each other with the universal "WOOOO!!!" from their balconies, and everyone turned back to the set, to watch Zidane slam in the third and final goal in an amazing display of fancy footwork.
"It's a deke! A deke! That was a DEKE!" Dr. B cheered. Even I, who am not exactly what you would call "sporty", let out a scream and began my "Band Director clapping" (I am the loudest clapper you've ever heard), in support of my adopted country's football team, as they advance in the World Cup.
And now, as I type this on my laptop, horns are honking, whistles are screaming, sirens are blaring, people are shouting, and celebrations are reaching heights they haven't known in a long time in Paris. France is once again leading the world. Even if it is just a sport, I think it feels pretty good.
Allez les Bleus!!!
***Photo from the Les Bleus website.
***Deke is a hockey term. Click on the word to find a definition on Wikipedia.