I actually watched the last half of the UEFA Champions League, er, championship game last night on ESPN-2. It’s not that I was bored so much as it was the most interesting option, along with the Tigers baseball game. (No, I didn’t really want to actually think. It had been a long tedious work day.) Manchester United vs. Chelsea — I bet the part of Europe that isn’t the U.K. was utterly thrilled* — in Moscow. The disconcerting thing about the latter bit was all the English-language logos on the walls of the playing field (er, pitch). Not one Cyrillic character was to be found. Maybe Russians aren’t so easily taken in by adverts on sporting venues, so they didn’t bother to put up signs for them.
While watching the action grind on, I realized the tactics are something like hockey. That actually helped me, a little. Otherwise it looks like they’re just running around a field chasing a ball.
Was I supposed to be rooting for Man U? They won on penalty kicks. In the rain. At 1:20 a.m. Moscow time. That’s either dedication or insanity, I’m not sure which.
But here’s my real question: If we can watch a European football championship in prime time on cable here … why can’t we watch Eurovision? There are a lot more music fans in the U.S. than soccer fans.
* We’ve occasionally had both New York teams in the baseball World Series, which surely leaves at least 47 other states looking for basketball games to watch.